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Special Issue "Proceedings of Research Centers at Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Science 2017 Conference"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Elizabeth O. Ofili

Department of Clinical and Translational Sciences, Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Drive, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Emma Fernandez-Repollet

Department of Pharmacology, UPR Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, P.O. Box 365067, San Juan, PR 0936-5067, USA
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Karam Soliman

Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University, 1520 Martin Luther King Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
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Phone: 850 599 3306
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. William Southerland

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Howard University, 520 W Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059, USA
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou

Department of Biology, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Jackson State University, 1400 Lynch Street, Box 18750, Jackson, MS 39217, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 601 979 2349

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) for the publication of Proceedings of the Research Centers at Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Science 2017 Conference that was held from October 28, 2017 to November 02, 2017 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., USA. IJERPH is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Building on the successes of previous RCMI international symposia on health disparities, the 2017 Translational Science Conference highlighted the importance of basic, clinical, and population science collaborations to address minority health and health disparities. The conference participants including biomedical scientists and engineers, health care practitioners, trainees, clinicians, pharmacists, nurses and other allied health care professionals, and community and industry partners, discussed and developed research strategies and approached to eliminating health disparities. They also examined career development opportunities and discussed the best methods and approaches to train the next generation of biomedical and clinical workforce, as well as to engage community partners and industry collaborations. The conference featured research sessions addressing key environmental, cultural, socioeconomic, bio-behavioral, genetic and other factors related to health disparities. Several important topics were covered, including the following:

  • Behavioral and social sciences
  • Biomedical informatics and computational biology
  • Cancer health disparities research
  • Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease
  • Women, child and adolescent health
  • Clinical and transitional science research
  • Cellular and molecular biology of human diseases
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Environmental health and toxicology
  • Health literacy and health information technology
  • HIV and AIDS and Infectious diseases
  • Nanoscience and nanotechnology
  • Neuroscience and health disparities
  • Public health sciences

This Special Issue aims to showcase the excellence in research and scientific discoveries on the above-listed topics. Submission of full manuscripts of original research, comprehensive reviews and/or short communications on any of these topics presented at the conference is strongly encouraged. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, please go online at www.ijerph.com to register and submit it by the deadline of July 15, 2018. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All manuscripts will be thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. We anticipate publishing the Proceedings of this Special Issue in December 2018.

Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Ofili
Prof. Dr. Emma Fernandez-Repollet
Prof. Dr. Karam Soliman
Prof. Dr. William Southerland
Prof. Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication Suicide Stigma among Medical Students in Puerto Rico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071366
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
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Abstract
Suicide is a global public health issue and the 10th leading cause of death, regardless of age, in the U.S. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens with one of the highest rates of suicide ideation and attempts (SIA) among all Latino sub-groups. Research has
[...] Read more.
Suicide is a global public health issue and the 10th leading cause of death, regardless of age, in the U.S. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens with one of the highest rates of suicide ideation and attempts (SIA) among all Latino sub-groups. Research has found that stigma is a risk factor for SIA. Medical students are an important group to target as they engage in routine clinical interactions with potential suicide victims, playing an important role in suicide prevention efforts. However, these efforts may be hampered by suicide stigma. The purpose of this study is to examine the correlates of suicide stigma in a sample of medical students in Puerto Rico. We implement an exploratory cross-sectional design using quantitative techniques. A total of 123 medical students participate in the study. Bivariate analyses suggest that gender is significantly correlated to suicide stigma (p < 0.05). Hierarchical regression analysis suggests that suicide literacy (β = −0.196, p < 0.05) and emotional reaction to suicide (β = 0.212, p < 0.05) predict suicide stigma. Although preliminary, these findings echo previous research regarding the importance of literacy and emotional reaction in the stigmatization process. Future research may develop intervention strategies aimed at reducing suicide stigma among medical students. Full article
Open AccessArticle Clinical Relevant Polymorphisms Affecting Clopidogrel Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: Insights from the Puerto Rico Newborn Screening Program
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061115
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Background: Variations in several clopidogrel-pharmacogenes have been linked to clopidogrel response variability and clinical outcomes. We aimed to determine the frequency distribution of major polymorphisms on CYP2C19, PON1, ABCB1 and P2RY12 pharmacogenes in Puerto Ricans. Methods: This was a cross-sectional,
[...] Read more.
Background: Variations in several clopidogrel-pharmacogenes have been linked to clopidogrel response variability and clinical outcomes. We aimed to determine the frequency distribution of major polymorphisms on CYP2C19, PON1, ABCB1 and P2RY12 pharmacogenes in Puerto Ricans. Methods: This was a cross-sectional, population-based study of 200 unrelated “Guthrie” cards specimens from newborns registered in the Puerto Rican newborn screening program (PRNSP) between 2004 and 2014. Taqman® SNP assay techniques were used for genotyping. Results: Minor allele frequencies (MAF) were 46% for PON1 (rs662), 41% for ABCB1 (rs1045642), 14% for CYP2C19*17, 13% for CYP2C19*2, 12% for P2RY12-H2 and 0.3% for CYP2C19*4. No carriers of the CYP2C19*3 variants were detected. All alleles and genotype proportions were found to be in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE). Overall, there were no significant differences between MAFs of these variants in Puerto Ricans and the general population (n = 453) of the 1000 Genome project, except when comparisons to each individual parental group were performed (i.e., Africans, Europeans and East-Asians; p < 0.05). As expected, the prevalence of these markers in Puerto Ricans most resembled those in the 181 subjects from reference populations of the Americas. Conclusions: These prevalence data provide a necessary groundwork for future clinical studies of clopidogrel pharmacogenetics in Caribbean Hispanics. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Cross-Talk between Wnt and Hh Signaling Pathways in the Pathology of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071442
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequently occurring form of all cancers. The cost of care for BCC is one of the highest for all cancers in the Medicare population in the United States. Activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway appears to
[...] Read more.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequently occurring form of all cancers. The cost of care for BCC is one of the highest for all cancers in the Medicare population in the United States. Activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway appears to be a key driver of BCC development. Studies involving mouse models have provided evidence that activation of the glioma-associated oncogene (GLI) family of transcription factors is a key step in the initiation of the tumorigenic program leading to BCC. Activation of the Wnt pathway is also observed in BCCs. In addition, the Wnt signaling pathway has been shown to be required in Hh pathway-driven development of BCC in a mouse model. Cross-talks between Wnt and Hh pathways have been observed at different levels, yet the mechanisms of these cross-talks are not fully understood. In this review, we examine the mechanism of cross-talk between Wnt and Hh signaling in BCC development and its potential relevance for treatment. Recent studies have identified insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1), a direct target of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling, as the factor that binds to GLI1 mRNA and upregulates its levels and activities. This mode of regulation of GLI1 appears important in BCC tumorigenesis and could be explored in the treatment of BCCs. Full article
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Open AccessReview Racial Disparities and Preventive Measures to Renal Cell Carcinoma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1089; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061089
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract
Kidney cancer ranks among the top 10 cancers in the United States. Although it affects both male and female populations, it is more common in males. The prevalence rate of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which represents about 85% of kidney cancers, has been
[...] Read more.
Kidney cancer ranks among the top 10 cancers in the United States. Although it affects both male and female populations, it is more common in males. The prevalence rate of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which represents about 85% of kidney cancers, has been increasing gradually in many developed countries. Family history has been considered as one of the most relevant risk factors for kidney cancer, although most forms of an inherited predisposition for RCC only account for less than four percent. Lifestyle and other factors such as occupational exposure, high blood pressure, poor diet, and heavy cigarette smoking are highly associated with its incidence and mortality rates. In the United States, White populations have the lowest prevalence of RCC compared to other ethnic groups, while Black Americans suffer disproportionally from the adverse effects of RCC. Hence, this review article aims at identifying the major risk factors associated with RCC and highlighting the new therapeutic approaches for its control/prevention. To achieve this specific aim, articles in peer-reviewed journals with a primary focus on risk factors related to kidney cancer and on strategies to reduce RCC were identified. The review was systematically conducted by searching the databases of MEDLINE, PUBMED Central, and Google Scholar libraries for original articles. From the search, we found that the incidence and mortality rates of RCC are strongly associated with four main risk factors, including family history (genetics), lifestyle (poor diet, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol drinking), environment (community where people live), and occupation (place where people work). In addition, unequal access to improvement in RCC cancer treatment, limited access to screening and diagnosis, and limited access to kidney transplant significantly contribute to the difference observed in survival rate between African Americans and Caucasians. There is also scientific evidence suggesting that some physicians contribute to racial disparities when performing kidney transplant among minority populations. New therapeutic measures should be taken to prevent or reduce RCC, especially among African Americans, the most vulnerable population group. Full article
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Open AccessReview Alcoholism: A Multi-Systemic Cellular Insult to Organs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061083
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 13 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract
Alcohol abuse can affect more than the heart and the liver. Many observers often do not appreciate the complex and differing aspects of alcohol’s effects in pathophysiologies that have been reported in multiple organs. Chronic alcohol abuse is known to be associated with
[...] Read more.
Alcohol abuse can affect more than the heart and the liver. Many observers often do not appreciate the complex and differing aspects of alcohol’s effects in pathophysiologies that have been reported in multiple organs. Chronic alcohol abuse is known to be associated with pathophysiological changes that often result in life-threatening clinical outcomes, e.g., breast and colon cancer, pancreatic disease, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney disease, immune system dysfunction, hypertension, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, and can be as far-reaching as to cause central nervous system disorders. In this review article, we will discuss the various organs impacted by alcohol abuse. The lack of clear guidelines on the amount and frequency of alcohol intake, complicated by personal demographics, make extrapolations to real-life practices at best difficult for public health policy-makers. Full article
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