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Other MHIRT Programs


Other Programs

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The Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) program at CBU provides international research training opportunities to qualified undergraduate, graduate, and medical students from socially or economically disadvantaged groups who have been historically underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research careers.

  • This program offers research sites in Brazil and Uganda. Students spend 10 weeks during the summer at their designated international research site. CBU has partnered with leading scientists and universities in these countries who serve as research mentors for MHIRT students.
  • MHIRT students engage in research related to: biomedical science, behavioral science, environmental science, carnivore conservation, and/or public health.
  • MHIRT is a paid internship. All expenses relative to travel, room and board, preparation, and workshops are paid.  In addition, students receive a monthly stipend.
  • This program has been continuously funded since 2000 by the Fogarty International Center and the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.
  • The Mid-South Coalition For Minority International Research consists of the lead institution, Christian Brothers University, and the following participating universities: LeMoyne Owen College, Rhodes College, Tennessee State University, and  University of Memphis.
  • Preference is given to students from participating schools within the Coalition and from the Mid-South Region; however, any US citizen or permanent resident may apply.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Jayanni Webster, Program Assistant, at

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Program Objectives

The Minority Health International Research Training grants are designed to offer international biomedical and behavioral research programs to qualified students. The proposed training program is expected to increase awareness of international research issues and opportunities, acquaint students with a range of career opportunities in biomedical and behavioral research and encourage participants to pursue post-baccalaureate degrees and careers in biomedical and behavioral research especially related to minority health and disparate populations.  The program is also expected to enhance the training efforts and international collaborative research activities of the faculty participants.

The following specific objectives have been identified based on the overall goals for the MHIRT program:

1. To support research experience for qualified eligible undergraduate students in international laboratories under the mentorship of outstanding U.S. and foreign scientists including:

  • Training in experimental design, interpretation of data and the use of current scientific equipment and analytical methods.
  • Knowledge of the scientific literature associated with their projects, biomedical research ethics and cultural aspects affecting scientific and medical issues at the foreign site.
  • Experience in the written and oral presentation of scientific research.
  • Encouragement to complete a baccalaureate degree and enter graduate or professional school to pursue a biomedical or behavioral research career.

2. To support eligible graduate and medical student training in an international setting that provides unique opportunities for research relevant to their dissertation or clinical studies, contributes to the completion of advanced biomedical or behavioral science degrees and results in scientific conference presentations and publications.

3. To facilitate research collaborations between minority scientists and scientists at centers of excellence in biomedical and behavioral research abroad resulting in expanded research capabilities, scientific conference presentations, publications and subsequent grant applications for continuing research support.

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Project Descriptions

The links below describe previous research sites.  New research sites are currently being developed and previous research sites are subject to change based on mentor availability.   

BRAZIL: Belem • Curitiba • Florianopolis • Sao Paulo

UGANDA: PallisaGulu



One laboratory, 2 student positions available

Project description: Basic research on visual psychophysics. The research will involve visual testing of people. The tests will consist of contrast sensitivity and visual evoked potentials.

2009 Project Title: Amplitude of P100 Visual Evoked Cortical Potential (VECP) as Function of Achromatic Contrast Stimulus in Glaucomatous Patients.

2008 Project Title: Influence of Luminance Contrast in the Amplitude of Multifocal Visual Evoked Potentials

Site mentor: Dr. Luiz Carlos de Lima Silveira

Recent mentor publications:

  • Silveira, L.C.L.; Souza, G. S.; Gomes, B. D.; Lacerda, E.M.C.B.; Saito, C.A.; Da Silva Filho, M.   Amplitude of the transient visual evoked potential (tVEP) as a function of achromatic and chromatic contrast: contribution of different visual pathways. Visual Neuroscience, v. 25, p. 317-325, 2008.
  • Silveira, L.C.L.; Finlay, B. L.; Franco, E. C. S.; Yamada, E. S.; Crowley, J. C.; Parsons, M. P.; Muniz, J. A. P. C. Number and topography of cones, rods and optic nerve axons in New and Old World primates. Visual Neuroscience, v. 25, p. 289-299, 2008. 
  • Silveira, L.C.L.; Gomes, B. D.; Souza, G. S.; Lima, M. G.; Rodrigues, A. R.; Saito, C. A.; Da Silva Filho, M. Color discrimination ellipses of trichromats measured with transient and steady-state visual evoked potentials. Visual Neuroscience, v. 25, p. 333-339, 2008.

