and majority academic institutions to assess the needs and opportunities for building environmental health research and training capacity for underserved populations. In addition, a state-of-the-art Molecular Research and Training Center has been established at a local (Durham, North Carolina) high school that is attended by a large number of African-American students.
NIEHS sponsors several programs designed to increase the number of minority scientists involved in biomedical research, increase the levels of awareness and participation of minorities in NIEHS and NIH intramural and extramural activities, and facilitate cooperative research between minority and majority scientists on the health problems that may disproportionately affect minorities and lower-income populations. For example, the Minority Faculty Development program is designed to strengthen the ability of minority institutions to provide instruction of the environmental health discipline.
NIAID supports a number of research projects relevant to cancer among minority and medically underserved populations. This research focuses largely on cancer associated with AIDS and neoplastic complications of HIV infection, notably Kaposi's sarcoma, but also includes basic studies of the abnormal proliferation of immune cells and immune responses to cell proliferation. Given that HIV infection disproportionately affects ethnic minority populations, particularly African-American and Hispanic communities, NIAID's portfolio of research in this area is highly relevant to the overall NIH effort to address cancer among minority and medically underserved populations.
As noted above, NIAID supports the fourth-largest portfolio of cancer research among NIH ICDs, with $43 million in funding for 177 cancer-related research projects in FY 1997. Of these, NIAID reports that 63 projects, with funding totaling $4.49 million, are relevant to minority and medically underserved populations.
Through a range of intramural and extramural programs, NIAID directs a large national clinical trials network that tests and provides therapies for the treatment and prevention of HIV infection and its complications. These programs have enjoyed, on the whole, significant success in