NIH News Release
National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Margo Warren

NINDS Funds Three New Specialized Neuroscience Research Programs at Minority Academic Institutions

Bethesda, Maryland — As part of its initiative to promote and enhance neuroscience research at minority institutions, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), in collaboration with the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), has funded three new Specialized Neuroscience Research Programs (SNRPs). The programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Meharry Medical College in Nashville and Hunter College in New York seek to encourage neuroscience graduate education among minority students and to stimulate new research on brain and nervous system disorders affecting minorities.

NINDS' support for these and other SNRPs is part of a larger effort to improve the health status of minority Americans and eliminate healthcare disparities through the funding of new neuroscience research by and for minorities. The National Institute of Mental Health collaborated with NINDS on the University of Alaska Fairbanks program.

"The institutions we've chosen are specially prepared to educate and guide young minority scientists," said Alfred Gordon, Director of the Office of Special Programs in Neuroscience, NINDS, and lead administrator of the SNRP initiative. "Through these awards, NINDS helps to develop the careers of future neuroscience health professionals who can assist us in reducing disease disparities in populations at increased risk for disorders of the nervous system."

Funding for the programs allows the institutions to build or enhance research facilities, to develop additional neuroscience educational programs and to strengthen the research capabilities of faculty and students.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks SNRP will study neuroprotective adaptation to stress by focusing on the mechanisms in the brain associated with hibernation, cell death, neuronal regeneration, circadian rhythms and thermoregulation. Meharry Medical College will examine cognition and the role of estrogen in brain's control of blood pressure. Research at Hunter College will center on damaged nervous system repair.

Six other SNRPs have been funded through a Specialized Center Grant Cooperative Agreements Award program since 1994. The other institutions are: University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Universidad Central del Caribe, University of Texas San Antonio, Howard University College of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine.

The NINDS, part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is the nation's leading supporter of research on the brain and nervous system. The NINDS is now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

This release will be posted on EurekAlert! At and on the NINDS website at