MMC – VU ARCH Consortium
Darryl B. Hood, Ph.D.
This ARCH award supports a project between Meharry Medical College, a historical black college/university (HBCU/MSI), and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, a research intensive institution (RIU) that focuses on enhancing collaborations between investigators at these institutions in the general area of toxicology. The goal of this proposal is to pursue hypothesis-driven research project grant programs in "Molecular Mechanisms of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Toxicity" at MMC in close collaboration with faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. This arrangement is designed to allow the accomplishment of the following Specific Aims. Specific Aim 1 is to develop the research programs of ARCH faculty as measured by joint, impact publications between MMC-VU research teams by the midpoint of the second year of this initiative. Specific Aim 2 is to develop the research programs of ARCH faculty in a way that fosters the launching of the independent careers of these investigators, as measured by successful acquisition of peer-reviewed funding. The strengths and resources of both institutions have been merged so as to create a joint project that is expected to increase the success rate of research project grant applications by Meharry faculty members to the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). This revised application comprises three main components: 1) the Administrative and Planning Core will be responsible for managing and monitoring the entire project. The administrative core will receive guidance from internal and external advisory committees. 2) The research program development core will consist of three pilot projects and one research project conducted by MMC investigators. The pilot and research projects establish close collaborations between investigators from MMC and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. 3) A well-integrated facility core is requested to support the ARCH investigators. Over the tenure of the proposed project, these three components will develop into a cohesive program of environmental health science research. The research described in this revised application uses exposure to "B[a]P" as a model to understand the etiology of neurological dysfunction and cancer. The Administrative and Planning core will manage and monitor the progress of this program. Specific objectives for this core will be to provide leadership that will assure the scientific growth and professional development of the MMC investigators; to ensure effective collaboration between MMC scientists and VUMC scientists; to foster an enhanced MMC/VUMC partnership in toxicological training and research by organizing team meetings, seminar series, and relevant workshops, and an annual toxicology symposium; to provide effective management of the ARCH program administratively and fiscally. This core will be directed by Drs Hood, the principal investigator from MMC, and Aschner from VUMC. Both the Internal and External Advisory Committees will offer guidance to the directors of this core. The administrative mechanism that supports this scientific collaboration is straightforward in that the principal investigator is responsible for overall direction of the project while the project leader at the RIU is charged in managing the projects conducted at VUMC. Leadership responsibilities will be shared by the principal investigator at MCC and the RIU leader at VUMC. Operations at the two institutions will be integrated as a result of the advisory committees, seminars, and other interactive mechanisms.