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News from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Stories from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston)

UTHealth Houston ranks among best in U.S. in research funding

Written by: Faith Harper | Updated: February 19, 2024

A woman in a lab with instruments. (UTHealth Houston file photo)

UTHealth Houston is a national leader in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding, according to annual rankings released by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

The annual rankings evaluate institutions, departments, and investigators based on the funding they receive from the NIH over the previous federal fiscal year. See the full list on the   organization’s website .

Three UTHealth Houston schools were ranked No. 1 in Texas, including Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston, UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry, and UTHealth Houston School of Public Health. McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston also ranked highly, with several individual departments ranking No. 1 in Texas as well as in the top 20 in the nation.

“These Blue Ridge Research Institute rankings represent substantial growth in our research enterprise and is possible because of the visionary leadership of our President, and unwavering dedication and hard work of our faculty to improve the health of our community,” said Jagat Narula, MD, PhD, executive vice president and chief academic officer. “The surge in the NIH research funding highlights the collective prowess of UTHealth Houston as a premier academic medical center, showcasing our investigators spanning across all colleges as the trailblazers at advancing the forefront of clinical care and public health practices for the benefit of the state of Texas.”

Cizik School of Nursing

Cizik School of Nursing ranks No. 1 in Texas and No. 18 nationally among nursing schools that received research funding from the NIH in 2023.

The school’s ranking rose 20 positions from No. 38 year over year, with $5.3 million in grants funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research and other NIH institutes.

“Faculty at Cizik School of Nursing research a wide variety of topics with a common goal of improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations,” said   Constance Johnson , PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean for research at the school. “I am proud to lead a group of stellar nurse scientists who are improving the lives of patients, families, and populations in our local communities and far beyond.”

Read more about the school’s research projects on its   website .

School of Dentistry

The School of Dentistry also ranks No. 1 in Texas, and placed No. 10 nationally among dental schools.

According to the agency, the School of Dentistry reported $7.7 million in research grants funded the National Institute of Health through September 2023.

“The school of dentistry is uniquely suited to be among the top research-focused dental schools in the world,” said Mary "Cindy" Farach-Carson, PhD, associate dean for research and director of Clinical and Translational Research. “Surrounded by the incomparable resources of the Texas Medical Center institutions, our exceptional faculty are poised to tackle the top research challenges in oral health, oral biomaterials and craniofacial biology. Oral health is essential to overall health, thus the opportunity to partner with other UTHealth Houston schools and TMC institutions allows our researchers to successfully compete for funding to provide new tools and solutions to transform oral and overall health care delivery.”

School of Public Health

The School of Public Health also ranked No. 1 in Texas, and placed 15 th   nationally.

According to the agency, the School of Public Health reported $24.8 million in research grants funded by NIH through September 2023.

“Our school of public health has continued to achieve exceptional national rankings, which is a testament to our esteemed faculty's hard work and dedication,” said Susan Tortolero Emery, PhD, SPH, senior associate dean of Academic and Research Affairs. “I am proud to report that our faculty's efforts have resulted in a remarkable 44% increase in NIH funding over the past five years. This impressive growth clearly indicates our faculty's commitment to excellence in public health research.”

McGovern Medical School

Overall, McGovern Medical School placed 53rd nationally in research expenditures, with $112.3 million in NIH funding coming to the school through September 2023.

The rankings also evaluate funding to specific disciplines within the medical school, and five departments moved up into the top 20 in the nation.

“The NIH funding increases we see across McGovern Medical School departments are a direct result of the incredible work by our faculty and research staff,” said Executive Dean John Hancock, MA, MB, BChir, PhD, ScD. “Our research of today translates to the health of tomorrow.”

The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery ranked No. 4 in the nation, with $18.2 million in NIH funding, and the Department of Neurology placed at No. 17 with $18.3 million. Both ranked as the No. 1 in Texas.

The Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine ranked No. 13 nationally with $7.6 million in funding.

The Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, which Blue Ridge categorizes under physiology, ranked No. 14 with $12.1 million in NIH grants.

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ranked No. 17 in the nation with $12.4 million on NIH grants.

