Grant Abstract: International Research Training Center for Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome in Tajikstan

Grant Number: 5D43TW009672-03
PI Name: Raskin
Project Title: International Research Training Center for Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome in Tajikstan

Abstract: This project will establish an International Research Training Center for Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome (CBMS) in Tajikistan, one of the poorest countries in the world in critical need of improved public health and training in medical research. Tajikistan, formerly a part of the Soviet Union, has a well-established tradition of usin botanical therapeutics for treatment and prevention of Chronic, Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders (NCDDs) going back a thousand years to the times of renowned Tajik physician and philosopher Avicenna. The proposed Center will integrate, in a culturally sensitive way, intensive didactic training in western medical science with the strong traditional knowledge of botanical medicine and develop a sustainable mechanism for graduating Ph.D. and postdoctoral-level research scientists who can merge these two systems for the benefit of Tajikistan. The proposed training program will be strongly leveraged by three NIH-funded programs that involve most of the research training faculty participating in this application: National Center for Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome, NIH T32 Training Grant in Botanical Approaches to Combat Metabolic Syndrome and now completed International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) program titled "Building New Pharmaceutical Capabilities in Central Asia." In addition the proposed program will take advantage of the world-wide research training infrastructure established by the Global Institute for Bio exploration (GIBEX). CBMS Program Director (Raskin) and Coordinator (Dushenkov) have worked in Tajikistan, speak Russian (the language of science and educated professionals) and have established close connections with Tajik institutions involved in CBMS. CBMS will involve three US institutions, Rutgers University, Pennington Biomedical research Center/Louisiana State University and Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, a minority serving institution specializing in health-related training, and five Tajik institutions. It will formally train six Ph.D. students and four postdoctoral fellow; however, it will extend its distance learning courses, online training and in country events to a much larger number of Tajik scientists and health professionals. CBMS's aim is to provide a sustainable foundation for intense research training and retention of Tajik scientists in the interdisciplinary studies of the uses of botanicals for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome.

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