NIH Awards over $1 Million to CBU

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Christian Brothers University’s (CBU) Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) $242,208 per year for five years to continue its training of undergraduate and graduate students in basic science, qualitative and clinical research. The renewal of this grant will fund the MHIRT program at CBU with over $1 million until 2014.

MHIRT is an innovative science and research initiative involving 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.

This year’s award expands CBU’s program and initiatives. A new art therapy research site in Northern Uganda will investigate the use of art therapy for children affected by the civil war. An association has been formed with Mbarara University to focus on public health education in Uganda. In Brazil, more clinically relevant projects, utilizing multifocal visual evoked potentials, will be expanded to study the visual function in patients.

Past projects, including the collaboration on conservation of carnivores in select areas of Brazil, will be continued. “We continue to work with investigators in Sao Paulo and Florianopolis on basic science projects that relate to neurotransmitter systems, learning and memory, as well as, using biological indicators in aquatic organisms as evidence of environmental pollution,” states Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, CBU professor of Biology and the principal investigator of the Mid-South Coalition.

Fitzgerald explains, “This is the second competitive renewal. The competition gets harder every year.” The renewal of this grant enables the continued research, training and service projects that address the needs of the underserved populations across the globe.

For more information about the MHIRT program at CBU, visit www.cbu.edu/mhirt. ###

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