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One laboratory, 2 student positions available (Preferably 1 graduate/medical student)

Project description: Clinical, biological and molecular aspects of childhood adrenocortical tumors: relationship between therapeutic response and prognosis. Development of a wide range screening tool to identify adenocarcinoma in newborn infants. Techniques used in this research clinical database analysis, Western blots, and molecular biology techniques.

2008 Project Title: DNA Extraction from Paraffin Embedded and Frozen Adrenocortical Tumors.

Site mentor: Dr. Bonald C. Figueiredo, Department of Pediatrics and Chemistry, Clinical Director of Pediatric Oncology, Universidade Federal do Parana

Recent mentor publications:

  • West, N.A.; Ribeiro, R.C.; Jenkins, J.; Rodriguez-Galindo, C.; Figueiredo, B.C.; Kriwacki, R.; Zambetti G.P. Identification of a Novel Germline Variant Hot Spot Mutant p53-R175L in Pediatric Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma. Cancer Res. 2006 May 15;66(10):5056-5062.
  • Pianovski, M.A.D.; Cavalli, L.R.; Figueiredo, B.C.; Haddad, B.R.; Zambetti, G.P.; Ribeiro, R.C.; Lalli, E. SF-1 Overexpression in Childhood Adrenocortical Tumors. Eur J Cancer. 2006 May;42(8):1040-1043.
  • Zancanella, P.; Pianovski, M.A.D.;  Oliveira, B.H.; Ferman, S.; Custodio, G.; Lichtvan, L.C.I.; Voss, S.Z.; Stinghen, S.T.; Callefe, L.G.; Parise, G.A.; Santana, M.H.A.; Figueiredo, B.C. Mitotane Associated With Cisplatin, Etoposide and Doxorubicin in Advanced Childhood Adrenocortical Carcinoma: Mitotane Monitoring and Tumor Regression. (2006), Journal of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. 2006;28(8):513-24.

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Three laboratories, 1 student per laboratory


Project description: Basic research on anxiety and memory acquisition. Use of neuropharmacology to investigate anxiety and memory.

2008 Project Title: The Efficacy of Prazosin in Contextual Fear Conditioning in Rats

Mentor: Dr. Antonio Pauda Carobrez, Department of Pharmacology, University of Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina Island

Recent mentor publications:

  • Martins, M.; Carobrez, A.; Tonussi, C. 2008. Activation of dorsal periaqueductal gray by glycine produces long lasting hyponociception in rats without overt defensive behaviors Life Sciences., v.83, 118-121.
  • Stern, C.; Aparecida J.; Carobrez, A. P.; Bertoglio, L. J. 2008. Aversive learning as a mechanism for lack of repeated anxiolytic-like effect in the elevated plus maze. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior., v.90, 545-550.
  • Hackl, L.; Pereira N.; Carobrez, A. P.. 2007. Distinct ventral and dorsal hippocampus AP5 anxiolytic effects revealed in the elevated plus-maze task in rats. Neurobiology of Learning and   Memory, v.88, 177-185.


Project description: Aquatic environmental science: Expression of heat shock proteins in aquatic invertebrates as an environmental pollution indicator. Using heat shock protein expression in either bivalves or shrimp as a bioindicator of environmental pollution. Techniques used, Western blots of tissue obtained from shrimp or bivalues that have been exposed to heavy metals.

2008 Project Title: Comparing the Amplification of Housekeeping Genes in Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannmei) DNA of previously extracted samples with their corresponding samples stored in FTA® Cards

Mentor: Dr. Maria Risoletta Marques, Department of Biochemistry, University of Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina Island

Recent mentor publications:

  • Franco, J. L.; Posser, T.; Trevisan, R.; Carvalho, P. S. M.; Leal, R. B. A.; Marques, M. R. F.; Bainy, A. C. D.; Dafre, A. L. Biochemical alterations in juvenile carp (Cyprinus carpio) exposed to Zinc: Glutathione Reductase as a Target. Marine Environmental Research, v. 66, p. 10.1016/j.maren, 2008.
  • Medeiros, I. D.; Seibert, M. N;; Toledo-Silva, G.; Marques, M. R. F.; Bainy, A. C. D. Differential gene expression in oyster exposed to sewage. Marine Environmental Research, v. 66, p. 10.1016/j.maren, 2008.
  • Luchmann, K.H.; Freire, A.S.; Ferreira, N.C.; Daura-Jorge, F.G.; Marques, M. R. F. Spatial and temporal variations in abundance and biomass of penaeid shrimps in the subtropical Conceição Lagoon, southern Brazil. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, v. 88, p. 293-299, 2008.


