OVERALL PROJECT ABSTRACT The Howard University Research Centers in Minority Institutions (HU RCMI) program has a continuing interest in developing a better understanding of the unique parameters associated with minority health and resolving mechanisms of health disparities. This focus on minority health and health disparities is a critical component of Howard?s institutional research mission and is an abiding commitment that the institution has to the communities it serves. This renewal application recognizes the critical role of research in the implementation of Howard?s commitment to further serve its surrounding communities and will enhance Howard?s capacity for basic biomedical and clinical research by improving the quality of scientific inquiry, through partnerships with community-based organizations, and by expanding the cadre of productive investigators on Howard?s campus. In order to accomplish these institutional research goals, the HU RCMI will implement an investigator development initiative which has the capacity to fast-track junior faculty and early stage investigators to the level of successful and produce scientists. We will also provide a selection of state-of-the-art infrastructure resources that Howard investigators can access to support their research efforts. These initiatives and resources will be combined with the development of long-term relationships with surrounding community-based organizations that will serve as conduits to insure that the needs and interests of the community are represented in the university?s research agenda. These community connections will also serve as a potential source of participants in Howard?s human subjects research and as conduit for disseminating to the community results obtained from HU research efforts. Moreover, the HU RCMI will support three rigorous research projects addressing health disparities experienced by African Americans. These projects will focus on hepatitis C and diabetes (basic biomedical), prostate cancer (basic biomedical), and sleep disturbance and cardiometabolic consequences in sickle cell disease (clinical). It should be noted the both of the biomedical projects also have a clinical component. In order to insure that HU RCMI efforts are kept on target and focused to meet institutional objectives, the entire HU RCMI program and each of its components will be subjected to annual evaluation by an outside and independent evaluator. Together, the proposed HU RCMI program activities will enable Howard to reach a critical level of minority health and health disparities research.
This proposal recognizes the critical role of research in the implementation of Howard?s commitment to minority health. The proposed program components will enhance Howard?s capacity for basic biomedical and clinical approaches to health disparities research by expanding research infrastructure resources, partnering with community-based organizations, developing productive early stage investigators, and by directly supporting three innovative research projects addressing diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans.