An Emerging Preeminent Program is a collaborative endeavor with high potential to be designated preeminent. With strategic support, an Emerging Preeminent Program could potentially build upon its distinctive merits, strengths, and successes to earn the Preeminent Program designation.
Brain, Behavior and the Environment Program
The Brain, Behavior and the Environment Program is a trans-disciplinary initiative at FIU that unites the dynamic and diverse neuroscience community at FIU toward three goals: to create and empower research programs focused on environmental causes of neurological disease, to devise strategies and develop treatments for neurological disorders using novel neuroscience and engineering tools as well as pharmacological approaches, and to establish a rich educational resource in South Florida to educate students, faculty, clinicians, the public, and health officials on the role that environmental factors play on neurological disease.
Cybersecurity@FIU focuses on digital defense and protection issues that impact the global cyber landscape and examines complex human and social questions related to privacy policies and trust. Taking a multi-faceted approach, the university combines technical cybersecurity strength in areas such as cyberphysical systems, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing and storage with complementary expertise in international and public affairs, business and law. These competencies together establish a comprehensive foundation for the continued advancement of research, education, workforce development and international capacity-building activities. Collaborative efforts that draw upon a wide variety of disciplines contribute to the kind of innovative, integrated exploration needed to both move forward and secure the world’s rapidly evolving digital technology arena.
FIU Tropics’ core objectives are to provide a comprehensive assessment of tropical biodiversity and its associated societal values, and to conserve and manage critically threatened tropical species and ecosystems. This Emerging Preeminent Program studies new and under-utilized crops and sustainable growing systems to improve food security and local livelihoods in South Florida and other tropical regions; develops products including medicine, food, beverages, cosmetics, and ornamentals to generate employment and revenue and to improve human health; creates data-driven solutions to conserving tropical biodiversity and ecosystem services of global importance, including clean water and carbon storage; and trains and recruits biodiversity scientists.
Health Inequities and Disparities Program
The Health Inequities and Disparities Program is a multidisciplinary group of faculty and students who are dedicated to advancing health inequity and disparity research by conducting community-based participatory research; determining the impact of HIV, substance abuse and ethnicity on health outcomes and barriers in access to healthcare; developing and testing culturally appropriate substance abuse and HIV prevention and treatment programs; partnering with community stakeholders in South Florida, the Caribbean, and beyond on real world approaches to reduce substance use/abuse and HIV; identifying and eliminating health inequities, health barriers, and health disparities associated with race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation; and developing the next generation of health inequities and disparities researchers through innovative technology and state-of-the-art methodologies.
Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center
The Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center promotes the study of Latin America and the Caribbean in Florida and throughout the United States. By forging linkages across the Americas through high- quality education, research is aimed at better understanding and addressing the most urgent problems confronting the region. The Center, funded by Title VI, is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Resource Center on Latin America, recognizing it as one of the top Latin American and Caribbean Centers in the world. The Center draws upon the expertise of one of the largest concentrations of Latin American and Caribbean Studies scholars of any university in the country. This Emerging Preeminent Program will continue strengthening its partnerships with other units throughout the university, such as the Digital Library of the Caribbean, to expand and deepen FIU’s strengths in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Translational Molecular Discoveries
The Translational Molecular Discoveries program builds upon the university’s existing Biomolecular Sciences Institute to integrate basic and applied research in support of human health and wellness. It comprises the work of dozens of faculty in institutes, centers and laboratories across the university as well as collaborations with health organizations, research centers and universities in Florida. Areas of focus include drug discovery to meet the urgent need for new therapies against cancer, antibiotic-resistant superbugs and neurodegenerative diseases; predictive biomarkers for personalized medicine and wellness; and control of mosquito-borne diseases by novel molecular approaches. State-of-the art research and collaborative engagement with the local and global communities is complemented by the high-level training of students in areas such as the use of mass spectrometry, animal models, bioinformatics and computational biology, among others, to ensure a talent pool critical for the growth of the biotechnology industry in South Florida and beyond.
The Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL)
The Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab fosters multidisciplinary research, teaching and outreach activities that encourage individuals and communities to reflect upon and celebrate diverse heritage, traditions and history. It takes advantage of FIU’s status as an urban research institution and its strategic location in Miami to capitalize upon the creative, scholarly and teaching expertise of faculty and curatorial professionals. The lab positions FIU as a leader within the emerging field of public humanities by leveraging the resources of the university’s three museums along with the research, teaching and production capacities of humanities departments within the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs, the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts and the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, including the Department of History's thriving Public History program. Innovative programming includes theatrical and musical performances, exhibitions and humanities festivals as well as the making and presenting of art, music, writing and oral histories in digital environments, while educational endeavors include the training of artists and storytellers as well as the preparing of leaders who will ensure that the arts and humanities remain accessible to everyone.
Future Preeminent Programs
We expect that there will be additional collaborations that will yield additional Preeminent Programs being named in the future. In the coming year, there are a number of programs that will be invited to apply for designation in the next round of reviews.