The long term objective of the UCSC- MHIRT Research Program is to actively engage underrepresented minority students in on-going, long term international, bio medically relevant research projects conducted in both the natural and laboratory environment in collaboration with students and faculty from the host country. With a long tradition of both graduate and undergraduate research training, UCSC-MHIRT offers challenging and unique biological research opportunities that combine rich and stimulating cultural experience with productive and creative scientific research career training. These experiences provide UCSC-MHIRT students with broader international scientific and educational perspectives, increased self-confidence and independence, plus substantial improvements in technical expertise. Our program has produced a satisfying increase in the number our underrepresented minority students choosing advanced scientific training and consequently the leadership of the next generation of biomedical scientists and academic faculty. The research provides a broad spectrum of exciting projects in five major foreign sites;Patagonia, New Zealand, Panama and Japan ranging from basic biomedical and epidemiological investigation to focused lab research on disease etiology included in the NCMHD mission statement. These include: 1) morbid obesity and related conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal insufficiency and 2) early childhood developmental pathologies resulting from malnutrition or starvation. 3) Disease transfer from wild long range migratory species, egg birds to humans. The UCSC- MHIRT program will contrive direct scientific data to these vital studies and will do so in the context of providing MHIRT students with exceptional scientific training in fields of immediate biomedical relevance. Recently, results obtained from our long-term studies have provided important clinical insights into several severe human pathologies that disproportionately impact US minority populations and emerging countries of Pacific Rim.

Public Health Relevance

The UCSC-MHIRT program is designed to provide highly quality research-training for underrepresented and minority students to foster their pursuit of advanced academic scientific training and professional careers in biomedical research. The program offers research opportunities with strong emphasis in basic biomedical science with emphasis on pathologies that disproportionably impact minority populations worldwide

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Minority International Research Training Grants (FIC) (T37)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
Program Officer
Berzon, Richard
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Santa Cruz
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Santa Cruz
United States
Zip Code
Rodriguez, Ruben; Minas, Jacqueline N; Vazquez-Medina, Jose Pablo et al. (2018) Chronic AT1 blockade improves glucose homeostasis in obese OLETF rats. J Endocrinol 237:271-284
Thorwald, Max; Rodriguez, Ruben; Lee, Andrew et al. (2018) Angiotensin receptor blockade improves cardiac mitochondrial activity in response to an acute glucose load in obese insulin resistant rats. Redox Biol 14:371-378
Vazquez-Anaya, Guillermo; Martinez, Bridget; Soñanez-Organis, José G et al. (2017) Exogenous thyroxine improves glucose intolerance in insulin-resistant rats. J Endocrinol 232:501-511
Minas, Jacqueline N; Thorwald, Max A; Conte, Debra et al. (2015) Angiotensin and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism attenuates cardiac oxidative stress in angiotensin II-infused rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 42:1178-88
Vázquez-Medina, José Pablo; Popovich, Irina; Thorwald, Max A et al. (2013) Angiotensin receptor-mediated oxidative stress is associated with impaired cardiac redox signaling and mitochondrial function in insulin-resistant rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 305:H599-607
Rodriguez, Ruben; Viscarra, Jose A; Minas, Jacqueline N et al. (2012) Angiotensin receptor blockade increases pancreatic insulin secretion and decreases glucose intolerance during glucose supplementation in a model of metabolic syndrome. Endocrinology 153:1684-95
Montez, Priscilla; Vazquez-Medina, Jose Pablo; Rodriguez, Ruben et al. (2012) Angiotensin receptor blockade recovers hepatic UCP2 expression and aconitase and SDH activities and ameliorates hepatic oxidative damage in insulin resistant rats. Endocrinology 153:5746-59
Conte, Debra; Viscarra, Jose; Nishiyama, Akira et al. (2011) Chronic angiotensin receptor blockade suppresses intracardiac angiotensin II in angiotensin II-infused rats. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 236:1449-53
Nomura, Christopher T; Tanaka, Tomoyo; Eguen, Tenai E et al. (2008) FabG mediates polyhydroxyalkanoate production from both related and nonrelated carbon sources in recombinant Escherichia coli LS5218. Biotechnol Prog 24:342-51