The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded $236,619 for Christian Brothers University’s (CBU) Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) to continue its training of undergraduate and graduate students in basic science, qualitative and clinical research. This innovative science and research initiative involves CBU, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Tennessee State University; and provides funded summer research opportunities for students in basic science, public health education and qualitative projects in Brazil, Thailand and Uganda. Since 2000, the Mid-South Coalition for National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities has been funded by NIH.
Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, CBU professor of Biology and the principal investigator of the Mid-South Coalition, states, “The initiative is designed to bring underrepresented individuals into research, whether the underrepresentation is due to ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. Individuals who desire to work with underserved populations are also accepted. While the initiative is primarily for undergraduates, graduate students can be accepted. Mid-South students are given priority to participate in the research.”
The summer research projects allow students to assist underserved individuals in Brazil, Thailand and Uganda. Students and professors travel to these countries to conduct research on health related projects that benefit the native populations who are frequently underserved in health care. Approximately 15 students are sent on an MHIRT trip every year in the summer after having participated in preparation workshops the prior spring. Applications are now being accepted for summer 2009 with January 31, 2009 being the final deadline for acceptance of applications.
The renewal of this grant enables the continued research, training and service projects that address the needs of the underserved populations across the globe. ###