Project description: The elucidation of the role of the recently reported peripheral venous serotonergic system in the control of reactivity in veins. By using the classical pharmacological approach of isolated organ bath for tension recordings, associated with biochemical and molecular techniques, the research will test the hypothesis that the ability of peripheral veins to synthesize, uptake and metabolize serotonin controls venous reactivity locally. The investigation of the putative impact of the venous serotonergic system in pathological states such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, sepsis, and erectile dysfunction is also part of the present goal in order to offer clues toward explaining abnormal function in these diseases

2011 Project: Understanding the physiology and pharmacology of vascular smooth muscle, with particular emphasis in the venous system

Mentor: Dr. Aurea Elizabeth Linder, Department of Pharmacology, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Recent mentor publications:

  • Linder, AE; GASKELL, GL; SZASZ, T; THOMPSON, JM and WATTS, SW: Serotonin receptors in rat jugular vein. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 334:116-123, 2010
  • Linder, AE; BEGGS, KM; BURNETT, R. and WATTS, SW. Body distribution of infused serotonin in rats. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology 36: 599-601, 2009.
  • Linder, AE; DORRANCE, AM; MILLS, TM; WEBB, RC and LEITE, R. Erectile function in two-kidney, one-clip hypertensive rats is maintained by a potential increase in nitric oxide production. Journal of Sexual Medicine 6 (suppl 3):279-285, 2009.

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Four laboratories, 1 student per laboratory


Project description: Basic research on neuroanatomy of the visual system. Research focuses on expression of glutamate receptors, particularly the AMPA types in rodent and avian brains. Techniques used are small animal surgery, immunocytochemistry, microscopy and in situ hybridization.

2008 Project Title: Mapping of the 5-HT2A Receptor in the Edinger-Westphal Region of the Pigeon (Columbia livia): AnImmunohistochemical Study

Mentor: Dr. Claudio Toledo

Recent mentor publications:

  • Cunha, R.P.; Reiner, A. & Toledo, C.A.B. (2007) Involvement of urocortinergic neurons below the midbrain central gray in the physiological response to restraint stress in pigeons. Brain Research 1147:175-183.
  • Pavesi, E.; Enck, M.C.; Toledo, C.A.B. & Terenzi, M.G. (2007) Disruption of maternal behavior by acute stress induces selective activation of the lateral periaqueductal gray. European Journal of Neuroscience 26:2055-2065.
  • Cavalcante, J.S.; Britto, L.R.G.; Toledo, C.A.B.; Nascimento Jr., E.S.; Lima, R.R.M.; Pontes, A.L.B. & Costa, M.S.M.O. (2008) Calcium-binding proteins in the circadian centers of the brains of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) and the rock cavy (Kerodon rupestris). Brain Research Bulletin 76:354-360.


Project Description: Basic research on neurotransmitter receptor expression and function, specifically metabotrophic glutamate receptors expression after injury and cannabinoid receptor expression in the CNS. Techniques used are small animal surgery and immunocytochemistry, microscopy.

2008 Project Title: Effect of motor cortex stimulation on neuronal activation in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord in rats with peripheral neuropathy

Mentor: Dr. Luiz Britto - Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sao Paulo

Recent mentor publications:

  • Kihara A.H., Santos T.O., Paschon V., Matos R.J. & Britto L.R.G. Lack of neuronal signaling specifically remodels the expression of synaptic proteins in the retina. Neuroscience 151: 995-1005, 2008.
  • Resende, R.R., Gomes, K.N., Britto, L.R.G. & Ulrich, H. Mechanism of acetylcholine-induced calcium signaling during neuronal differentiation of P19 embryonal carcinoma cells in vitro. Cell Calcium 43: 107-121, 2008.
  • Frazao, R., Pinato, L., Da Silva, A.V.,   Britto, L.R.G., Oliveira, J.A. & Nogueira, M.I. Evidence of reciprocal connections between the dorsal raphe nucleus and the retina in the monkey Cebus apella. Neuroscience Letters 430: 119-123, 2008.  


