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Research

Minority Health International Research Training Program

Research Training Areas

The E-MHIRT Program will provide international research training opportunities in 2 specific areas of interest in combating health disparities in the USA and other parts of the world.

Part I is Drug Discovery with a goal of introducing new treatment modalities derived from Africa's rich traditional medical practice for such health-disparities diseases as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, prostate cancer and HIV/AIDS all of which disproportionately affect minorities, through targeting a critical enzyme (protein) common to these diseases.

E-MHIRT students with a background in Organic Chemistry will be assigned to work with Dr. Majinda in Botswana and Dr. Opoku in South Africa since the research is in natural products chemistry for which Organic Chemistry is a prerequisite. Each student will collect, extract, screen for bioactivity, isolate and identify their individual plant samples under the tutelage of foreign and US faculty mentors.

Part II is a Survey of Risk Factors for High Blood Glucose in Botswana for comparison with our data from the USA, West Indies and Zimbabwein an effort to identify causes for why diabetes, described by the World Health Organizations as a global epidemic, disproportionately affects US minorities. E-MHIRT trainees will work in groups of two alongside local research assistants in collection of original data. However, each trainee will generate individual set of data. The collective data will constitute the overall report on the study.

Pre-Travel Training

All E-MHIRT students selected during the Fall Semester will be required to enroll in the course entitled "Basic Principles of Research" (CHEM 319). It is a interdisciplinary course scheduled to be offered in the Spring Semester, 2006 as an elective. The course will be offered in three parts. Part (1) discusses the research process, part (2) discusses issues in minority health and health disparities and part (3) discusses being a scientist.

Sponsored by: NCMHD