NIMHD in the News - 2017
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NIH study uncovers clues about why common cancer drug causes hearing loss
December 19, 2017 — Scientists have found a new way to explain the hearing loss caused by cisplatin, a powerful drug used to treat many forms of cancer. Using a highly sensitive technique to measure and map cisplatin in mouse and human inner ear tissues, researchers found that forms of cisplatin build up in the inner ear. They also found a region in the inner ear that could be targeted for efforts to prevent hearing loss from cisplatin.
This Maryland festival is spreading smiles across the state: BTN LiveBIG
December 17, 2017 — As Dr. Stephen B. Thomas remembers, it was a story in the newspaper that started it all, the kind of story “that just won’t let you go.” “It was about an emergency dental clinic in a high school gym,” says Thomas, a Professor of Health Services Administration at the University of Maryland. “Five hundred people were turned away and hundreds more were lying out in the hot sun waiting to be seen.”
Maryland Study Shows Local Health Departments’ Efforts to Improve Mental Health Can Prevent Costly Hospitalizations
December 13, 2017 — More than half of preventable hospitalizations in Maryland are for people with co-existing mental health and chronic physical conditions. A new study by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers suggests that low-cost mental health programs provided by local health departments can play a critical role in preventing these costly and unnecessary hospitalizations.
UH attracts $23M federal investment to Hawaiʻi to reduce health disparities
December 12, 2017 — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa will receive more than $23 million from now through 2022 for a specialized center focused on advancing health for citizens who suffer disproportionately from genetic, environmental and socio-economic related disparities in health and health-care access.
Attacking Healthcare Inequality on the Local Level: Employing Community-Based, Culturally Tailored Approaches to Reducing U.S. Health Disparities
December 8, 2017 — In New York City’s Chinatown district, Mandarin-speaking case workers regularly visit an elderly couple in their fourth-floor walkup apartment to make sure they’re getting the health support they need. A few miles north in a low-income section of the Bronx, a psychiatric social worker working for a city-funded crisis intervention program gets a call from a local high school about a dangerously depressed student. Within two hours she is on the scene, working with the young woman and her high school guidance counselor to deescalate the situation and set up a long-term treatment plan.
NIMHD Takes the Lead in Expanding the Science of Minority Health and Health Disparities
December 4, 2017 — While the existence of health disparities in the United States is a robustly researched and documented fact, pinpointing the reasons why such gaps exist has proven more complicated. That pursuit, however, has turned health disparities and minority health research into scientific disciplines in their own right.
Probing DNA to Prevent Childhood Obesity
December 1, 2017 — Frequent exposure to intense stress in childhood increases risks for several grave health problems throughout life; heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse, and depression are among the unwelcome outcomes. But trouble from so-called “toxic stress” may start even earlier: in the womb, says Cathrine Hoyo, a genetic epidemiologist at N.C. State University.
Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health, UCLA study finds
November 22, 2017 — By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health, a UCLA study found. Comparing figures from 2006 through 2013, researchers found that more people were screened for diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette use and high blood pressure — all risk factors for heart disease — after the ACA was implemented than before.
HIV-Positive Adults Are Under-Treated for Cardiovascular Problems Compared to Those Without HIV
November 21, 2017 — People with both HIV and risk factors for heart disease and stroke were less likely to be treated with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and aspirin than patients without HIV. The researchers believe this to be the first national study comparing statin use in patients with and without HIV and the first extensive analysis using U.S. data.
Winston-Salem State University gets grant for diabetes prevention program
November 21, 2017 — Winston-Salem State University receive a $385,000 grant for a program at its School of Health Sciences. The money will be used to carry out a two-year diabetes prevention program for high-risk, low-income communities, the university said. The money was given from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and is designed to create a network of health care intervention programs (HBCUs) through historically black colleges and universities.
Two UH undergraduates win national awards for their health sciences research in Africa
November 16, 2017 — Two University of Hawaiʻi undergraduate scientists who conducted research in Africa through a program based at the John A. Burns School of Medicine have received national awards for their impressive presentations. Michael Fernandez and Jovikka Antallan each received travel support and the opportunity to present their findings at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Arizona. At the national conference, they were among fewer than two dozen students, from among several hundred participants, who earned “Outstanding Presentation” awards.