Project Description: The goal of this work is to analyze the modulatory effect of adenosine receptors on the mRNA and protein nitric oxide synthase (NOS), as well as the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) in cultured cells from the dorsomedial portion of the brain stem.

2011 Project Title: Effect of adenosine on levels of nitric oxide: Cellular mechanisms important for the development of hypertension

Mentor: Dr. Debora R. Fior Chadi - Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, Institute of Biosciences, University of Sao Paulo

  • FERRARI, M. F. R. , REIS, E. M. , MATSUMOTO, J. P. , Fior-Chadi, or D.R. Fior, D.R.. Transcriptome analysis of nicotine-exposed cells from the brainstem of neonate spontaneously hypertensive and Wistar Kyoto rats. The Pharmacogenomics Journal, v. 10, p. 134-160, 2010
  • MATSUMOTO, J. P. P. ; FERRARI, M. F. R. , Fior-Chadi, or D.R. Fior, D.R.. Adenosine receptor type Differently second is modulated by nicotine in the dorsal brainstem cells of Wistar Kyoto and spontaneously hypertensive rats. Journal of Neural Transmission, see May, P. 19-19, 2010.
  • Teodorov, Elizabeth, Bernard, Mary M. ; Ferrari, Merari F. R. , Fior-Chadi, Debora R. ; Felicio, Luciano F. . Plasticity of Opioid Receptors in the periaqueductal Gray Female: Multiparity-Induced Increase in the Activity of Genes Encoding for Mu and kappa receptors and the Post-Translational Decrease Receptor Expression in Delta. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, p. june 30-june 30, 2010.

Site #4

Project Description: The present project focuses on three major groups of vision-threatening conditions: 1. Diseases following long-term exposure to neuro-toxic drugs
and/or substances (e.g., intoxication by organic solvents such as toluene and various forms of mercury-intoxication); 2. Diseases resulting from the interaction between genetic and environmental components (e.g., diabetes and multiple sclerosis); 3. Well-known genetic
diseases  (Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy).

2011 Project Title: Vision as a sensitive indicator of conditions threatening retinal and central nervous system function.

Mentor: Dr. Dora Selma Fix Ventura, Department of Experimental Psychology, Institute of Psychology, University of Sao Paulo

  • Gualtieri, M., Bandeira, M., Hamer, R.D., Damico, F.M., Moura, A.L.A., Ventura, D.F. Contrast Sensitivity Mediated by Inferred Magna- and Parvocellular Pathways in Type 2 Diabetics with and without Nonproliferative Retinopathy. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Vol. 52 (2); 1151-55, Feb. 2011

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One project, 2 student positions available

Project description: Basic health needs assessment in Palisa District.  Conduct interviews with community members and healthcare providers regarding health needs and health-seeking behaviors.

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One project, 2 student positions available

Project description: This study aims to evaluate the factors that contribute to the regionally distinct healthcare experiences in hopes of promoting the development of future health initiatives that are meaningful, practical, and community-informed.

2011 Project Title: Medical Pluralism in Uganda: Health Seeking Behaviors and Healthcare Perspectives

2009 Project Title: The Art of Healing: The Efficacious Use of Art Therapy with Former Child Soldiers in Northern Uganda 

2008 Project Title: The Efficacy of Art Therapy as a Psychosocial Intervention for Former Child Soldiers in Northern Uganda.

Site mentors: Julia Hanebrink, Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee

Recent mentor publications:

  • Kanu, M., Baker EA & Brownson, RC. Exploring Associations Between Church-Based Social Support and Physical Activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 2008;5:504-515.
  • Williams EA.; Kanu M & Williams C. Something Old is New Again: Mutual Aid and the Tennessee Office of Minority Health. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (in press - Accepted March 2008)
  • Kanu, M., Williams, C., Hepler, N. The likelihood of condom use with steady and casual partners among low-income African Americans in a southern city in the United States. Journal of the National Society of Allied Health (in press Accepted May 2008)

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Group Pic from MHIRT trip

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am not an ethnic minority, am I still eligible to apply? 
    Yes! Minority does not just refer to ethnicity, it encompasses several disadvantaged backgrounds (e.g. socioeconomic status, disability, first generation to receive higher education, etc.). 

