NEW YORK, June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- First launched in 2013, the Translational Research Training in Addictions for Racial/Ethnic Minorities (TRACC) program at The City College of New York and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) set about increasing the number of scientists from underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups conducting translational studies in addiction research. Seven years later, a $1,672,150 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is extending TRACC for another five years. It brings to more than $3 million NIH funding for the innovative and interdisciplinary research training and mentoring program.
Faculty from City College's Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership head the renewed program, with Lesia Ruglass multiple principal investigator (PI) and her fellow psychologists Robert Melara and Teresa Lopez-Castro, both co-investigators.
TRACC has capitalized on CCNY's exceptional pool of diverse students, its renowned multidisciplinary faculty and a novel collaboration with substance use researchers at CUMC, Aimee Campbell and Frances Levin. With the new funding, the program has now been expanded to Rutgers University, with multiple PI Denise Hien, and is now known as TRACC-RU.
"Rutgers not only expands the reach of this successful program, but broadens access to scientific and methodological expertise of mentors," said Ruglass. "TRACC-RU is supported by the mentorship of committed leaders in the addiction research field at CCNY and RU in partnership with faculty from the Division on Substance Use Disorders at CUMC to promote applied research training in two critically related ways."
Ruglass noted that under TRACC-RU, trainees from underrepresented racial/ethnic minority (URM) groups, are exposed to:
- Cutting edge science and methodologies in animal and human models of addiction through psychiatry, psychology, and cognitive neuroscience research programs and related lab experiences; and
- Critical issues in conducting community-based clinical treatment trials, grounded in our expertise of effectiveness and implementation trials of evidence-based addiction treatments in the community.
TRACC-RU aims are to recruit and train URM undergraduate and graduate students in the conduct of translational research on substance use disorders. It's also intended to promote a sustainable network of trainees by continuing to engage program graduates through peer mentorship, presentation opportunities, and alumni events.
Media contact: Jay Mwamba, [email protected], 917.892.0374
SOURCE The City College of New York