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PhD Candidate Explores Link Between Protein Intake and Health Outcomes

Written by: Jana Satterwhite | Updated: March 29, 2024

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Ji Yun Tark, MPH, a PhD candidate in epidemiology at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, is investigating the associations between protein consumption and hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD). For Tark, the complex link between nutrition and health outcomes is critical for public health research.

Tark will defend her dissertation studies this April, examining the associations of protein consumption with incident hypertension and CVD in the multi-ethnic US adult population. Unlike previous research that primarily examined protein intake in general, Tark emphasizes the significance of investigating protein consumption by food source. She explains that the variations in amino acid compositions or associated nutrients in foods containing protein may lead to differing effects on health outcomes based on the source of the protein.

Tark currently works as a graduate research assistant with Associate Professor Marcia de Oliveira Otto, PhD, from the Department of Epidemiology. This role allows Tark to be involved simultaneously in three observational studies aimed at understanding the intricate relationship between nutrition and health.

As a part of Otto’s research group, Tark’s primary focus lies in investigating the patterns of low-quality diet among individuals with oropharyngeal cancer during the acute, extended, and permanent stages of cancer survivorship. This prospective study involves collecting data from MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, including patient dietary information, to examine their dietary patterns and nutritional status for further research. 

Reflecting on her academic journey, Tark recounts her pursuit of education in nutrition and public health, spanning across countries from South Korea to the U.S. Despite facing challenges such as disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she remained resilient in her quest for knowledge and contribution to public health research.  

Looking ahead, Tark aspires to continue her career as an epidemiologist, exploring diverse disease domains while focusing on nutrition-related research. Her dedication to unraveling the complexities of nutrition and its impact on health underscores the importance of ongoing research in public health.   

As she prepares to defend her dissertation, Tark remains committed to advancing scientific knowledge and contributing to improving global health outcomes.

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News & Events

Chppr and healthy futures of texas collaborate to evaluate impact of opt-in sexual health education policy in texas.

CHPPR investigators and Healthy Futures of Texas collaborated to conduct a first-of-its-kind evaluation of a diverse, bipartisan sample of Texas school representatives to determine the impacts of Texas’s new sex education opt-in law, which requires written parental consent for sex education or abuse prevention instruction.

The Buzz on Genome Editing

Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes such as malaria, Zika, and dengue pose significant global public health concerns. Researchers at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health are responding by launching a novel mosquito vivarium to develop genetic strategies for controlling these diseases.  

Study assessing elementary school teachers’ health outcomes and dietary behaviors published

The study found that 32 percent of teachers reported being food insecure, indicating a chronic lack of access to enough food in their household. Teachers consumed less than recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fiber, dairy, and calcium but consumed more sugar than daily recommendations.   

CATCH Healthy Smiles: Transforming Children's Oral Health through Healthy Nutrition and Dental Care

UTHealth Houston School of Public Health's CATCH Healthy Smiles program transforms smiles through nutrition.

Connecting Data Points in Healthcare Management: Juan Nañez

Students in the first cohort of the executive-style MPH in Healthcare Management program in El Paso will graduate in May 2024. Celebrate with us as we share their journeys and explore how they are making an impact on their community.?

Sarnowski and BU School of Public Health Identify Novel Genetic Variants Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

Data collected from th e study , done in collaboration with Boston University School of Public Health, can inform researchers of specific genetic variants that put people at risk of developing Alzheimer's d isease and tailor future treatment plans.  

MD/MPH: The Perfect Match

Dual-degree students completing their Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Public Health (MPH) at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health reached the pinnacle moment they set their sights on when first entering graduate school.

Meet Carol Huber, DrPH, a School of Public Health alumni and the newest faculty member in San Antonio

The first time Carol Huber looked at the application for a doctoral program she couldn’t even start it. Her two young daughters and a full-time job kept her busy, and the idea of adding anything else to her life made her feel overwhelmed.

Honarvar, second-year MPH student, credits personal experiences for interest in public health.

For Saam Honarvar, life took an unexpected turn when his beloved grandfather died of complications due to diabetes. The turn intersected with public health and Honarvar decided to pursue an MPH in Epidemiology at UTHealth Houston.