  2. Am I required to take a language test before applying?
    No. For work in Brazil, an intensive three month language course will be available to students without prior structured course work.  Language competency is self assessed on your application and may be orally confirmed prior to project assignments.  For work in Uganda and Thailand, translators are utilized.

  3. How important is the Statement of Purpose?
    The Statement of Purpose is a critical part of the application. This is your opportunity to present your reasons for wanting to participate in an international opportunity. Reviewers will be studying your application for evidence that you are capable, flexible and that your decision to travel to an international research site is purposeful, goal oriented and in keeping with the mission of the program. The primary mission of this program is to provide minority students and other underrepresented groups in Science with an opportunity to undertake international research that has the potential to make a real difference in the health care of under served populations in the U.S. and developing countries.

  4. I have never traveled or studied abroad before, should I apply?
    Yes. In fact, the MID-SOUTH COALITION FOR MINORITY INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH encourages you to apply. One of the primary objectives of the program is to provide qualified minority students with the opportunity to further their career goals by participating in international opportunities.

  5. Am I eligible to apply if my school is not a member of the MID-SOUTH COALITION FOR MINORITY INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH?
    Yes. We realize that many qualified students attend other institutions.  While preference is given to students from participating schools within the Mid-South, we frequently accept students from across the country.

  6. I am not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, can I still apply?
    No. MHIRT participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Permanent residents must be able to show proof of residency.
    U.S. citizens must have or be able to obtain a U.S. passport.

  7. Are all my costs related to this opportunity covered?
    Yes, the cost of visa, passport, airfare, food and housing while you are away and a small per diem for on-site expenses will be covered.

  8. What type of stipend will I receive?
    Stipends range from $1000 to $1400 per month based on academic standing.

  9. What if I don't have at least a 3.0 GPA?
    Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 may be considered if a letter of reference from a faculty member of their home institution indicates evidence of exceptional scientific interest and talent.

  10. When and how will I be notified of my application and acceptance status? 
    All students with complete applications will be notified of their acceptance status via email by the end of February.  If your application is incomplete, you will not be notified.  If you would like to check on the completion status of your application, please email before the final deadline. 

  11. What is the first thing I will need to do if my application is accepted?
    You will be sent an acceptance packet that will include steps to follow. First, you will have to acknowledge your acceptance.   Next, you will need to complete the forms needed to acquire a passport and visa (if needed). You will also receive the schedule for a mandatory orientation that you will attend prior to leaving the country. All the questions you may still have regarding what to take with you, travel and living arrangements, and cultural and training issues for the specific site you will visit will be answered at that orientation.

  12. How are Portuguese lessons arranged for students selected to go to Brazil?
    For students selected to go to Brazil that are located in Memphis, we hold private language lessons at CBU twice a week.  Students that are located outside the Memphis area are expected do an independent study of Portuguese in order to acquire basic proficiency; however, we offer several options to assist with this based on individual needs.

  13. Didn't the program used to have sites in Thailand and Pantanal?
    While we have had programs in Thailand and Pantanal in the past, we do not currently have research programs running in that area.  It is our hope to add additional projects each year and we are currently seeking another vet/public health research project.  At this time, however, Thailand and Pantanal are not current research sites for us.

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MHIRT Projects Symposium

2013 Mid-South Coalition for Minority Health International Research Training Projects Symposium 
Saturday, October 5
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Cooper Wilson 105

Students who participated in the summer 2013 projects will be presenting the results from their summer international research experiences in Uganda and Brazil. The symposium is free and open to the public. Breakfast and lunch will be served. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in the summer projects for 2014 to meet with students and learn more about the program, and how they can qualify for an all-expense paid research experience.

If you plan to attend, RSVP to Julia Hanebrink at by Wednesday, October 2.

