UCSC-MIRT Research Training Program

Biomedical Research in the Natural Environment of Argentina and Mexico

New Zealand Projects  Link 1
 New Zealand Projects Link 2

Please select from one of the links below in order to learn more about Biomedical field and lab work being done by MIRT around the world.

Since 1994 the UCSC-MIRT (Minority Biomedical Research Training Program at University of California, Santa Cruz) sponsored by the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health has provided training to underrepresented minority students and women whose aspire to professional research careers in the biomedical sciences. The long term objective of UCSC- MIRT is to actively engage underrepresented minority students in on-going, long term international, biomedically relevant research projects conducted in environment in collaboration with students and faculty from the host country. With a long tradition of both graduate and undergraduate research training, UCSC offers challenging and unique biological field research opportunities that combine rich and stimulating cultural experience with productive and creative scientific research training. These experiences have provided UCSC-MIRT students with broader international scientific and educational perspectives, increased self confidence and independence, plus substantial improvements in technical expertise. This has resulted in a satisfying increase in the number of UCSC underrepresented minority students choosing advanced scientific training and consequently the leadership of the next generation of biomedical scientists and academic faculty. The research will focus on the biology of the several vertebrate species along the Patagonian coast of Argentina and the Gulf of California in Sonora, Mexico.

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In Argentina , studies will focus on physiological studies of the Southern elephant seal which serves as a unexpected and unique model of mammalian obesity, the physiology long term food and water abstinence. Recently, results of these investigations have been shown to have clinical implications in the management of several severe human pathologies that disproportionately impact domestic minority populations as well as populations in several emerging countries in the Americas and the Pacific Rim. These include: 1) morbid obesity and related conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal insufficiency and 2) early childhood developmental pathologies resulting from malnutrition and starvation.

In Mexico , MIRT students will be involved in a long term, multidimensional investigation of the effects runoff pollutants on the food web of the Gulf of California (Sea Of Cortez) especially the impact on top predator index species of marine mammals, birds and humans. The health of the food chain and fisheries of the Gulf of California has enormous health and economic consequences for the citizens of Mexico.

The UCSC-MIRT program not only makes direct scientific contributions to these vital studies but will do so while providing MIRT students with unique scientific training in a field of immediate biomedical relevance.

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