NPHW: Alumni Career Panel: Exploring Options in Public Health

12:00:00 PM - 1:30:00 PM WebEx; In-Person; Houston RAS 102A

Dissertation Defense by Shannon S. Kenyon, MBA: The Role of Leadership in the Sustainment of Evidence-based Practice Change

3:30:00 PM - 4:30:00 PM Zoom

Dissertation Proposal Defense by Bailey Perez, MPH, CPH: Building Futures: How the Built Environment, Out-of-School Time Programs,

9:00:00 AM - 10:30:00 AM TEAMS

Thesis Presentation by Saam Honarvar, BS

10:30:00 AM - 11:30:00 AM Bluebonnet classroom - Dallas Trinity Towers 2777 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 8400, Dallas, TX 75207

National Public Health Week: Dean's Chat

12:00:00 PM - 1:00:00 PM Please see link for location details

Tucker's Law & Best Practices in Youth Substance Misuse Prevention

1:00:00 PM - 2:00:00 PM GoTo Webinar

Dissertation Defense by John S Finnell, ND, MPH, MS, DiplOM, LAc: The Interdisciplinary Management of Complex Chronic Pain and Comorbid Psychiatric Symptoms in Veteran Populations

2:00:00 PM - 4:00:00 PM Austin Regional Campus Room6.354 (and via WebEx)

Dissertation Defense by Xinyang Jiang: Addressing Subject Heterogeneity in Time-dependent Discrimination for Biomarker Evaluation

3:00:00 PM - 4:30:00 PM WebEx

Dissertation Defense by Layla Haidar, DrPH (c), MPH: Using a Mixed-Methods Approach to Assess and Address Family-Level Influences on Childhood Obesity

4:00:00 PM - 5:30:00 PM Presentation will be held via Teams

Practice Day 2024

10:00:00 AM - 11:00:00 AM RAS Auditorium

Dissertation Defense by Maha Almohamad, MS: Exploring The Complex Relationship Between Food Security, Nutrition Security,

11:00:00 AM - 1:00:00 PM Microsoft Teams

Dissertation Defense by Diane Lopez, MPH: Addressing Health Disparities Among Low-Income Hispanics Through a Community Health Work

10:00:00 AM - 11:30:00 AM Webex

32nd James H. Steele, DVM Annual Lecture featuring Rick L. Tarleton, PhD

12:00:00 PM - 1:00:00 PM RAS building, 1st floor auditorium

Dissertation Defense by Joon Kyung Nam, MPH: Using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) and wearable devices to study e-cigarette

3:00:00 PM - 4:00:00 PM WebEx

Dissertation Defense by Mallika Mathur, MPH: Impacts of sociodemographic factors on age of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis

8:30:00 AM - 10:00:00 AM School of Public Health 1200 Herman Pressler (RAS E-605)

CHW Grassroots & Community Advocacy Day

2:00:00 PM - 5:00:00 PM Hiram Clarke Multiservice Center

Dissertation defense by Hanxiao Sun, BS, MS: A Continuous Local Ancestry Measure for Efficient Local-ancestry-aware Association Te

3:00:00 PM - 5:00:00 PM WebEx

Dissertation Defense by Ji Yun Tark, MPH: Associations of protein intake with risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease

2:00:00 PM - 3:30:00 PM RAS W608

Houston Seminar: National Implementation of an Evidence-based HIV Prevention Program among Bahamian Adolescents

11:30:00 AM - 12:30:00 PM RAS-101, 1200 Pressler St, Houston, TX, 77030

The Impact of Covid-19 on the Relationship Between Adult Medicaid Beneficiary Characteristics and Experience

9:00:00 AM - 10:00:00 AM WebEx

Get to Know a DSHS Program - Center for Health Statistics

3:30:00 PM - 4:30:00 PM Teams

Dissertation Defense by Joonha Chang: Latent Classification of Multi-model Non-homogeneous Continuous-time Markov Chains

1:00:00 PM - 3:00:00 PM RAS E-549, https://uthealth.webex.com/meet/joonha.chang.1

Thesis Presentation by Ashley Gilliam, BS: Investigation of Discrepancies in Oxygen Level Measurements of Traumatic Brain Injury..