The preliminary schedule is as follows:

• 8:30-9:00

• 9:00-9:10
 Welcome by Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald

• 9:10-9:30            
Assessing Sexual- and Gender-Based Violence: Participatory Action Research in Northern Uganda.
Justin Hendrix & Amanda Reinke 
Mentors: Margaret Ajok and Julia Hanebrink, Gulu, Uganda

• 9:30-9:45        
Analyzation of Expression Patterns of Hamartin and Tuberin in Animal Models with High Fat Diets.
Elton Banks
Mentor: Luiz Britto, Dept. of Physiology & Biophysics, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

• 9:45-10:00       
Santa Catarina's Crimson Tide: Viral Identification and a Histone Expression Investigation
Adam Goodson
Mentor: Maria Risoleta Marques, Dept. of Biochemistry, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil

• 10:00-10:15       
A Translational Rodent Assay of Affective Biases in Depression and Antidepressant Therapy: A Protocol Replication.
Erica Johnson
Mentor: Cilene Lino de Oliveira, Dept. of Physiological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina 

• 10:15-10:30       
Comparative Analysis of the Electroretinogram Of Normal Patients With Retinitis Pigmentosa.
Adewale Odukoya & Phillip Stringer
Mentors: Bruno Duarte Gomes and Givago da Silva Souza, Tropical Medicine Center, Universidade Federal do Pará

• 10:30-10:45

• 10:45-11:00       
Interaction Between the Dorsolateral Periaqueductal Gray and Glucocorticoids in the Formation of Aversive Memories.
Timothy O’Neal 
Mentor: Antonio de Pádua Carobrez, Dept. of Pharmacology, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

• 11:00-11:15    
The Anatomical, Functional, and Electrophysiological Evaluation of the Visual System in Albinism Carriers: A Clinical and Laboratory Study.
JD Wolfe
Mentor: Dora Fix Ventura, Dept. of Experimental Psychology, Universidade de São Paulo

• 11:15-11:30        
A Survey of Amacrine Cell Types in the Goldfish Retina.
A’keem Williams
Mentor: Christina Joselevitch, Dept. of Experimental Psychology, Universidade de São Paulo

• 11:30-11:45
Activation of the Adenosine A2α Receptor Modulates Heme-oxygenase-2 in Dorsomedial Medulla Oblongata Cell Cultures.
Miriam Walker
Mentor: Debora Fior Chadi, Dept. of Physiology, Universidade de São Paulo

• 11:45-12:00         
Effect of Subcutaneous Serotonin Injection on Male Rat Sexual Behavior In Vivo.
Britney Lumbard
Mentor: Áurea Elizabeth Linder, Dept. of Pharmacology, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

• 12:00-12:20
Insights and Challenges of Community-Based Health Insurance/Financing in Uganda: A Case Study on the Ishaka Health Plan.
John Rincon & Ishaq Winters
Mentors: Susannah Acuff and Daniel Kakunta, Ishaka, Uganda

• 12:20-12:30
Closing Remarks

• 12:30pm 

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Apply Now

Applications for Summer 2015 are now available!


All applications and letters of recommendation must be e-mailed to: Jayanni Webster, Program Assistant, at

  • Application Form including Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or CV (optional)
  • Scanned copies of U.S. Passport and current U.S. driver's license (if available)
  • THREE Letters of Recommendation (download here - Academic and professional references are acceptable. Please make sure your recommenders use the recommendation form provided and email your letters from their professional email addresses. Letters submitted by the applicant or through postal mail may not be accepted.)
  • Mail Official College Transcripts to: Christian Brothers University, MHIRT Program 650 East Parkway South, Box 72, Memphis, TN 38104


