The Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) is an ambitious enterprise designed to promote the success of obesity focused research at three CCTR partner institutions – the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Tougaloo College, and the University of Southern Mississippi. The Center is funded by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) grant through the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences. This $19.8 million grant seeks to improve the health of Mississippians by providing the infrastructure needed to support obesity-related research across this multi-institutional venture.
To develop a powerful and sustainable research enterprise that will have an important public health impact by reducing obesity and its complications as well as health disparities in Mississippi.
Goals and objectives
The goals of the CCTR are to (1) provide the infrastructure needed to support a portfolio of research and a cadre of investigators that will succeed in addressing obesity and related disorders in Mississippi; (2) increase collaboration among disciplines and institutions that will integrate basic, clinical, and translational research on obesity and related disorders; and (3) improve health and health outcomes among Mississippians through new approaches to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of obesity and obesity related disorders.
The CCTR is intended as a hub that will increase the utilization of all research resources of the partner institutions to promote multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary clinical, translational, and community-engaged research projects.
Background in obesity
Between 1980 and the early 2000s, adult obesity (Body Mass Index greater than 30) has doubled in the U.S. Obesity is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancers, among other disorders, and each year may contribute to nearly 3 million deaths worldwide. Excess body weight contributes in up to 20 percent of cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. More people die from heart disease in the U.S., one in three deaths in 2008, than from any other cause.
Mississippi typically has among the highest rates of obesity in the nation, particularly among African Americans. According to a 2011-13 report by the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, Mississippi had the fifth highest rate of obesity among non-Hispanic white adults, at 30.7%, and the highest rate among African Americans, at 42.9%. In addition, Mississippi is one of only four states to have an average obesity rate of 35% or higher in adults. Thus, one in every three adults in Mississippi is considered obese. Worse still, according to The Mississippi Department of Health, 40% of Mississippi children are overweight or obese. There is a 40% increase in medical cost per year in an obese person compared to a non-obese person, according to the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research (MCOR).
The CCTR will focus on obesity, studying questions from basic biology to issues of diet and lifestyle, and seeking treatments, including efforts to change diet and exercise habits, that can help reduce obesity and the problems it causes and also reduce racial and ethnic disparities related to obesity.