PHSU has experienced substantial development of its human and physical research infrastructure. Through auspices of the RCMI Program, PHSU has been able to recruit top-notch talent, acquire state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and other resources required to pursue competitive basic, clinical, and behavioral research. As a direct impact of this development, the institution has greatly benefited from the improvement in: number and quality of the peer-reviewed manuscripts elicited by the faculty, number of scientific presentations at competitive forums at the national and international levels, and number of submitted and funded research and research training initiatives. In furthering with these efforts, the institution is submitting the present renewal application. Its main goal is to promote high-quality translational research with a strong emphasis on health disparities (HD). The present application consists of five Core activities; Administration Core (AC), Center for Research Resources (CRR), Strategic Academic Research Training (START) Core, the Community Training Institute for Health Disparities (CTIHD), and the Faculty Recruitment (FR) Core. The AC is intended to spearhead a series of initiatives designed to strengthen the institution as a robust and vibrant translational research center and to further develop our research faculty into independent and competent biomedical researchers. These initiatives include the organization and inception of; professional development activities and the establishment of new research partnerships and collaborations. The START Core proposes the development of early-stage investigators involved in minority health and HD research to address the overarching goal of providing for a diverse national workforce to bring parity to health and healthcare outcomes. The proposed CRR is designed to provide modern technologies and facilities to support the development of the research projects, pilot projects, and Cores within the RCMI program. The CTIHD Core is intended to establish an innovative infrastructure for promoting HD research through the strengthening of RCMI/PHSU researchers and their partnerships with community members. The proposed FR Core has been designed to recruit and retain productive highly productive research faculty in RCMI targeted areas; Cancer Biology/Oncology, Neurosciences, Infectious Diseases, Cardiovascular/Hypertension research, and Human Genetics. Moreover, the present RCMI application contains three full research projects (RO1 level). The proposed leadership for this new RCMI Program will use the multiple PIs option. The key personnel at the AC (Drs. Torres-Ruiz and Noel, and Ms. Andujar) will be empowered with the necessary authority to carry out the RCMI Program implementation plan as proposed. Moreover, current upper administration at the applicant institution is fully committed to the mission, goals, and general objectives of the proposed RCMI Program consonant to the plans of elevating the research competitiveness of the institution during the next five-year funding cycle, the proposed RCMI Program includes a Comprehensive Evaluation Program.

Public Health Relevance

The present RCMI application intends to establish a comprehensive center for addressing issues impacting minority health and health disparities. Goals and objectives have been designed based on the current strengths and weaknesses in our research enterprise. The research strategy is comprised of the implementation and development of five cores and three full research projects, and the activities generated through the proposed center will be evaluated by an Assessment Program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
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Aviles-Santa, Larissa
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Ponce School of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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