, The Morgan State University-Public Health Program's Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Training Program (MSU-PHP CAMRTP) will recruit and train Post and Pre doctoral fellows and short-term trainees in research related to the epidemiology of CAM practices (especially among minorities), botanical content standardization, safety and efficacy of using botanicals/ diet/ other healing practices for prevention or treatment of diseases, integration of CAM and conventional medicine practice as well as emerging methodologies in CAM research. This research training program is needed because more people are documented to be using CAM modalities but the evidence-base for the safe and effective use of these products and practices lags behind that available for decision making in conventional medicine. Therefore it is imperative that we train a1 workforce of researchers who will establish the safety and efficacy of CAM products and practices while challenging the ability of traditional research methodologies to appropriately answer the complex questions in this field. The MSU-PHP CAM research training program will use outreach to partners, the network of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and the Consortium of African American Public Health Programs as a primary recruitment strategy to target both CAM-trained and conventionally trained minorities to become CAM researchers. Since MSU is an HBCU and has been successful in attracting and training researchers who have gone on to do well, we are strategically positioned to build upon this success in the future. Our Program is also designed to use several disciplines within MSU (Public Health, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, etc) and partners outside MSU (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts, United States Department of Agriculture Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, and The Maryland Research and Applied Sciences Consortium) to provide mentoring and research training experiences while exposing our Fellows to a wide range of CAM research and practice. We are not only dedicated to understanding what CAM modalities are being used but why. To answer the why question, we will partner our research fellows with basic scientists, anthropologist, psychologist, sociologists, and both quantitative and qualitative methodologists to explore CAM/traditional medicine practices in their natural environments. To date MSU-PHP CAM Fellows have investigated the relationship of Yoga to hypertension, black tea and lipid excretion, concordance of practitioner/patient beliefs on CAM treatment outcomes, herbals and memory in menopausal women, botanical content standardization, botanical extract impact on diabetes as well as providing pilot data for grant applications and publishing in peer reviewed journals. Over the next five years the Program will train 10 Postdoctoral, 15 Pre-doctoral Fellows and 60 short-term trainees. Postdoctoral candidates will be required to show proof that they have earned a Ph.D., D.V.M, D.D.S., M.D., or a comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Pre- doctoral candidates will have completed an undergraduate program of study with a GPA of 3.0 for unconditional acceptance or 2.5 GPA for probational acceptance. Short term trainees will have completed the equivalent of two years of study in an undergraduate (in good standing) in a field relevant to preparation for research in CAM. The large number of short-term trainees will help us introduce CAM research to students from partnering institutions thereby increasing the 'pool from which to extract interested and committed pre or post doctoral fellows. Since the recommended therapy for prevention and treatment of most early stage chronic diseases and obesity is lifestyle/behavior change, the opportunity for safe and efficacious CAM modalities to make a difference can be greatly enhanced by this research investment.
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