Health disparities are attributable to complex diseases that involve the interactions of social, environmental, and genetic factors. A better understanding of the mechanisms of the diseases and the development of interventions requires state-of-the-art research facilities that support top notch, multidisciplinary research and the involvement of the community. The Research Infrastructure Core (RIC) will provide the administrative structure, instrumentation, and expertise needed to perform multidisciplinary biomedical and health disparities research in the urban setting of Baltimore. Based on the current and future research needs at Morgan State University, three Core Research Facilities (CRFs) will be established or enhanced: 1) Animal Research Core (ARC); 2. Molecular and Cellular Biology Research Core Laboratory (MCB); and 3. Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Support Unit (BBSU). To meet the needs of both behavioral and basic science researchers, the ARC will consist of two separate sites. It will be managed by a faculty Co-Lead and a Core Manager. It will provide animal housing and testing rooms and advanced instrumentation for histology/pathology, surgery, and behavioral studies. A veterinary doctor from Johns Hopkins University will serve as the ARC's to oversee the health of research animals. The MCB will comprise of multiple laboratories in the Dixon Research Center and it will be managed by a Co-Lead and a Core Manager. It will provide support for genomics, flow cytometry, molecular imaging, molecular analyses, nanomaterials research, and other cutting-edge experiments. The BBSU will be managed by a faculty Co-Lead who will be assisted by a Faculty Bioinformatician. It will offer statistical and bioinformatics consultation and computational resources to researchers. The BBSU will be housed in an RCMI office area in Portage. The three CRFs will conduct outreach, regular training workshops, and will promote the dissemination of research findings through publications and by assisting users with data analyses. The CRFs will belong to the University as shared facilities for use by any MSU researcher. An Oversight Committee consisting of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (DRED) and the deans of the schools (Engineering, Sciences, and Social Work) and colleges (Community Health and Policy and Liberal Arts) of participating faculty will provide guidance to the PI and RIC Lead on matters relating to major purchases, space allocations, facilities, and personnel changes. It will advise the president and provost on the biomedical research needs of the university and facilitate the sustainability of the CRFs beyond the RCMI funding period. The PI will discuss CRFs' operations with the Lead and Co-Leads regularly and the Lead and Co-Leads will meet monthly and as necessary to review progress towards meeting the objectives of the RIC, resolve any problems, and to strategize on how to enhance and sustain research in the different areas of interest. The resources, training programs, and outreach efforts to faculty and other users will serve to entrench competitive research in health and health disparities at Morgan State University.

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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Morgan State University
United States
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