1:30:00 PM - 2:30:00 PM Microsoft Teams

Community Health Worker Workshop

8:30:00 AM - 1:00:00 PM 6005 Westview Dr 6005 Westview Drive Houston, TX 77055

UTHealth Houston School of Public Health Admitted Students Day 2024

11:00:00 AM - 1:00:00 PM Virtual

Dissertation Defense by Lauren M. Leining, MPH: Epidemiology of Vector-borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases on TX-MX Border

11:00:00 AM - 1:00:00 PM E-01 or virtual

Thesis Presentation by L Priya Reddy, MBBS

2:00:00 PM - 3:00:00 PM WebEx

Dissertation Proposal Defense by Brooklyn Baker, MPH: Underlying Influences of Birthweight Status

2:00:00 PM - 3:00:00 PM Austin Campus - 1616 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701 (UTA 6.362)

Dissertation Defense by Morgan Jibowu, MPH: Population Dynamics of Medically Important Mosquitoes in Harris County, Texas

2:30:00 PM - 4:00:00 PM 1200 Pressler St, E-705, Houston, TX

Best Practices in Youth Nutrition Education

12:00:00 PM - 1:00:00 PM Zoom

Uplifting Contextual and Experiential Evidence: Strategies to Strengthen Evidence-Based Decision Making

Seadrift free film screening and panel discussion with director tim tsai.

5:30:00 PM - 7:30:00 PM UTHealth Houston School of Public Health - RAS Auditorium, 1st floor 1200 Pressler, Houston, TX 77040

Greater Houston Maternal Behavioral Health Roundtable :Supporting the Non-Clinical Workforce in Perinatal Behavioral Health

10:00:00 AM - 12:00:00 PM DePelchin Children's Center, 4950 Memorial Dr. Houston, TX 77007

Greater Houston Maternal Behavioral Health Roundtable - "Supporting the Non-Clinical Workforce in Perinatal Behavioral Health"

International symposium on one health research: improving food security and resilience.

8:00:00 AM - 5:00:00 PM Galveston, TX

Training Program: UH Community Health Workers Initiative

8:00:00 AM - 2:00:00 PM University of Houston’s Student Center South, 4455 University Drive Houston, TX 77204-3049

Exceptional nursing careers begin with access to growing health systems

The profession of nursing – and the ways aspiring nurses are prepared for their careers – will see profound change over the next few years. By 2030, the profession of nursing will look very different , as will the landscape of health care. At every level, leadership is needed to provide clear, strategic and sustained direction and to ensure health equity is a priority. And technology continues to take on an ever-more important role.

At Thomas Jefferson University College of Nursing , the challenges presented by the changing health care landscape are inspiring unique opportunities to transform nursing education. 

With over 130 years of educating nurses, Jefferson College of Nursing is a model for graduating nurses who provide exceptional patient care that drives high-quality outcomes. Jefferson-educated nurses serve as health care innovators, leading from day one.

A forward-looking approach to health care

The College’s Dixon campus is an example of a forward-looking approach to health care. Located in Philadelphia’s northern suburbs in Horsham, PA, near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the facility provides easier access for students from that area who might find it difficult to reach the College’s Center City Campus .

The Dixon Campus accommodates several hundred nursing students and offers small class sizes, free parking, and access to public transportation hubs. Notably, clinical rotations include the growing Jefferson Health system. In 2020, thanks to  Edith R. Dixon, the campus made its new home in this 42,000-square-foot high-tech complex named for its chief benefactor.

Multiple scholarship opportunities are available

In addition to providing more convenient physical access to nursing education through its suburban Dixon campus, Jefferson College of Nursing offers a wide range of scholarship opportunities for prospective students, including the Raynier Scholarship for up to $5,000 per year and the Diversity in Education & Nursing Excellence Scholarship for up to $15,000 per year.

Three BSN program options to balance school-life schedules

To accommodate career goals while balancing the complexities of school-life schedules, students have three Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program options, including a traditional BSN targeted toward students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree and an accelerated option for second-degree students. The accelerated option is offered on a one-year or two-year pathway. The starting salary range for BSN graduates is $62,000 to $86,000.

Thomas Jefferson University BSN students have opportunities to gain health care experience while immersed in the BSN through externships with our partner health system, Jefferson Health. Upon graduation, Jefferson graduates can avail themselves of an early-hire program with one of the largest health systems in the Philadelphia region, Jefferson Health. The Jefferson Health nurse community is 9,600 strong with full-time and part-time nursing employees.

