The major purpose of the Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program at Montana State University (MSU) is to increase the number of American Indians in the biomedical sciences. The institutional setting for the MBRS program involves a consortium consisting of MSU and five Montana Tribally Controlled Community Colleges (TCCC). It is well known that American Indians are the least represented minority group in biomedical science fields nationally. Recent statistics (1981-82) indicate that American Indians/Alaskan Natives comprise the smallest minority group (0.4%) represented in 126 accredited U.S. Medical Schools. In Montana, American Indians represent the largest single minority group accounting for over 8% of the state's total population. Montana's Indian leaders are very concerned about the serious underrepresentation in biomedical and health science fields. Their interest and commitment to the consortium arrangement and the purpose of the program provides assurance that program goals will be achieved. Specific objectives of the program include: (1) to provide Indian students and enrichment experience in biomedical research environments; (2) to expose Indian students to a broad spectrum of career opportunities in biomedical fields; (3) to strengthen facilities, capabilities, and resources at TCCC and (4) to increase the level of awareness of problems resulting in the serious underrepresentation of American Indians in biomedical fields. The enclosed array of thirteen (13) proposed subprojects, nine(9) by MSU faculty and four (4) by TCCC faculty, provides for a unique interaction between biomedical science faculty and Indian students. The multidisciplinary research subprojects will involve a total of 21 faculty and 20 selected Indian students. These proposed subprojects will expose Indian students to biomedical research problems both in the reservation community and in the university setting. The subprojects allow for a new and enriching interchange of faculty between MSU and the TCCC. This interaction will result in an increased awareness and sensitivity to the problems involved in motivating and preparing Indian students to pursue biomedical career opportunities.
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