NHLBI Workshop
Use of Genomic and Proteomic Resources at Minority-Serving Institutions

July 21, 2005
Executive Summary

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convened a Workshop on July 21, 2005, in Bethesda, Maryland to: (1) to identify the needs, barriers, and opportunities that investigators from minority-serving institutions (MSIs) face in using NHLBI-supported genomic and proteomic resources and technologies (such as the Programs for Genomic Applications, NHLBI Shared Microarray Facilities, and the NHLBI Proteomics Program) and (2) to recommend ways for the NHLBI to help overcome barriers to incorporating genomics and proteomics technologies in research at MSIs.

Discussion:

Investigators at MSIs often do not have access or adequate research resources to make use of NHLBI-supported genomic and proteomic methodologies for their research. The WG discussed: (1) communication, networking, and dissemination of NHLBI genomics and proteomics resources; (2) the continuously increasing gap in knowledge between MSIs and research intensive institutions (RIIs) in genomics and proteomics research; (3) how to leverage current NHLBI programs for training and career development; (4) the desirability of building long-lasting relationships and mutually beneficial collaborations between MSIs and RIIs; (5) the importance of a strong administrative infrastructure and protected time for research (particularly at MSIs); (6) the strong commitment that MSI leadership must make to genomics and proteomics research and infrastructure; and (7) minority enrollment and participation in clinical research for genomics and proteomics research.

As a result of an overview of NHLBI Training and Career Development Programs and the NHLBI New Investigator Task Force, the Working Group had significant discussion about the need for developing training and career development programs specifically for investigators performing genomics and proteomics research; a steep curve in establishing and maintaining a research program in these fields may limit productivity and independence in an early career. They recommended that the NHLBI should develop programs and activities not to only train investigators at MSIs, but also to assist them in developing genomic and proteomic research capacity at the MSIs. Conducting this type of research involves a substantial investment in maintaining equipment and expertise.

The WG also considered responses from the NHLBI’s recently published Request for Information, Use of Genomic and Proteomic Resources at Minority-Serving Institutions, when making their recommendations.

Recommendations:

  • Develop Comprehensive and Successful Partnership Programs between MSIs and RIIs
    • stimulate mentorship and collaboration to provide incentives for partnering
    • provide research and infrastructure support for both partnering institutions
    • augment career development and training for faculty, students, and fellows
    • fund travel between collaborating institutions, and for scientific meetings, workshops, courses, etc.
    • promote periodic visiting scientist/professorships and interchange between MSIs and research-intensive institutions (RIIs)
    • foster program and partnership commitment from MSI and RII leadership
    • facilitate MSI access to the information technology, resources, and core facilities available at RIIs
  • Promote MSI Investigator Studies Ancillary to Current NHLBI Programs in Genomics and Proteomics Research
    • support ancillary studies to promote collaboration between MSI investigators and RIIs
    • fund necessary MSI travel and technology transfer between institutions.
  • Initiate a Visiting “Magnet” Investigator Program
    • establish a pool of investigators from RIIs with expertise in genetics, genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics (“Magnet” investigators) to serve as visiting scientists at MSIs for periods of a week or longer at intervals throughout the program
    • foster “Magnet” investigator presentations, educational sessions, and exchange of scientific advice and direction through close interaction with faculty, fellows, and students
    • enable MSI investigators to visit RIIs for similar purposes
    • promote exchange of information on NHLBI resources, services, and other educational activities
  • Develop a Targeted Career Development Award for Junior and Mid-level Investigators
    • charge investigators to develop research capacity (e.g., via sabbaticals at other institutions) in genomics and proteomics for junior and mid-level investigators at their home institution
  • Provide Travel Grants for MSI Investigators to Attend NHLBI-Supported Genomic and Proteomic Symposia, Workshops, Courses, and Other Activities
    • promote communication, networking and educational opportunities between scientific experts in genomics and proteomics with MSI investigators, fellows and students
  • Initiate a Program for MSI Investigators to Obtain Investigator-initiated Research Funding
    • fund investigators from MSIs to collaborate with experts in genomics and proteomics in order to obtain the preliminary data necessary to compete for an R01 award
  • Encourage Development of an MSI-based Clinical Research Interface with Ethnic Populations
    • promote/increase minority representation in genomics and proteomics research

Publication Plans:

  • NHLBI Website

NHLBI Contact:

Dina N. Paltoo, Ph.D., M.P.H. , NHLBI, NIH
paltood@mail.nih.gov

Last updated: April 1, 2006

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