The University has been awarded a $10 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) endowment grant, with which it will launch a major public engagement initiative to address the future of minority health disparities in the Northeastern United States. The endeavor is spearheaded by UAlbany’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD) with support through NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Co-principal investigators are UAlbany President Robert J. Jones and Lawrence M. Schell, director of CEMHD and professor of Anthropology at the University and professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the UAlbany School of Public Health. The landmark project encompasses six of its nine schools and colleges at the University, and nearly two dozen Capital Region community organizations.
“This prestigious NIH award is an unprecedented endorsement of UAlbany’s academic enterprise and our capacity to address the health disparities that plague underserved and minority communities,” said Dr. Jones. “The endowment revenue will allow us to fill the pipeline with a diverse group of researchers dedicated to closing these gaps by working across disciplines — and in collaboration with community health care providers.”
The project aims to increase the number of graduate students, faculty and researchers in health disparities from minority populations and underrepresented groups through enhanced recruiting efforts, and will seek to establish the UAlbany Endowment for Community-based Health Disparities Research and Training, with the endowment revenue supporting an array of educational and research initiatives.
The NIMHD grant will help UAlbany to close these gaps by leveraging proceeds from the endowment funds, while redoubling its current efforts, to enhance the recruitment of PhD, graduate students and new faculty from minority populations and underrepresented groups, along with advancing a number of other research and community-based health disparities activities under the program.
Under the five-year NIMHD grant program, UAlbany will:
Disparities designed and informed with community input so that research will have goals and methods relevant to the community; and In order to achieve this truly transdisciplinary approach, six of UAlbany’s nine schools and colleges will play an integral role in the grant, including The College of Arts and Sciences and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, as well as the Schools of Criminal Justice, Education, Public Health and Social Welfare.
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