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Training in Health Disparity Research for a Diverse Neuroscience Workforce

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? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There are numerous reports that have identified disparities in presentation for care, severity and disability for stroke, Alzheimer's Disease, epilepsy and Parkinson's Disease. Nonetheless, the neurology discipline appears to lag behind other clinical specialties in terms of analyzing the causes, delivery of interventions and treatments across socioeconomic and ethnic groups that result in apparent poor outcomes in disadvantaged populations. In 2010, NINDS convened an external panel to review and provide recommendations to NINDS with respect to the priority, administration and oversight of health disparities research conducted by NINDS. Among the results of the review was the conclusion that there is no specific mechanism for training future health disparity researchers. There are several epidemiology programs throughout the country that focus on neuroepidemiology training, but essentially all programs require trainees to have advanced degrees, most often MDs. The goal of this program is to recruit undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds into a Master's Program in Neuroscience Clinical and Population Studies of Health Disparities at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. There are four unique resources at Wake Forest University that make it an ideal institution for the proposed program: 1) The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE), 2) experience through an established Master of Science in Clinical and Population Translational Sciences, 3) an established Neuroscience Graduate Program and 4) the Division of Public Health Sciences. Recruitment of students and collaboration with regional undergraduate institutions including HBCUs will be important for attaining our goal. The idea is to interest students a career choice and develops a love of neuroscience and understanding neurological disorders so that a proportion of these MS students will move onto PhD programs. The product of this program will be a solid foundation in Neuroscience, epidemiology and biostatistics training and hands- on, practical research projects.
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