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Minority Health & Health Disparities International Research Training Program

Dena Plemmons

4 Collaborator(s)

Funding source

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The San Diego State University-Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training program (SDSU-MHIRT) will continue its eighteen year tradition of providing outstanding international biomedical research training experiences to students from health disparity backgrounds. SDSU-MHIRT encourages and supports its students so that they can successfully pursue careers in the fields of basic and biomedical science, and clinical and behavioral health, and most importantly increase the number of persons from health disparities populations who enter into the field of biomedical science/practice. Twelve trainees per year will perform original research in areas encompassing: public health, molecular biology/ethno-pharmacology, drug design and anticancer agents, behavioral science, marine science, and clinical research. Each foreign site is required to have adequate equipment and human or animal- subject research approval for the execution of the MHIRT trainees' research proposals. Mentorship will be provided at the international sites through both a US and foreign faculty mentor. Sites and mentors have been designated based on their ability to provide a sound research experience. There are several factors unique to this proposal. The first is that SDSU has recently been designated an Hispanic Serving Institution; this, coupled with our proximity to the US-Mexico border and our already thriving cross- border research relationships, affords up the opportunity to provide relevant research experiences to our students. Additionally, our MHIRT trainees will have an extended support system once they return to SDSU. The student-based international research experience is part of an integrated approach in which other training programs (e.g., MBRS, MARC) continue to support the students through their final years here. Major SDSU-MHIRT sites are in Ghana, Mexico, Peru, and Taiwan (Republic of China). A new site - Uganda - is being proposed. Since being awarded for this current cycle, the SDSU-MHIRT program has served 70 trainees. Of these, 9 have been accepted into, are in, or have completed PhD programs and 10 are in Master's programs. In addition, 10 are applying to r medical school, 2 have Fulbright awards, 2 are in the Peace Corps, 5 are working in the field, 2 have been accepted into Pharmacy School, and 30 are still completing their undergraduate education. The new cadre of MHIRT students for 2013 will consist of an additional 12 students taking part in the MHIRT program. In addition, in this cycle 52 publications were produced of which 27 had trainee authors. The program has compiled for the first time a digital database of ethno-botanical plants that is freely accessible n the web. SDSU-MHIRT proposes for this next five year cycle a targeted minimum of 20 trainees accepted into PhD programs, 10 into Master's programs, and 5 into Medical Sciences.

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