Nationally, and particularly in Louisiana, there are significant disparities between Caucasians and African Americans with regard to Cancer incidence and mortality. African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for most major cancers, making it a major health and human concern. Xavier’s NIH funded Center for Health Disparities is committed to continuing to hire not only Cancer oriented faculty, but also faculty who can inform and extend this base through epidemiological studies in health disparities as well as assist in translating discoveries into clinical use. We propose to use RCMI funds to build on Xavier’s momentum in the area of cancer research. Support provided by NIH 8G12MD007595.
The vision of the RCMI program is for Xavier University, in the next 5 to 7 years, to be seen nationally, not only for its eminence in graduating African American biologists, chemists, pre-med students and pharmacists, but also for its national prominence in research, particularly in the area of cancer research.
Xavier University of Louisiana is the only Catholic and historically Black university in the United States. Xavier's mission is to create a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service through education.
The RCMI program at Xavier is focused on our strengths in research on cancer, an area where there are significant health disparities between African Americans and Caucasians. Building from these existing strengths, we have identified five specific goals for RIMI significantly increasing University-wide research capacity. The RIMI will:
- Enable Xavier to increase the number and quality of competitive researchers by hiring mid-career and early-career level faculty and assuring they have the tools and support needed to become successful.
- Enhance the competitiveness of strategically selected existing faculty and programs. This will have measurable outcomes including quality publications and successful grant proposals aimed at mainstream funding opportunities.
- Provide additional research cores and services thereby expanding and enhancing access to critical resources that will lead to greater success of faculty research programs.
- Enable enhanced administrative services to assure research support activities meet faculty needs, provide new incentives and assure federal compliance requirements are met with minimal additional burdens being placed on faculty.
- Support selected pilot projects that will assist investigators who are at the “cusp” of becoming fully competitive, allowing them to take their research projects to a new level.
Xavier's RCMI funding is provided by the NIH through the NIMHD. The National Institutes for Minority Health and Health Disparities is a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the tools and training they need to understand, detect, treat and prevent a wide range of diseases. NIMHD supports all aspects of clinical and translational research, connecting researchers, patients and communities across the nation. This support enables discoveries made at a molecular and cellular level to move to animal-based studies, and then to patient-oriented clinical research, ultimately leading to improved patient care. Through programs such as the Clinical and Translational Science Awards, NIMHD convenes innovative research teams and equips them with essential tools and critical resources needed to tackle the nation's complex health problems.