Drs. Nabila El-Bassel and Elwin Wu Receive a $1.4 Million Grant from NIMH to Establish Racial/Ethnic Minority Scientist Training Program

April, 2007–Drs. El-Bassel and Wu received a National Institute of Mental Health grant to establish a 3-year training program aimed at increasing research and ethnic minority (REM) investigators in HIV intervention science research. The HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Racial/Ethnic Minority Investigators (HISTP) will be located at CUSSW’s Social Intervention Group (SIG), but will include collaboration with other prominent Columbia Centers, including the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York Psychiatric Institute and the Columbia Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies. In addition to El-Bassel, Wu and colleagues at Columbia, the HISTP is supported by a network of leading HIV scientific advisors and mentors across country from over a dozen universities. The advisors and mentors are actively involved in the development of the program and in the direct training and support of the trainees.REM populations are disproportionately represented amongst those living with HIV/AIDS, yet REM scientists trained as HIV/AIDS researchers are vastly under-represented. The HISTP mission is to facilitate the growth and development of a cadre of REM scientists who will focus their research upon HIV-related health disparities in HIV/AIDS and co-occurring mental health disorders. We seek to promote REM scientists to increase contributions to the empirical knowledge base on the design of contextually and culturally congruent interventions, through training, mentoring, and networking with a collective of senior REM scientists in the fields of HIV/AIDS, health disparities, and mental health and substance comorbidities. Specifically, 12 trainees will be selected over the next three years to receive intensive and specialized mentorship, including pilot funding and access to a multitude of resources and expert consultation. The first cohort of trainees will be selected in the summer of 2007.

For more information about the HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Racial/Ethnic Minority Investigators, email histp@columbia.edu or call the Program Coordinator, Aimee Campbell, at 212-851-2417.