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The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities—a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health—awarded North Carolina Central University a $16.3 million grant to study health issues that affect African Americans, the Triangle Business Journal reported.

The grant is the largest non-Title III grant received by NCCU, the news outlet wrote. The funding was a part of $122 million that was allocated to seven historically Black colleges and universities. It was given to NCCU for the establishment of a new Research Center in Minority Institutions. The new center will be dedicated to research surrounding health disparities. It will be overseen by the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute’s director Dr. Deepak Kumar, reports the source.

Some of the research will cover how stress is related to cardiometabolic disease, obesity, and breast cancer among African Americans. Dr. Kumar told The Business Journal that the grant will help “prepare the next generation of researchers” and build a solid foundation for furthering health disparities research.

NCCU Chancellor, Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, told HBCU Buzz that the grant will be imperative to tackling health issues faced by the Black community. “The significant research funding provided by the National Institutes of Health elevates North Carolina Central University’s noteworthy work investigating solutions to some of the nation’s toughest health disparities that persist as challenges to communities of color,” he said.

According to The Business Journal, NCCU has fostered partnerships Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University and N.C. State University to further the research.

Health disparities among communities of color have been pushed to the forefront of a national conversation as Obamacare continues to be a prevalent topic in Washington. A study released by The Commonwealth Fund illustrated that health disparities for Blacks and Latinos declined under the Affordable Care Act.

SOURCE: Triangle Business Journal, HBCU Buzz


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