Global experts to discuss stigma of HIV and other conditions at Howard University
November 14, 2017 — Howard University and Howard University Hospital are set to bring together a full roster of international and regional community activists and health officials at its Eighth Annual International Conference on Stigma on Friday, Nov. 17. Phill Wilson of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles will be the keynote. Conference director Dr. Sohail Rana and the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health were recently awarded a conference grant from the National Institutes of Health. Grant funds support scholarships for participants who would not otherwise have been able to attend. The grant also supports sponsorship of a workshop aimed at junior minority researchers, including a post-conference mentoring program.
Duke launches center to promote health equity, reduce racial and ethnic disparities
November 5, 2017 — Aiming to make the health care industry more equitable, Duke has launched the Center for REsearch to AdvanCe Healthcare Equity, also known as REACH Equity. The center is funded by one of 12 grants awarded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities—a subunit of the National Institutes of Health.
Researchers to develop NIH-funded HIV prevention app for transgender women
November 2, 2017 — Researchers at Portland State University have teamed up with Oakland, California-based dfusion, a health tech startup focused on behavior change research, to develop a mobile app for HIV prevention among transgender women
Researchers awarded $3.7 million to study behavioral health risks of sexual minority adolescents
October 31, 2017 — Sheree Schrager, PhD, MS, an investigator at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and fellow investigator, Jeremy Goldbach, PhD, of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, have been awarded $3.7 million by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the NIH to study the behavioral health risks of sexual minority adolescents -those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Faculty members awarded for excellence in research
October 31, 2017 —Three faculty members were awarded the 2017 President’s Award for Research Excellence on Oct. 4. Recipients were selected by the university and external reviewers based on research accomplishments, publications and grant success. This award serves as a grant valued at $3,000 to faculty members for continuing their research.
Yale-Led Study to Examine Health Disparities in Senior Population
October 25, 2017 — A research team led by F&ES Professor Michelle Bell has received a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to examine environmental health disparities within the U.S. senior population.
Higher education notebook
October 23, 2017 — The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities named students from two Arkansas schools as Historically Black Colleges and Universities all-stars this year. Tiaara Anderson of Chicago and Nikolai Knight of Portland, Jamaica, are among the 61 all-stars named this year. Anderson is a senior at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, where she is studying English. Knight is a sophomore studying physics at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
UAMS Awarded $7 Million for Minority Health Disparities Research
October 19, 2017 — The Arkansas Center for Health Disparities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has been awarded a $7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for research on minority health disparities, including reducing tobacco smoke exposure among children in the Delta and studying HIV prevention among incarcerated African-Americans. The grant was awarded by the NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
FDA Warning Leads to Rise in More Invasive Fibroid Surgeries
October 17, 2017 — A Food and Drug Administration warning against a tool used to break up fibroid tissue during laparoscopic surgeries has led to a shift toward more invasive surgeries for hysterectomies for women with uterine fibroids, according to a new study by researchers at UCSF Health. The authors say this shift could have a detrimental effect for women with uterine fibroids, a common, non-cancerous condition that develops in up to 70 percent of women prior to menopause.
FIU to build health disparities research facility with $13.1 million grant
October 12, 2017 — Florida International University is building the state's first Health Disparities Research Center at a Minority Institution with a $13.1 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Professor talks bisexual research
October 11, 2017 — Howard Brown's Center for Education, Research and Advocacy hosted the Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium Oct. 7 at the JW Marriott Chicago. The symposium featured healthcare professionals, educators, researchers and advocates speaking on the theme, "Breaking the Stigma."
Grant helps NCCU address health disparities among minority groups
October 9, 2017 — North Carolina Central University is making waves in the world of biomedical research and announced Monday that it is the recipient of a multi-million dollar grant that will address health matters in the African-American community. NCCU understands the importance of research for health disparities. It’s such a priority that the institution is now the recipient of a $16.3 million grant to advance that research.
UTHealth Receives $3.3 Million Grant to Reduce Re-Arrest Rates Among Homeless Adults
October 6, 2017 — Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) hope to put a dent in the cycle of re-arrest and release among homeless adults with research on a smartphone app funded by a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Cook Center Grant to Support Study of Race, Religion, Health
October 3, 2017 — The Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University has received a $2.7 million grant to study the relationship between religion, spirituality and cardiovascular disease risks in African Americans.
