To sustain Xavier?s overall research momentum, enhance research capacity, and advance to the next level of excellence in biomedical research on minority health and health disparities, the RCMI Cancer Research Center will implement program activities to support early stage, underrepresented investigators, maintain core facilities to support Xavier researchers at all levels of career development, and to promote and sustain long-lasting, bidirectional partnerships between Xavier and local communities to address cancer health disparities. The proposed RCMI Center will consist of three major research projects in two areas: basic biomedical research and behavioral research, and 4 Cores: the Administrative Core, the Investigator Development Core, the Research Infrastructure Core, and the Community Engagement Core. These programs will be implemented to achieve the following specific aims:
Aim 1. Enhance Xavier?s research capacity for basic biomedical and behavioral research. The RCMI program will maintain, strengthen and optimize core services in support of Xavier investigators. Core facilities will be restructured, consolidated, and operations will be streamlined to maximize productivity and efficiency of Xavier?s ongoing research projects.
Aim 2. Enable Xavier investigators to become more competitive in obtaining external funding. This will be achieved by 1) supporting two research projects in the basic biomedical area and one research project in the behavioral research area to enable these project PIs to become competitive in R01 applications; 2) providing critical research resources such as shared state-of-the-art instrumentation required in a competitive research project through the Research Infrastructure Core; 3) providing, through the Investigator Development Core, pilot funding to obtain necessary preliminary data for development of fundable research proposals; and 4) providing grantsmanship training through grant writing workshops and professional review services.
Aim 3. Promote career enhancement of Xavier?s new and early stage investigators through a pilot project fund and by initiating a research/grantsmanship ?pipeline? supporting new faculty for five years to obtain extramural funding.
Aim 4. Enhance the quality of all scientific inquiry and promote research on minority health and health disparities by semi-annual symposiums and workshops on the quality of minority health and health disparities research each year to offer training in good scientific practices, appropriate statistical usage, and responsible laboratory practices for researchers at all levels. Working through the Community Engagement Core and the Investigator Development Core, the RCMI program will foster close interactions and collaborations among basic and behavior researchers, clinicians, and community stakeholders.
Aim 5. Establish sustainable relationships with community-based organizations that will partner with Xavier researchers. A Community Engagement Core will be established to 1) promote and sustain community-academic partnerships through bidirectional knowledge sharing on intervention strategies and scientific discovery in cancer health disparities; 2) facilitate greater community involvement in setting research priorities and creating more opportunities for academic-practitioner-community research partnerships; 3) build capacity (knowledge and skills) among research investigators, community members, health systems, and potential research participants to conduct innovative and transformative research that addresses community health needs; 4) provide support for investigators to better disseminate research findings to the scientific community, community organizations, and lay communities.
Overall RCMI Narrative The RCMI Cancer Research Center at Xavier University of Louisiana will build biomedical research infrastructure to support early stage, underrepresented investigators to conduct high- quality and impactful research on minority health and health disparities, especially in the area of cancer. The RCMI will be a multi-component research center that includes a comprehensive research infrastructure core to provide the most needed scientific tools for Xavier investigators, an investigator development core to better prepare our early stage investigators for research success in competitive extramural support, particularly from NIH, and a community engagement core to promote research on minority health and health disparities and establish sustainable partnerships with community based programs in low income, minority neighborhoods.