The general objective of the proposed University of the Virgin Islands MBRS program, Biomedical Research in the Caribbean Environment (BRCE), is to continue to provide opportunities for the faculty and talented minority students to conduct biomedically significant research. The proposal includes four research projects and a research enrichment component. The first research project (Project #2), a new proposal, will examine the nature and function of acyl carrier proteins that are involved in lipid biosynthesis in coelenterates and their symbiotic dinoflagellate algae. This will provide a model system for understanding the various aspects of lipid biosynthesis in higher plants and animals, including humans. The second project (Project #3) will continue to involve isolation, characterization, and bioassay of pharmacologically important secondary metabolites from marine organisms, such as algae and soft corals, which are abundant in the shallow-water habitats of the Caribbean. The third project (Project #5) will continue to test several hypotheses on the function of these secondary metabolites on the organisms in order to develop predictive theories as to where, when, and in what concentration biomedically active substances will be found in marine organisms. The fourth project (project #4), revision of an approved (but not funded) supplemental proposal, will consider hospital admission decisions and course of treatment as predictors of psychiatric patient outcomes and would permit development of an ongoing research program in applied psychology at UVI. The research enrichment will continue to provide opportunities for faculty and students to learn new techniques and developments by attending off-campus conferences as well as on-campus seminars, workshops, and informal discussions by visiting scientists (including minority role models). Through the proposed activities, the students and faculty will continue to participate in scholarly research. They will interact and collaborate with scientists from Puerto Rico and in the U. S. mainland. The most significant features of the proposed program are the inter-relatedness of three of the research projects, the close collaboration among faculty from biology, chemistry and marine biology, and the attempt to involve a faculty member and two students from psychology in biomedical research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Minority Biomedical Research Support - MBRS (S06)
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Minority Programs Review Committee (MPRC)
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University of the Virgin Islands
Schools of Arts and Sciences
St. Thomas
United States
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Govindan, M; Hodge, J D; Brown, K A et al. (1993) Distribution of cholesterol in Caribbean marine algae. Steroids 58:178-80