  • Minimum Requirements:
  • Participating students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Undergraduate students must have completed at least 3 semesters of course work in a major related to biomedical or behavioral science.
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
  • Previous undergraduate research experience is preferred.
  • Graduate or medical students may be accepted after all eligible undergraduates are placed.
  • All applicants must demonstrate an interest in undertaking serious study abroad as part of their academic and career goals. 
  • Length of Study: Student research takes place during the summer months (late May - early August); however the entire MHIRT experience requires a time commitment of up to one year based on pre and post-trip activities (see Upcoming Events)
  • PRE-TRIP: Pre-departure preparation activities are designed to help you maximize your international experience.  Preparatory training designed especially for this program is required of all trainees, and the international research experience is contingent on satisfactory completion. Applicants are required to attend a series of weekend workshops which include:
    • A retreat at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas in March
    • Bioethics, qualitative research, and cultural workshops held in May prior to departure
    • Literature reviews and various reading assignments to familiarize yourself with background of assigned country and research project.
    • For those applying to work in Brazil, language tutoring will be provided and required for students lacking competency in Portuguese
  • Student work on-site will last a minimum of 10 weeks and coincide with the summer sessions of U.S. colleges and universities.
  • POST-TRIP: A symposium is held in September at Christian Brothers University in which students present the findings from their summer research. A reflection paper and journal style article are also required for completion of program.  Optional conference presentation opportunities are also available.
  • Home Institution. The MID-SOUTH COALITION FOR MINORITY INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH is committed to widely publicizing this opportunity to minority students in colleges and universities located in the Mid-South. When students of equal talent apply, preference will be given to students from the Mid-South.
  • Students will be notified of the results of this review via email no later than February 1st.


Earlybird deadline is Friday, December 19 by 5:00 p.m. CST.
Final Deadline is Friday, January 2, by 5:00 p.m. CST.

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Stay Involved

Ways to get involved and stay involved. MHIRT participants from CBU have either founded or contributed to the following organizations. Please follow the links to discover just a few of the ways you can make a difference.

Hope North Uganda: Hope North is a 40-acre campus in northern Uganda where refugees, orphans and former child soldiers find a place to call home. It is a living and learning community with an accredited secondary school and vocational training center.

Arudo Yat: Established in September, 2008 by a former CBU MHIRT participant, Arudo Yat is a social enterprise committed to facilitating Peace, Prosperity, and Purpose in the war-torn region of northern Uganda. Through connecting the aspirations and entrepreneurial abilities of our members to the Western market, we aim to provide them a fair, sustainable, and consistent income.

FrontlineSMS Credit: Leverages mobile payment systems (MPS) to bring financial services to the unbanked poor by programming FrontlineSMS to function as middleware in order to connect any MPS and any microfinance management information system (MIS) in real time.  As a result, microfinance institutions (MFIs) will be able to send and receive payments directly from the mobile wallet of their MIS, which will significantly reduce the operational costs of issuing credit.

GuluWalk: Memphis is one of over 100 cities in 16 countries participating in GuluWalk. During GuluWalk, people worldwide take to the streets to urge the world to support peace in northern Uganda. The event raises funds and awareness for programs for a generation of children being left behind. Since 2007, CBU MHIRT alums have coordinated this charity event in Memphis.

CBU Beta Beta Beta Bowl-A-Thon For Uganda: The annual Bowl-a-Thon supports the Hope North Community in Uganda that shelters and educates Ugandans displaced by the war. To date, Tri-Beta has raised over $8,000[In1]  for Hope North.

Let Art Talk: Let Art Talk (LAT) was founded by internationally known Ugandan artist and CBU MHIRT mentor Fred Mutebi. LAT is an innovative and unique organization that uses art as an educational tool to empower people and communities at the grassroots level. The objective of the organization is to educate the diverse segments of society by using common terms and creative techniques to encourage constructive change for a positive future. The vision is to transform lives by strengthening leadership, advocating reconciliation, and imparting problem solving skills.

Mae Tao Clinic: The Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), provides free health care for refugees, migrant workers, and other individuals who cross the border from Burma to Thailand. Located on the border in Mae Sot, Thailand, people of all ethnicities and religions are welcome at the Clinic. Its origins go back to the student pro-democracy movement in Burma in 1988, and the brutal repression by the Burmese regime of that movement. Former CBU MHIRT participant Meredith Walsh founded a new MHIRT research site at MTC for 2007 and 2008.

Prescott Baptist Church Fair Trade Store: Handmade items from research participants in Uganda and Thailand are available for sale. Fair trade aims to empower developing country producers and promote sustainability.   Fair trade works with marginalized workers in order to help them move towards security and economic self-sufficiency.

Memphis Council for International Visitors: Forges cultural, educational, and business relationships with the global community through citizen diplomacy.

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Walking through a village


Please contact Jayanni Webster, Program Assistant, at for more information.

Christian Brothers University
MHIRT Program
650 East Parkway, Box 72
Memphis, TN 38104