Research Centers in Minority Institutions

Research Centers in Minority Institutions

Biomedical Research Center

  photo_biomed_clin_res1.jpg"Science that makes a difference. Biomedical innovation to reduce the health disparities in minority and underserved communities."

Overview, Specific Aims and Objectives                                

The vision of the Biomedical Research Center is to become nationally recognized for cutting edge research and research strategies that address the health and well being of vulnerable, underserved populations. The overarching goal of the RCMI BRC is to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research and apply novel research strategies to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities among vulnerable populations and underserved communities.

The stated objective of the RCMI BRC for which funding was awarded in 2000 was to provide the requisite research infrastructure at CDU to enhance, expand, and support institutional capacity to conduct state-of-the-art biomedical, clinical and bio-behavioral research relevant to the health of minority and disadvantaged populations. The Center has proven to be a critical resource and highly effective vehicle for expanding research capacity and enhancing research productivity of CDU investigators, of CDU Research programs and of the Institution as a whole.

Over the 2000 – 2005 funding cycle the center exceeded all its institutional and programmatic productivity goals (25-50% increase.) Since 2000 NIH research funding at CDU rose from $8.9 million to $25 million (280% increase), total number of NIH grant awards rose from 13 to 32 (146% increase), number of R series awards increased from 4 to 13 (225% increase) and peer review publications from RCMI supported investigators increased from 21 to 196 – an almost 10-fold increase. Over the last funding cycle the BRC successfully provided the requisite research environment to support the establishment of ten new NIH-funded research infrastructure centers at Charles Drew University, and three NCHMD-funded endowments worth 35 million dollars.


This grant is part of an NIH initiative to provide research infrastructure to leading scientists at frontline medical institutions directly serving vulnerable multicultural populations to facilitate the development of scientifically rigorous, culturally appropriate medical innovations in settings where disparities persist. The overall objective of the CDU RCMI program is to establish a sustainable augmentation of institutional biomedical research capability and to increase institutional research productivity with particular emphasis on research areas relevant to improving health in minority and underserved populations.

Specific Aims

The purpose guiding the center’s activities is to become a national research resource for eliminating health disparities by creating a critical mass of well trained research scientists engaged in biomedical and bio-behavioral research at the University, and increasing the quality and quantity of funded health disparities research projects conducted at CDU. The RCMI will leverage its strong interdisciplinary research capacity, community ties, relationships with established research institutions, and collaborative relationships with emerging minority research institutions to accomplish its purpose.

The overarching goal of the RCMI BRC is to foster collaborative, multidisciplinary research and apply novel research strategies to improve health outcomes and reduce of health disparities among vulnerable populations and underserved communities.

The Specific Aims of the RCMI BRC program are:

Specific Aim 1: Enhance the capacity to conduct health disparities research at CDU through recruitment of a critical mass of investigators and technical personnel

Specific Aim 2: Increase the ability of CDU faculty to compete successfully for health research support through faculty development, mentoring, and enhancement of research infrastructure (equipment, resources, and overall research environment.)

Specific Aim 3: Foster research translation through the assembly of multidisciplinary teams, the facilitation of cross disciplinary research collaborations and the leveraging of existing partnerships between CDU and established research institutions, emerging research institutions, and the community served by CDU.

Specific Aim 4: Increase institutional research productivity and research as reflected by publications, number of federal grants, and NIH funding.

The Director

Richard S. Baker, M.D.
RCMI Program Director
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
1731 East 120th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90059
Phone: (323) 563-5911
Fax: (323) 563-4889

Richard S. Baker, M.D., is a tenured, Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Charles Drew University and at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Baker is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a member of Phi Kappa Phi Public Health Honor Society. He is an expert reviewer for multiple national agencies including the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, the National Center for Minority Health Disparities, the National Center for Imaging and Biomedical Engineering, and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Baker’s primary research interests and accomplishments are in the areas of Ophthalmology, Telemedicine, Epidemiology and the multicultural aspects of health services research and health disparities. He has been the principal investigator for multiple scientific projects and is the author of over 100 scientific abstracts, articles, book chapters and invited presentations.

Dr. Baker received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Stanford University. He received a medical doctorate degree from Harvard Medical School and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postdoctoral training includes a fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, and a National Institutes of Health fellowship in chronic disease epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Currently, Dr. Baker serves Executive Director and co-founder of the Urban Telemedicine Centers of Excellence, the Associate Director of the Center for Eye Epidemiology at UCLA and co-founder of the Los Angeles Eye Institute.

RCMI BRC Research Cores

The RCMI BRC consists of four cores: an Administration Core and three research cores:

Administration Core

  • Specific Aims
  • Administration Core Faculty and Staff
  • Core Functions and Resources

Molecular Medicine Research Core

  • Specific Aims
  • Molecular Medicine Research Core Faculty and Staff
  • Core Functions and Resources

Informatics Research Core

  • Specific Aims
  • Informatics Research Core Faculty and Staff
  • Core Functions and Resources

Multidisciplinary Methods Research Core

  • Specific Aims
  • Multidisciplinary Methods Research Core Faculty and Staff
  • Core Functions and Resources

This program was funded by NIH/NCRR grant no. G12RR03026.