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Health Science Professionals, Students Invited to Attend Director's Regional Meeting on Aging and Health Disparities

Virgin Islands health science professionals and students studying health sciences are invited to participate in the Director's Regional Meeting of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to be held on the University of the Virgin Islands' St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses on April 7 and 8.

Hosting this prestigious meeting in the Virgin Islands is a first for UVI, according to Dr. Gloria Callwood, director of the Caribbean Exploratory NCMHD Research Center at UVI.

The meeting is designed to provide information on existing opportunities for research and training, provide hands-on technical assistance in grant writing, solicit advice on the design of new research opportunities, and to develop strategies for recruiting underrepresented students and investigators to the field of aging and health disparities research.

"This is a very important event," Dr. Callwood said. "It will give students and professionals the opportunity to interact with the directors of the Institute on Aging and the Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and with other national and local experts."

The featured speakers are NIA Director Dr. Richard J. Hodes, NIMHD Director Dr. John Ruffin, Dr. James S. Jackson, a professor at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Dr. Callwood.

The speakers will take questions on both days at the end of the morning sessions. Sessions will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Callwood also said there would be opportunities for direct interaction so that persons interested in applying to the NIA for grants can obtain critical information. "They will be sharing information about careers, research funding opportunities and how the NIH research mechanism works," she said.

The conference is free. However, registration is required and the deadline to sign up is Friday, March 25. To register, interested individuals should visit the NIH website at http://www.nia.nih.gov/NewsAndEvents/2011DirectorsRegionalMtg.htm and click on Web Registration. For additional information on this meeting contact Andrea Griffin-Mann at (301) 496-0765 or send e-mail to griffinmanna@mail.nih.gov. For information locally, call Lorna Williams-Sutton at (340) 693-1172 or send e-mail to lsutton@uvi.edu.