Diverse Scholars Welcomed to Summer Institute at Yale School of Public Health

The Yale School of Public Health and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) welcomed eight junior faculty from around the country for an intensive four-week program that included developing pilot research projects on HIV/AIDS and mentoring on community-based implementation science by top HIV researchers.

The fellows were part of the annual Summer Institute sponsored by the REIDS (Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars) from June 12 to July 7. REIDS seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minority academics in the field of HIV research.

During their time at Yale, the REIDS Fellows develop a pilot project proposal and were mentored on HIV community-based implementation science by top HIV researchers at CIRA. Each Fellow is eligible to receive a $20,000 grant to conduct their pilot study.

Now in its 7th year, REIDS has trained 26 scholars and helped position them for careers in HIV research. The National Institute of Mental Health refunded the program with a $1.3 million grant in 2015.

“REIDS has made a significant contribution toward increasing diversity in the field on HIV science,” said Professor Trace Kershaw, the program’s co-director. “The year’s fellows were particularly outstanding and I am confident that they will go on to make meaningful contributions.”

The 2017 Summer Institute featured daily seminars in implementation science, grant writing, and professional development, and included a day-long panel highlighting REIDS alumni who shared their experiences and advice in community-based research, as well as providing peer mentoring sessions with current fellows.

This year’s REIDS Fellows are:

  • Sarah Abboud, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Department of Women, Children and Family Health Science. Dr. Abboud’s research focuses on sexual health promotion among Arabs and Arab Americans, including examination of multi-level determinants that influence sexual behaviors and overall health throughout the immigration process.

Each year we get a little closer to our goal of a more diverse and representative scientific work force.

Trace Kershaw
  • Jasmine Abrams, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland. Dr. Abrams’ research interests include investigation of etiology, prevention, and treatment of health disparities experienced by marginalized individuals, with a special focus on persons of African ancestry and women.
  • Madina Agénor, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Agénor’s research interests include intersectional health and health care inequities, cancer screening and prevention among marginalized groups, social inequalities in women’s and girls’ health and health care, LGBTQ health and health care, and community-engaged research.
  • Keosha Bond, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Behavioral Science Training in Drug Abuse Research, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, Center for Drug Use and HIV Research. Dr. Bond’s research interests include HIV, Incarceration, drug use, social determinants, biomedical prevention, and e-health.
  • Dalmacio Dennis Flores, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Dr. Flores’ research interests include family-based HIV risk reduction targeting LGBTQ youth.
  • Jessica Jaiswal, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies, College of Global and Public Health, New York University. Dr. Jaiswal’s current research focuses on how medical and health-related mistrust may influence the ways in which young men who have sex with men think about and make decisions regarding their sexual health.
  • Isha Metzger, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Metzger’s research interests center on understanding risk behaviors (i.e., sexual activity, alcohol use) as well as risk and resilience factors (e.g., peer relationships, racial socialization and discrimination,) that impact youth outcomes (e.g., HIV contraction, unintended pregnancies, sexual assault) and inform engagement in and outcomes of culturally sensitive prevention and treatment programs.
  • Raquel Ramos, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Self and Family Management, Yale School of Nursing. Dr. Ramos’ research interests include participant-centric approaches that use technology as a bridge to convey complex information so that it is both useful and actionable.

The program is intended to meet the challenges and barriers to advancement experienced by diverse researchers who are underrepresented in the field of HIV research. It provides opportunities for fellows to develop the skills needed to conduct community-based implementation science research and advance HIV-inequalities research. The program is aimed at junior faculty—assistant professors or postdoctoral fellows—who are seeking educational support and mentoring.

“Each year we get a little closer to our goal of a more diverse and representative scientific work force,” Kershaw said.

This article was submitted by Elisabeth Ann Reitman on July 12, 2017.

Related People

Trace Kershaw

Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Director, Social & Behavioral Sciences Division