In 2008, the Universidad Central del Caribe (UCC) revised its Institution's Research Strategic Plan, and in the present RCMI Renewal Research Application (2009-14) is requesting support for its concomitant implementation in compliance with the overall RCMI goal. The research plan responds to emerging needs by core facilities, research centers and individual projects which represent the scientific strength of our research enterprise.
These activities will bring our research capabilities to another level of excellence by contributing to an increase in publications, presentations at scientific meetings, and funding available for research by over 20-50 percent. The new application proposes several main objectives: continuing to develop an Administrative Component consisting of a Leadership Core, a Scientific Research Development Unit and a Data Management and Statistic Research Support Unit; strengthening the proposed existing research centers (Retrovirus and Neuroscience) and create the Cancer Research Center; providing support to five research pilot projects in the area of Retrovirology, Neuroscience and Cancer; providing support and leadership to existing and new research Resources areas and core facilities that have proven to be indispensable for basic and clinical research enterprises; establishing an ongoing RCMI evaluation plan to assess the progress in these areas using objective criteria to verify research productivity. In order to fulfill the proposed main objectives, the organizational structure of the RCMI Program is divided into four components. The Administrative Component which is constituted by a Leadership Core, (evaluation and mentoring plan), the Scientific Resources Development Unit, and the Data Management and Statistical Support Unit. The Research Centers Component is structured to include the Retrovirus Research Center which consists of a Leadership Core and an HIV and Substance Abuse Laboratory Core; the Cancer Research Center which is provided with a Leadership Core; and the Neuroscience Research Center which possesses a Leadership Core, a Behavioral Testing Facility, and the Neuronal and Glial Culture Facility. The third component groups the five pilot projects. The General Research Cores Component comprises the fourth unit with the Optical Imaging Facility, the Protein and Nucleic Acid Core Facility, the Common Instrumentation Area and Services, and the Biomedical Proteomics Facility. The strategic plan is designed to make each center a cluster of investigators, each with a specific disease-oriented focus. The Cores Component is an ancillary unit designed to serve the other centers.