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for Addressing Health Disparities and Improving Health Outcomes

From the Director...

Jesus Angulo


The Hunter College Center for Translational and Basic Research (CTBR) is anticipating entering into a new and exciting realm of translational research. On March 7th 2017, we submitted the competitive renewal application of the RCMI grant to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). For the first time in the 30-year history of the RCMI Program at Hunter the CTBR researchers will engage in human behavior and clinical translational projects. The Program has evolved over the years from purely basic biomedical to human subjects clinical community engagement projects. We are doing this in partnership with the Weill Cornell Medicine CTSC who will make available to our clinical researchers their Health Hubs in East Harlem and the South Bronx including their outpatient clinics free of charge. Additionally, the CTBR is also partnering with the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing and the Silberman School of Social Work.
CTBR supported research in Basic Biomedical will mostly involve the Hunter cancer researchers at Weill Cornell Belfer Research Building. Their mission is to provide a better understanding of the biological mechanisms that account for cancer health disparities. The second tier of the CTBR is composed of clinical researchers working with human subjects to provide better targets for intervention to address health disparities. The third and final tier is composed of researchers from the schools of nursing and social work who are involved in community engagement projects to reduce health disparities in our population. We look forward to a new era for the Hunter RCMI Program with our partners and the unwavering support of the Hunter College Administration.



CTBR members Michael A. Hoyt and Tracey A. Revenson have been selected to serve as new Editors-in-Chief of the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, the official scientific publication of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine. The editorship will begin in 2018 for a 5-year term. 

April is National Minority Health Month—a time to raise awareness on issues impacting health disparities and health equity in America. The theme for 2017, Bridging Health Equity Across Communities, emphasizes the collaborative, community-level work being done across the nation to help achieve health equity. The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) leads the observance of National Minority Health Month. Throughout April, HHS OMH will lead with their partners in raising awareness about efforts across health, education, justice, housing, transportation and employment sectors to address the factors known as the social determinants of health – environmental, social and economic conditions that impact health.
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will host the Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) from August 14 - 18, 2017. The HDRI aims to support the research career development of promising minority health/health disparities research scientists early in their careers and stimulate research in the disciplines supported by health disparities science. The due date for submitting an application is May 12, 2017 at 11:59 EST. 


On May 15, 2017, we will host our 30th international annual symposium: Stress and Resilience: the science of adapting to a challenging worldThe symposium is co-hosted with Weill Cornell Medical – Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC).
Please encourage your students and lab members to submit abstracts for the symposium poster session which offers cash prize awards for the top three posters. This year will also include a Data Blitz which is a fast-paced overview of in-progress or recently completed research. Junior faculty, postdocs and graduate students, will have five minutes to present one slide of data followed by two minutes of Q&A.
Special Address:
What is the Role of Chronic Stress in Minority Health and Health Disparities?
Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, MD
Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Keynote Address:
Transcriptional and Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression
Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD
Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience, Chairman of the Department of Neuroscience, Director of the Friedman Brain Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center
A Convergent Stress Vulnerability Pathway Encoded by Emergent Spatiotemporal Dynamics
Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke Institute for Brain Science
Activating Resilience Mechanisms: A novel approach to treating depression
Allyson K. Friedman, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Hunter College of the City University of New York
Prefrontal Cortical Network Dynamics in Chronic Stress and Hyperexcitable Brain States
Conor Liston, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical
Maternal Control of the Infant Brain: Lessons from an Animal Model
Regina Sullivan, PhD
Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
Early experiences and cortical-subcortical brain development in humans
Nim Tottenham, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University
Resilience in the aftermath of civilian trauma: Is activation of inhibitory brain circuits protective?
Tanja Jovanovic, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine
Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: From Heterogeneity to Flexibility
George A Bonanno, PhD
Professor of clinical psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University
Concluding Remarks: Francis Lee, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry, Professor in the Department of Pharmacology
and Attending Psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine


We have accepted 5 students for the CTBR Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR).  These undergraduate researchers will work in CTBR member labs over an 8-week period starting in June. At the conclusion of the program they will present the results here at Hunter College and at the Leadership Alliance symposium, a consortium of higher education institutions which hosts summer researchers from across the nation. The Leadership Alliance symposium will be held in Hartford, CT during July 28-30, 2017.

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You can find past CTBR Newsletters here


The CTBR is supported by a Research Centers in Minority Institutions Program grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (8 G12 MD007599) of the National Institutes of Health, the Weill Cornell Medical College Clinical & Translational Science Center (2UL1TR000457-06) of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

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