Experience clinical technologies of tomorrow

At the Jefferson College of Nursing, technology isn’t just used as part of nursing student education; it is fully integrated. Technology is driving everything – from academics to patient engagement and everything in between.

In 2021, Jefferson was the first college of nursing in the state of Pennsylvania to become an Apple Distinguished School . Apple Distinguished Schools use technology at the highest levels, preparing learners to excel in sophisticated technological environments. The College incorporated Apple technologies into all classrooms and simulation rooms so students can get firsthand experience with the clinical tech of tomorrow.

The Raynier Institute & Foundation Center for Advanced Education, Simulation, & Innovation Center

Jefferson College of Nursing’s Dixon campus features the large-scale, state-of-the-art Raynier Institute & Foundation Center for Advanced Education, Simulation, & Innovation Center, where students engage in complex clinical scenarios that parallel, anticipate and amplify real-life situations at the next level. This Center enables expert simulation faculty to create engaging and realistic experiences that accentuate what students learn in the classroom and are exemplars of the curriculum.

Applying the latest technology to transform the educational process

Virtual reality and 3D printing simulate specific nurse experiences in the field in a safe and secure learning environment. Artificial intelligence is used so nursing education remains dynamic throughout a student’s academic career at the College.

While other learning institutions use virtual reality simulation, the College’s Dixon campus uses the technology as a bridge to competency-based learning. Students can hone their clinical skills by first interacting with patients and health care scenarios in a virtual reality environment and then in our simulation center before moving into the real-world clinical environment. Virtual reality also enables nursing students to safely experience today’s growing health care issues, including workplace violence.

In keeping with Jefferson College of Nursing’s commitment to applying the latest technology to transform the educational process, the Dixon campus is equipped with state-of-the-art 3D printers that produce a wide range of sophisticated learning tools used to practice invasive skills in the safe environment of a lab. 3D technology creates simulated body parts and other materials that make the learning experience more realistic.

Practice clinical skills through a capstone program in Italy

The Jefferson College of Nursing offers students an innovative opportunity to be part of improving education and health care on a global scale through a four-week undergraduate clinical capstone program in Italy .

Students work with the staff of Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli Hospital/Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore . This initiative is a regular offering for undergraduate students, functioning as a bridge between the end of school and the beginning of a career. It allows nursing students to put what they've learned into practice. There is no better way to offer experiential learning than to immerse students in an environment that challenges their thinking and enhances their nursing skills. This year, nurse practitioner students can engage in this global experience.

Graduates prepared for what the real world demands

The difference at the Thomas Jefferson University College of Nursing is that students don’t just leave school with a great education.  They graduate prepared for what the real world will demand of them. And for making a real difference in the communities they will serve.

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School of Nursing

DNP Students Present Doctoral Research Projects

(March 28, 2024) — The School of Nursing’s ninth annual Doctoral Scholars Day showcased more than two dozen final research projects conducted by students from the Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. 2024 marks the 10th anniversary of the initiation of the DNP program, the first nursing doctoral program at the school.

“Their work reflected an amazing persistence in exploring the roots of quality and health equity issues in health care delivery,” said Margaret “Peggy” Slota, DNP, RN, CNS, FAAN, professor of nursing and director of DNP graduate studies.

Twenty-eight students presented and defended their doctoral projects on March 22 and 23 at Georgetown. The students begin conducting research for their required doctoral project at the start of their program. Both programs are distance-based and combine online classes with in-person learning experiences that allow participants to receive a Georgetown education without leaving their communities.

Slota said the work represents a wide and diverse variety of ideas for quality improvement to be implemented in health care locations all over the United States.

“We are committed to providing our doctoral students with a rigorous curriculum and consistent mentoring in class and individually,” Slota said. “During their presentations, you can see their ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice in diverse cultures and communities as scholar practitioners.”

Information about the 2024 projects can be found on the Doctoral Projects webpage .

Scenes From Doctoral Scholars Day

A student wearing a lei presents her research

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USF Health College of Nursing Launches New Hospice and Palliative Care Graduate Certificate Program for Nurses

  • March 25, 2024

Current News

In response to the increasing need for skilled professionals in end-of-life care, USF Health College of Nursing has launched a graduate certificate program in Hospice and Palliative Care. This program will equip registered nurses with the education, training, and clinical hours required to take the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN®) exam. 

