My professional and research experience qualifies me well to serve as the MeTRC Deputy Director for this grant application. I have served in this capacity for the last 5 years and successfully supervised several activities of the MeTRC Program, to effectively achieve its goals, such as (i) Collaborations and Partnerships, that enhanced internal and external collaborations; (ii) Biomedical Informatics, that developed an informatics infrastructure to facilitate the translation of research discoveries into clinical applications; (iii) Technologies and Resources for Core Laboratories, that developed a proteomics core to incorporate proteomics into translational and clinical research to advance protein discovery in clinical and translational settings; and (iv) MeTRC “Structural Activities” such Journal Clubs, Quarterly Joint Research Meetings of MeTRC-funded investigators, Clinical and Translational Research Seminar Series. Furthermore, I have significantly enhanced the career development of MeTRC investigators who had MeTRC small pilot Projects and Big Science Pilot projects. Under my mentorship these MeTRC investigators published a significant number of papers in high impact journals, obtained extramural grant support such as NIH R56, several R21s, SC1s, two NCATS UH2 supplements, among others. Under my mentorship I revised their funded grants and published papers before submissions. Their papers made the cover page of the Journal issues, were spotlighted in the journals and highlighted by the FACULTY 1000, including the NIH.
In my capacity of Co-Leader of the Pilot Projects Activity my role will be to successfully achieve the goals of the Pilot Projects Activity in order to significantly advance the conduct of translational research activity in the science of health disparities. I will also facilitate the transition of research discoveries into clinical applications in the MeTRC program by networking T1 researchers with clinical researchers.
I have strong training and expertise in infectious diseases and immunology. My research focuses on the treatment of incurable infectious diseases with novel drugs and on the prevention of them with new vaccines. My research program has been supported by NIH grants for 26 years and I have published large numbers of papers in my field in high impact journals. I have a strong history of mentoring junior faculty members who obtained NIH extramural grant support as a chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Interim Director of the Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research and as a MeTRC Deputy Director at Meharry Medical College. This together with my large history of serving on NIH study sections for over 25 years put me in a unique position to serve as Co-Leader of the Pilot Projects Activity to successfully achieve its goals which will enhance research discoveries in the translational and clinical enterprises of the MeTRC Program. My long-term goal as MeTRC leader is to continue mentoring faculty to be more successful in obtaining grants and publications in clinical and translational research to improve the treatment and prevention of health disparities in disadvantages populations.
In my capacity of MeTRC leader I will also continue to supervise the Biomedical Informatics activity, Technologies and Resources for Core Laboratories and the structural activity of Clinical and Translational Research Seminar Series to ensure that these activities successfully achieve their goals. My previous experience in supervising these activities in the MeTRC program will be instrumental for this task.
In summary, I have a demonstrated record of successful and productive MeTRC leadership in the Pilot Projects activity as well as in other MeTRC activities that I supervised listed above and my expertise and experience have prepared me well to lead these MeTRC activities in the program.