Although there is a cadre of experienced investigators in Puerto Rico who have made significant contributions to the field of HIV/AIDS, we believe that the research workforce needs to be sustained, diversified and further prepared to be able to respond to the challenges faced by people living with HIV. We propose to continue and expand the University of Puerto Rico Mentoring Institute for HIV and Mental Health Research (MI-HMHR) scope of work. The MI-HMHR is currently responsible for providing services and promoting training and developmental initiatives to support a cadre of HIV/AIDS junior investigators. It is also responsible for guaranteeing that there is a well-trained and interested group of researchers in the pipeline in order to sustain and advance knowledge to respond to the complexities of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This Institute is mainly concerned with providing adequate support to the research workforce, from a developmental perspective. During the past three years it has sponsored talented researchers from four participating universities- University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine, Ponce School of Medicine, and Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy. It provides the adequate context and resources for their development into independent researchers by offering group and individually tailored support and mentoring. We propose to use the following strategies in the renewal cycle: (1) a mentoring program to establish successful relationships between 22 junior researchers and senior researchers, (2) trainings for the development of research competencies and the exploration of new methods and perspectives, (3) pilot funding (to implement a project and enhance productivity of junior investigators), and (4) a """"""""mentor the mentors"""""""" program. The activities proposed under each component will benefit from the lessons learned during the past three years. We believe that these components are key for the comprehensive development of an investigator. They complement each other in facilitating core and cross-cutting skills and competences needed to pursue and sustain a successful research career. Each component will be evaluated to assess its process, outcomes and effectiveness.

Public Health Relevance

Research is needed to increase the understanding of how to make substantial reduction in the HIV/AIDS. This project will train a group of minority researchers so that they can explore the multiple factors that affect the people living with HIV and their quality of life. It also aims to promote research that could be used to understand how to reduce the number of people getting infected.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-S (03))
Program Officer
Stoff, David M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Puerto Rico Med Sciences
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Medicine
San Juan
United States
Zip Code
Rodríguez-Díaz, Carlos E (2018) Maria in Puerto Rico: Natural Disaster in a Colonial Archipelago. Am J Public Health 108:30-32
Zorrilla, Carmen D; García García, Inés; García Fragoso, Lourdes et al. (2017) Zika Virus Infection in Pregnancy: Maternal, Fetal, and Neonatal Considerations. J Infect Dis 216:S891-S896
Zorrilla, Carmen D; Sánchez, Isalis; Mosquera, Ana María et al. (2017) Improved Infant Outcomes with Group Prenatal Care in Puerto Rico. Source J Obstet Gynaecol 1:
Ortiz-Sánchez, Edgardo J; Rodríguez-Díaz, Carlos E; Jovet-Toledo, Gerardo G et al. (2017) Sexual health knowledge and stigma in a community sample of HIV-positive gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Puerto Rico. J HIV AIDS Soc Serv 16:143-153
Rodríguez-Díaz, Carlos E; Garriga-López, Adriana; Malavé-Rivera, Souhail M et al. (2017) Zika virus epidemic in Puerto Rico: Health justice too long delayed. Int J Infect Dis 65:144-147
Ortiz, A P; Tamayo, V; Scorsone, A et al. (2017) Prevalence and correlates of cervical HPV infection in a clinic-based sample of HIV-positive Hispanic women. Papillomavirus Res 4:39-44
Silva-Suárez, Georgina; Bastida, Elena; Rabionet, Silvia E et al. (2016) ""That's True Love:"" Lived Experiences of Puerto Rican Perinatally HIV-Infected Youth within Their Families' Context. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:ijerph13010007
Zorrilla, Carmen D; Rabionet, Silvia E; Mosquera, Ana M et al. (2012) Biomedical HIV prevention strategies: state of the art and implications for public health policy in the Caribbean. P R Health Sci J 31:170-9
Rabionet, Silvia E; Santiago, Lydia E; Zorrilla, Carmen D (2009) A multifaceted mentoring model for minority researchers to address HIV health disparities. Am J Public Health 99 Suppl 1:S65-70