The Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (BBRI) at North Carolina Central University has received a $5.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to help eliminate health disparities in minority communities.

NCCU Scientist will conduct research on four projects that focuses on cardio-metabolic diseases that disproportionately affect African-Americans. The project is administered by the Center for Translational Health Equality Research (CTHER) and led by the director of BBRI, K. Sean Kimbro, Ph.D., and associate professor Mildred A. Pointer, Ph.D., FAHA.

The NIH grant at BBRI is sponsored by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a United States government agency whose mission is to “promote minority health and to lead, coordinate, support, and assess the NIH effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities.”

On a Welcome Address at the agency’s website, Dr. John Ruffin, the Director of the NIMHD, notes how health disparities afflict so many American citizens. Ruffin said that the time to eliminate such gaps is now.

“Health of minorities and other health disparity populations has not benefited from our nation’s progress in scientific discovery due to a wide range and variety of disparities in health outcomes attributable to race, ethnicity, gender, or lack of access to health care,” Dr. John Ruffin said in the Welcome Address. “It is clear that the American people are deeply concerned about these health inequities.”

The BBRI at North Carolina Central University is a top flight biotechnology research institute dedicated to unearthing the mechanisms of disease and using that knowledge to pinpoint cures. In a statement, Director Kimbro said that the grant will be targeted to diseases that profoundly impact minority communities.

“With an investment of approximately $5 million over five years, the National Institutes of Health and the scientific community have given a strong statement of support and confidence in our research,” Kimbro said.

About North Carolina Central University:  North Carolina Central University is a historically black institution founded in 1910. With more than 8,300 enrolled at the university, North Carolina Central is recognized as the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans.