Sidney A. McNairy, Jr., Ph.D

Associate Director, National Center for Research Resources Director,
Division of Research Infrastructure

Keith C. Norris, M.D

Former Senior Vice President of Research and Professor of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine (CDU)

David Easa, M.D.

Senior Advisor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM)

James Perkins, PhD

Director, RTRN Data Coordinating Center
Professor
Founding Dean School of Science and Technology
Jackson State University

The RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN) consortium recognizes the tremendous contributions of Sidney A. McNairy, Jr., Ph.D. to the development and growth of the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program. An award-winning academician and retired senior-level federal grants administrator, Dr. McNairy championed the idea that researchers in minority and other small and developing institutions could compete with scientists at majority institutions if presented with the same resources and opportunities. During his long and stellar career, the RCMI program flourished, giving thousands of researchers access to scientific and educational resources and ensured that a diverse group of scientists contribute to the biomedical research advances that lead to improved health for all. As part of his legacy, Dr. McNairy presented the vision that would become the Research Centers in Minority Institutions TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH NETWORK, or RTRN.


In great support of Dr. McNairy's vision, the principal investigators and program directors of the 18 RCMIs convened in February 2002 to discuss the creation of a translational research network. United under a memorandum of understanding, the minority research universities, colleges and medical schools formed RTRN. For the first time in history, a network of minority institutions would collaborate to conduct highly structured multi-site studies focusing on minority populations. These multi-site studies would generate results that could be translated to major health benefits for communities traditionally underrepresented in health research.

Distinguished research investigators, Keith C. Norris, M.D., former Senior Vice President of Research and Professor of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine (CDU) and David Easa, M.D., Senior Advisor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) served as the first principal investigators and led the administrative development of the Network.

In 2007, working closely with James Perkins, Ph.D., they successfully established the Network’s Data Coordinating Center at Jackson State University, which continues to provide high-quality data management, statistical, technical and communications support for all Network collaborative research endeavors.

In 2009, RTRN initiated its first multi-site clinical trial to study the effects of Vitamin D3 on Vascular Functions between CDU and Morehouse School of Medicine. To-date, RTRN is becoming more active in translational research as its Research Coordinating Center under the leadership of Richard Yanagihara, M.D., at UHM, centralizes cross-institutional research projects between the RCMI institutions and community and industry partners.

RTRN leverages the scientific expertise, technologies and resources to accelerate the quality and pace of transformative research on diseases that disproportionately affect underserved populations and communities.
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