Hispanics in Research Capability: SoHP &SOM Partnership (HIREC) Program
The shortage of motivated, well trained minorities is a critical national problem. It has been recognized that minority investigators bring unique perspectives and experiences that enhance the potential for understanding factors that underlie variation in health and health status. Such research will increase the knowledge and understanding of the causes of disparities, help develop methods to identify and prevent them, and will have a significant impact on the health of the community, particularly underrepresented minorities.
To address this need, the schools of Health Professions (SoHP) and Medicine (SoM) of the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, with NIH support (RR017589), established in 2002 a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSc) program. In this application, we propose to develop the NCMHD Endowment Program """"""""HISPANICS-IN-RESEARCH CAPABILITY: SoHP &SoM Partnership (HIREC) to expand and sustain the schools'strategies for building capacity and research infrastructure that will facilitate minority health and health disparities research. Our immediate goal continues to be increasing the number of outstanding Hispanic clinical and translational investigators.
Specific aims of this application are to: (1) Establish an endowment that is a secure and sustainable source of funding with a balanced investment policy;(2) Further strengthen and expand the research capacity of the MSc program;and (3) Create a Visiting Scientist Professorship Program. To further these aims, the HIREC Endowment Program specifically addresses the need to increase the participation of faculty and students in activities related to minority health and health disparities research, as well as the opportunity to interact with experienced visiting professors, while improving the infrastructure to support translational research. The HIREC Endowment Program is further strengthened by fostering partnerships with the community, industry and national research-intensive institutions interested in addressing significant questions in minority health issues. Our ultimate goal is to prepare a cadre of Hispanic clinical researchers that will be ideally positioned to initiate original and important clinical investigations addressing the multifactorial health disparities between minority and non-minority populations. Such research must increase the knowledge and understanding of the causes of disparities and help develop methods to identify and prevent them. The establishment of a Health Disparities Endowed Chair will help integrate clinical investigations across multiple departments, schools and research institutes in Puerto Rico and collaborations with US researchers, and will have a significant impact on the health of the community, particularly underrepresented minorities.