Grant Abstract: Research Training Center for Botanicals and Chronic Diseases in Tajikistan and Indonesia

Grant Number: 5D43TW009672-09
PI Name: Raskin
Project Title: Research Training Center for Botanicals and Chronic Diseases in Tajikistan and Indonesia

Abstract: This renewal will build on a successful research training program carried out in Tajikistan during the last five years. We will leverage accumulated expertise, training materials, networks of international collaborators, and well-developed and tested online and face-to-face training curricula to expand the Tajikistan program and to add Indonesia to the program. Close collaborations between US, Tajik and Indonesian faculty involved in this proposal are well-established and fully functional. The expanded Center for Botanicals and Chronic Diseases (CBCD) will cement and synergize these existing collaborations and provide quality international experience for our trainees. In the next five years, CBCD will focus its training on the evidence-based, rigorous studies of local botanicals for the prevention and treatment of common inflammation-associated chronic diseases and disorders, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, and intestinal and neurological disorders. CBCD will train 10 scientists in Tajikistan (5 Ph.D. students and 5 postdoctoral fellows) and 24 scientists in Indonesia (16 M.S. and 8 Ph.D. students). Both countries are providing a significant financial match to enable the training. Research training components will include: 1) Online courses and e-workshops; 2) One-on-one ementoring and progress monitoring; 3) Annual in-country conferences and workshops with invited international speakers; 4) Visits to mentor's laboratories in the US (funded by Tajikistan for Tajik students); and 5) Required graduate and postdoctoral courses offered in partnering countries. CBCD will involve three U.S. institutions - Rutgers University, Pennington Biomedical Research Center/Louisiana State University, and Eugenio María de Hostos Community College (CUNY), a minority serving institution specializing in health-related training. Internationally, CBCD will involve three leading Tajik institutions and two top-tier Indonesian universities. In addition to its official trainees, CBCD will open its distance learning courses, on-line training and in-country events to a wider audience of local scientists and health professionals, ensuring a broader community outreach. CBCD’s aim is to provide a sustainable foundation for intense research training and retention of local scientists in the interdisciplinary studies of botanicals for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Our integrated training program will leverage resources generated through other NIH-funded programs that involve the research training faculty participating in this proposal: NIH National Center for Botanicals and Metabolic Resiliency (2004 – present); NIH T32 Training Grant in Botanical Approaches to Combat Metabolic Syndrome (just renewed for a 5 year third cycle) and the completed International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) program titled “Building New Pharmaceutical Capabilities in Central Asia.” CBCD will also take advantage of the world-wide research training infrastructure established by the Global Institute for Bioexploration (GIBEX).

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