SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been awarded a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to form a translational health disparities research program, with a focus on recruiting and training underrepresented minority scientists.
Funding will provide resources for junior faculty endowments, research fellowships, and recruitment of underrepresented minority students from area partner colleges to study translational health disparities and population health research. This is the first major endowment awarded to the Downstate campus under the tenures of both SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson and SUNY Downstate President Dr. Wayne J. Riley.
"Minority communities that are vulnerable to health disparities are often the same groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research," SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said. "It is SUNY's responsibility as a public institution of higher learning to identify solutions to this imbalance and create opportunities for more minority researchers to pursue their passion in the medical professions in the state of New York. It is only fitting that SUNY lead the way, and I thank President Riley and the team at SUNY Downstate for attracting the funding needed to support this innovative program."
The TRANSPORT Program funded by the award will be led by principal investigators Carlos N. Pato, MD, dean of the College of Medicine at Downstate; President Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP; and Moro O. Salifu, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, chair of medicine and a director of BHDC.
"We must train and employ more minority researchers to study the problem of minority health disparities," SUNY Downstate President Riley said. "The TRANSPORT program at Downstate is an important step in advancing social justice and addressing racial and ethnic disparities through our public institutions. This program is just another proud achievement for the SUNY System. I am confident that through this effort, we will begin to create new generations of researchers to study obstacles to access, education, and equity that disproportionately impact minorities and are pervasive in health care."
SUNY Downstate's TRANSPORT program was awarded the $10 million endowment over six years by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health. The endowment will enable the TRANSPORT program to support as many as three new faculty and six research fellows per year, and, as the program reaches full capacity, recruit 25 new underrepresented minority students per year from area colleges.