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Meharry Clinical and Translational Research Center (MeTRC)

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The long-term goal of the Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC) is to establish a national model for clinical and translational health disparities research. MeTRC will synergize several ongoing research initiatives at Meharry supported by NCRR including Research Center in Minority Institutions, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Center for Women's Health Research, Clinical Research Center, and Clinical Research Education and Career Development Program. Building on particular strengths of the research enterprise at Meharry, the focus of MeTRC will be on infectious disease, including HIV/AIDS, and women's health. An integrated program of translational research will be established that spans basic fundamental research to applied, participant-involved clinical studies. The short-term goal is to transform the capacity and infrastructure for translational research at Meharry. The specific aims are:

1. Develop an administrative infrastructure that will facilitate development and maintenance of an integrated and innovative translational and clinical research program (MeTRC) 2. Develop a technical and support infrastructure that will sustain a program of integrated translational and clinical research. 3. Establish a process to facilitate the collaborative interactions and communication between RCTR faculty and staff needed to sustain and grow an integrated program of innovative clinical and translational research. 4. Establish a pipeline of basic, translational, and clinical research that will sustain and grow the MeTRC program. 5. Significantly enhance the infrastructure for translational and clinical research by establishing a new Participant and Clinical Interactions Resource (PCIR). 6. Develop a multidisciplinary training and career development program in clinical and translational research that takes advantage of the infrastructure, programs, and faculty of RCTR. 7. Engage and enhance an existing program created under the Vanderbilt-Meharry CTSA Focused Partnership to facilitate processes and partnerships in community-based clinical and translational research 8. Develop and implement a plan for self-evaluation of short-term and long-term RCTR goals including implementation and tracking of program activities.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE (provided by the applicant): The MeTRC environment will accelerate progress in the bench-to-bedside-to-community research enterprise, bi-directionally, as measured by peer-reviewed publications, increased internal and external collaborations including community partnerships, and improved health outcomes. Research activities will principally focus on infectious diseases in women including HIV/AIDS.

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