This proposal responds to the timely initiative of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in cardiovascular disease research. the proposed training will be expose, train and mentor minority students in various cardiovascular disease research areas. cardiovascular disease is the number cause of death among the American population, taking the lives of over 980,000 people a year, minorities being disproportionately affected, especially African-Americans. The proposal seeks to address the problem of minority underrepresentation through both the recruitment, and intensive training and mentoring of talented minority students in research projects that are focused on cardiovascular experimental therapeutics, and pharmacology. The School of Pharmacy will draw from its extensive experience in the NIH-funded Summer Minority Biomedical Research Internship Program, which has been in place for three consecutive years (1995-1998), to increase the pool of minorities entering into careers in the biomedical sciences. Each year, for a total of five years, eight (8) minority undergraduate students who have spent at least one year in college, will be recruited into the cardiovascular research programs at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology. These trainees will spend three summer months immersed in training under a faculty mentor, on NIH, American Heart Association, and other funded research projects in adrenergic receptor pharmacology, biochemical mechanisms of alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptor specific agonists and antagonists, the design of novel adenosine transport blockers, nitric oxide synthase and complement system inhibitors for prevention of ischemia/reperfusion injury and/or cardiac xenograft rejection. Proactive steps will be taken to create interest in, and guide trainees to pursue careers in cardiovascular research through mentor encouragement and advising, field trips, invited speakers seminars and/or role models, and poster sessions. Plans will be put in place to track trainees to evaluate the program's success, and to effect changes as deemed necessary. Recruitment will be in- state, from community colleges and universities in Mississippi. Liaisons and direct contacts will be established with feeder institutions, building on already established strong networks like the Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation of which the University of Mississippi is a member. The program will be evaluated by extensive surveys during and after each training period. Students and mentors will be given questionnaire. Participants will be tracked for 10 years to assess program.
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