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Keywords:

  • translational research;
  • consortium;
  • partnerships;
  • minority serving institutions

Abstract

Health disparities are an immense challenge to American society. Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) housed within the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) are designed to accelerate the translation of experimental findings into clinically meaningful practices and bring new therapies to the doorsteps of all patients. Research Centers at Minority Institutions (RCMI) program at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) are designed to build capacity for biomedical research and training at minority serving institutions. The CTSA created a mechanism fostering formal collaborations between research intensive universities and minority serving institutions (MSI) supported by the RCMI program. These consortium-level collaborations activate unique translational research approaches to reduce health disparities with credence to each academic institutions history and unique characteristics. Five formal partnerships between research intensive universities and MSI have formed as a result of the CTSA and RCMI programs. These partnerships present a multifocal approach; shifting cultural change and consciousness toward addressing health disparities, and training the next generation of minority scientists. This collaborative model is based on the respective strengths and contributions of the partnering institutions, allowing bidirectional interchange and leveraging NIH and institutional investments providing measurable benchmarks toward the elimination of health disparities.