The USF Health College of Nursing Hospice and Palliative Care Certificate is an online training program consisting of six courses taken over three semesters. Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate proficiency in pain management, symptom assessment, interdisciplinary teamwork, and effective communication with patients and families in hospice and palliative care settings. 

USF nurse treats elderly patient

“End-of-life care is a critical part of our practice as nurses,” said Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN, FSBM, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the College of Nursing. “We are dedicated to teaching nursing students how to provide compassionate and comprehensive care. This program enables us to equip both registered nurses and advanced practice nurses, with the skills to address an urgent growing healthcare need."

Florida has a growing population of older adults, leading to an increase in chronic illnesses that require nurses with specialized training to meet their unique needs. 

“We are pleased to announce that applications will be accepted until August 1, 2024,” said associate professor and program director, Janet Roman, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, CHFN, ACHPN. “Patients have better outcomes when cared for by certified nurses, which is paramount.”

Certified hospice and palliative care nurses have increased competence and confidence in practice with sharpened skills and knowledge as well as personal pride in accomplishment. For more information on this certificate, click here. 

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No matter where you are on your nursing journey – or where you want to go – Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston can help you achieve excellence. Choose one of our top-ranked graduate or undergraduate programs. Choose to build relationships with our exceptional faculty. Choose to grow your career in practice or pursue scientific discovery. Choose Cizik Nursing.

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Continuing professional development, choose your next step in nursing.

So many choices! Nursing offers many and diverse educational options and career opportunities. Whether you are a high-school student considering the nursing profession or an experienced nurse looking to expand your horizons, Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston can help you achieve excellence.

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The Cizik School of Nursing and Student Community Center building was designed with the future of nursing – and the planet – in mind. Sign up for an in-person campus tour , watch our virtual tour video , or learn more about our campus .

BSN student Kuriakose to present at Sigma International Research Congress

Honors Research student Sheryl Kuriakose, named a Rising Star of Research and Scholarship, has a passion for addressing issues related to HIV and substance use among people experiencing homelessness.

Kawi granted tenure, distinguished professorship

Professor Jennifer Kawi, PhD, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAAN, has been named a Lee and Joseph Jamail Distinguished Professor.

2024 PARTNERS Spring Luncheon

Author Ricardo E. Nuila, MD, delivers keynote address at event celebrating PARTNERS’ 30 th anniversary.

New website

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  • 2024 Dr. Chiara Acquati Named 2023 Research Seed Grant Recipient

Dr. Chiara Acquati Named High Priority Area Research Seed Grant Recipient

Dr. Chiara Acquati was awarded a High Priority Area Research Seed Grant to assess the feasibility and acceptability of eCARE (Ellipsis Caregiver Assessment Enhancement), a mobile Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled tool for monitoring depression and anxiety among racial and ethnic minority cancer caregivers.

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“This project strongly aligns with the mission of the Graduate College of Social Work and is centered on achieving social justice. By addressing health disparities and enhancing access to care for cancer caregivers from minoritized communities, the project exemplifies the college's commitment to creating more equitable healthcare environments,” said Dr. Acquati.

The collaboration between researchers from the Graduate College of Social Work, Ellipsis Health and the Kelsey Research Foundation made this project possible. Serving as the principal investigator (PI), Dr. Acquati led a multidisciplinary team with expertise in psycho-oncology, AI-enabled mental health assessment and community engagement. Dr. Michael Aratow, chief medical officer and co-founder of Ellipsis Health, contributed expertise in AI technology and app development, while Ms. Ashley Alexander, president and CEO of the Kelsey Research Foundation, facilitated collaborations with healthcare providers, oncology social workers and community programs for cancer caregivers, enhancing the project's capacity to develop and implement effective interventions tailored to their needs.

The impact of this study extends beyond academic advancements, offering tangible contributions to policy, practice and community well-being. By addressing health disparities, leveraging technology and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, the project has the potential to create lasting positive changes in psychosocial care delivery in oncology.

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    Dr. Chiara Acquati Named High Priority Area Research Seed Grant Recipient. Dr. Chiara Acquati was awarded a High Priority Area Research Seed Grant to assess the feasibility and acceptability of eCARE (Ellipsis Caregiver Assessment Enhancement), a mobile Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled tool for monitoring depression and anxiety among racial and ethnic minority cancer caregivers.