San Diego State University (SDSU) is a Hispanic-Serving Institution with health-related doctoral programs in several disciplines. One of the goals in SDSU's Strategic Plan, ?Building on Excellence? is to continue to enhance its research and creative endeavors profile, with particular emphasis on building areas of excellence and addressing national and international challenges. Faculty at SDSU excel at conducting research that improves minority health and reduces health disparities. However, the university currently lacks adequate research infrastructure to meet this strategic goal and bring diverse disciplines together to support innovative minority health and health disparities (MHHD) research. The proposed SDSU HealthLINK Center for Transdisciplinary Health Disparities Research (Center) will address critical needs identified by faculty, staff, and the administration to achieve the university's vision of enhancing its research profile as well as facilitate innovative MHHD research. Thus, in response to RFA-MD-17-006, National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities request for applications to create Research Centers in Minority Institutions (U54), we propose four aims that align with the goals of the RCMI specialized centers. We will enhance our institutional capacity to engage in basic biomedical, behavioral, and clinical MHHD research by developing a Research Infrastructure Core (RIC) that will house the following sources of support: clinical treatment and data collection rooms and a lab to collect, process, and store biospecimens; expertise in using wireless technology and big data (electronic health record, US Census) to answer significant and innovative research questions; development and adaptation of evidence-based interventions across diverse health disparity populations and across health conditions using well-tested formative research methods; a repository of relevant survey items and research protocols for use by MHHD researchers; and data management and analytic approaches for combining these with other sources of data (e.g., biomarkers, survey). These resources and services, coupled with pilot project funding through the Investigator Development Core and career enhancement activities through the Administrative Core, are designed to improve the competitiveness of SDSU investigators to procure NIH support to engage in significant and innovative MHHD research. Finally, partnerships on the Community Engagement Core will foster long-term relationships with organizations whose missions align with our own; their engagement and participation will ensure we meet the needs of the communities we serve and allow for bidirectional capacity building and knowledge transfer. It is clear that the Center will generate, use, and disseminate findings derived from basic biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research to inform additional innovations in research, practices, and policies to improve minority health and reduce health disparities.
Racially/ethnically diverse, sexual and gender minority, and lower-income populations all suffer disproportionately from numerous adverse health conditions such as higher rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiometabolic disorders, pain, and cancer. Community-engaged transdisciplinary research is recognized as an essential approach to improving minority health and reducing health disparities. The SDSU HealthLINK Center for Transdisciplinary Health Disparities Research (Center) will enhance capacity and improve infrastructure at SDSU and its partner organizations to advance minority health and health disparities research among these populations.