Honoring the legacy of former congressional leader and civil rights icon John Lewis, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) has recently awarded grants to six institutions through the John Lewis NIMHD Research Endowment Program. Totaling $60 million, these grants will create institutional endowments that propel the development and expansion of the research capacity and infrastructure within the recipient institutions. Additionally, the institutional endowments will support research education for students from diverse backgrounds, particularly those from underrepresented groups, and encourage faculty members to pursue research in basic biomedical, behavioral, population, and clinical/health services fields.
Three of the six institutions receiving these grants are historically Black.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles will establish the Endowment for Learning Health Systems and Learning Health Communities Core. The LHSC Core will enhance the university’s capacity to conduct health services and community participatory research on cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiometabolic health, mental health, substance abuse, and health services and policy.
Meharry Medical College in Nashville will establish the Endowment for Cardiometabolic Health Disparities Research. The goal is to expand the capacity of Meharry Medical College to enhance research and research training in minority health. The program will address health disparities in cardiometabolic health disproportionately prevalent in the local African American communities. The endowment will support the hire of a senior magnet cardiovascular scientist, and the development of a bachelor’s to master’s to Ph.D. pathway program, a research leadership program for postdoctoral fellows, a seminar program, and research infrastructure to study health disparities of cardiometabolic disease.
Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans will develop the Precision Medicine, Education, Data Informatics, and Community Translation (PREDICT) Institute. The program will create a holistic and replicable framework for the utilization of electronic health data and community translation to affect the decision-making process to improve health outcomes. The initiative will include training of current and future underrepresented researchers on health informatics best practices to diversify the research workforce and leverage community-based approaches to enhance clinical research efforts in vulnerable populations.