The mission of the Center for Biomedical Studies (C.B.S.) is to enhance the quality of life in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas through research programs aimed at addressing health concerns that will bring long-term benefits to the state and nation. Funding of this proposal also will have a direct and immediate impact on this predominately Hispanic area, which is historically under-represented and is one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the nation. As research programs begin to take shape, numerous training and employment opportunities for students, graduates, fellows, research assistants, and supporting staff will become available. It is expected that the local student population will fill the majority of these positions, which offer excellent salary and benefits as compared with the local salaries and wages. Furthermore, training and employment opportunities made available to The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC) students and graduates in research laboratories will provide highly technical and sought-after skills. Expertise and skills acquired at UTB/TSC will prepare graduates and trainees for medical, dental, allied health and graduate careers in the medical sciences and biotechnology fields, presently the fastest growing industry in the country. After advanced training, some of the UTB/TSC graduates will return to the Rio Grande Valley and make valuable contributions to the education and health care of the region.