The RCMI Program in Health Disparities Research at Meharry Medical College (RHDR@MMC) proposes to
address health disparities at multiples scales of research: from micro to macro environments. With institutional
collaboration and support, this application continues the long-term RCMI support of enabling high quality basic,
behavioral, and clinical research to eliminate health disparities as our long-term goal. The RHDR@MMC is not
discipline or disease focused, but emphasizes the disruption of disparity at all scales, from proteins to the
human ecosystems of the populations we serve. Our re-envisioned Research Infrastructure Core will provide
expert technical support in areas relevant to the research projects, as well as services such as design,
biostatistics, bio and health informatics, and cross-training support to benefit ALL researchers at the institution.
We have assembled a cadre of scientists including basic, behavioral, dental clinicians, population-based, and
community-engaged researchers at Meharry to participate in this endeavor. Our aims are to:
1. Support four outstanding research projects addressing HIV-AIDS, prostate cancer, racial and ethnic
differences in periodontal disease microbiomes, and adversity-driven chronic pain to advance fundamental
understanding of these health disparities.
2. Strengthen core technologies and expand bioinformatics and biostatistical services supporting the four
research projects, as well as all Meharry research faculty, to increase institutional success in extramural
funding studying diseases that disproportionally affect minority and other health disparity populations.
3. Nurture an environment conducive to developing new and early career investigators by facilitating a
mentorship network, enhancing professional developmental activities, and providing pilot project funds.
4. Improve and expand relationships with community-based organizations that partner with Meharry.
5. Recruit outstanding magnet scientists to energize current faculty and contribute to our research capacity in
cancers of the underserved, infectious diseases including HIV-AIDS, disparity-causing differences in
microbiomes of minorities, and societal adversity leading to debilitating chronic pain in African Americans.