IAB News Release
New UAF research center moves science from bench to bedside
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2 August 2016
FAIRBANKS, Alaska —
FAIRBANKS--Alaska and Montana have formed a new collaborative clinical and translational research center to address the health priorities of Alaska Native and American Indian people.
Led by Professor Allen Harmsen at Montana State University in collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the primary goal of the five-year, $20M award from the National Institutes of Health is to increase the number of scientists who can effectively work directly with indigenous peoples and communities.
“The people we want to attract are scientists in Alaska and Montana who have maybe thought that their work could be clinical or translational, meaning working with humans, but don’t know how to transition their science in that direction,” said the new center co-program director Bert Boyer, who is also director of the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the UAF Institute of Arctic Biology.
Additional center collaborators include the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska’s Southcentral Foundation, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Montana and the Blackfeet Community College in Montana. The center will provide mentoring, training and research opportunities that include project funds through five research cores to scientists in Alaska and Montana.
American Indian and Alaska Native communities are reported to experience the most significant health disparities of any ethnic or racial group in the United States.
“Our goal is to build both Alaska’s and Montana’s capacity to successfully address the health priorities of American Indian and Alaska Native people,” said Boyer.
UAF will lead the community engagement and outreach core.
“The UAF core will provide guidance in community-based participatory research and offer regional support to navigate the development of respectful research partnerships with American Indian and Alaska Native people in Montana and Alaska,” said Scarlett Hopkins, clinical/translational center core director and CANHR community engagement and clinical support core director.
Hopkins will lead a team of site directors at the University of Montana, Montana State University, Blackfeet Community College, and Southcentral Foundation in developing an innovative case study curriculum based on American Indian-Alaska Native research experiences from study sites in Alaska and Montana designed for scientists new to community-engaged research.
“Regional clinical research navigators will support investigators in the development and implementation of culturally appropriate translational research with American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” said Hopkins.
The other cores address professional development, pilot research projects, epidemiology and biostatistics, research design and evaluation.
“We anticipate this collaboration will grow sustainable programs in Alaska and Montana that will result in improved health of the communities we strive to serve,” said Boyer
Bert Boyer, professor, director, Center for Alaska Native Health Research, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, email@example.com, 907-474-7733
Scarlett Hopkins, director, community engagement and clinical support core, Center for Alaska Native Health Research, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, firstname.lastname@example.org, 907-474-5693
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U54GM115371. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.