NIH Provides Grant Support for Howard University International Conference on Stigma, Nov. 17
September 28, 2017 — Howard University Hospital’s Dr. Sohail Rana in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health has recently been awarded a conference grant of $49,000 from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Anti-Vaccine Tweets Increasing: Boulder Study
September 27, 2017 — Anti-vaccine sentiment is alive and growing on social media, with California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania showing the most negative tweets of any states, according to a new five-year University of Colorado Boulder study.
UNM awarded $7 million for integrated behavioral health thrust
September 27, 2017 — University of New Mexico researchers have been awarded a five-year $7 million federal grant that establishes a new center to develop more effective behavioral health interventions for the state’s under-resourced, racially, ethnically and geographically diverse communities.
Programming observes Mental Health Awareness Month in October
September 25, 2017 — The Misericordia University Department of Psychology Department and the Honors Exploration Program are observing Mental Health Awareness Month in October by offering a film screening with a panel discussion and a lecture that addresses societal stigmas attached to mental illness.
Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program participation may reduce health care costs
September 25, 2017 — A study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigator suggests that participation in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) may reduce health care costs for recipients.
Emory receives record $628 million in external research funding for FY 2017
September 25, 2017 — Researchers at Emory University received $628 million from external funding agencies in fiscal year 2016-2017. This marks the eighth consecutive year that research funding has exceeded $500 million, and with an increase from $574.6 million in FY16, is the largest amount of research funding in Emory's history.
Doctoral student receives grant to expand HIV testing among young African American women
September 7, 2017 — A Virginia Commonwealth University health psychology doctoral student has received a two-year, $69,194 grant to launch a research project aimed at increasing HIV testing among African American young adult women.
Jennifer Krupp, MD is First Recipient of the New NIH-ACMG Fellowship in Genomic Medicine Program Management
September 6, 2017 — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in partnership with the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) has selected Jennifer Lynn Krupp, MD as the first recipient of the new NIH-ACMG Fellowship in Genomic Medicine Program Management. The goal of this fellowship is to increase the pool of physicians trained in managing research and implementation programs in genomic medicine (i.e., the use of genomic information as part of a patient's clinical care.)
This organization is dispelling the myth that black mothers don’t breastfeed
September 6, 2017 — Last week Melanie Jones, a mother of two, learned it was Black Breastfeeding Week through Facebook. When the new mother (age 36) and science teacher found out she was pregnant with her now 2-year-old daughter Maycen, the decision she and her husband made to opt for breastfeeding was a no-brainer, as long as her body would allow. They later weclomed a second daughter, Maycen, who is also breastfed.
Norfolk surgeon will head $2.5M national study looking into disparities in health care
August 25, 2017 — Dr. L.D. Britt has a vivid childhood memory of his family packing both lunch and dinner before going to the doctor in Suffolk. There were three black physicians in town – typically the only ones who treated black patients – and his family would wait all day for a few minutes of office time.
Studies explore microbiome’s link with diabetes, preterm births in minority populations
August 21, 2017 — Studies designed to investigate the roles of gut microbiome among Hispanics with diabetes, as well as vaginal microbiome in preterm deliveries among black women, served as a key focus of an expert panel discussion at The Human Microbiome: Emerging Themes at the Horizon of the 21st Century.
HudsonAlpha, UAB awarded $10 million grant for newborn genome sequencing project
August 9, 2017 — HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in collaboration with UAB School of Medicine and the University of Mississippi Medical Center were recently awarded a four-year, $10 million grant to investigate how genome sequencing can help in the diagnosis and care of babies with birth defects and genetic disorders.
Buffalo native working to challenge disparity in minority health with national research award
August 9, 2017 — Dr. Candance Middlebrooks is at the start of new research into one of the sub-issues of sickle cell disease. “Most people think we have solved all of the issues with the disease,” said Middlebrooks. “But the issue is that people with sickle cell disease also have multiple other clinical phenotypes.”
NIH Awards $18.9M to Fund Clinical Genomics Consortium
August 8, 2017 — The National Institutes of Health announced today that it has awarded $18.9 million in funding to seven research institutions that will act as a consortium to advance the use of genomics in the clinic.
Muscle, not brain, may hold answers to some sleep disorders
August 3, 2017 — A new study shows that a protein in the muscle can lessen the effects of sleep loss in mice, a surprising revelation that challenges the widely accepted notion that the brain controls all aspects of sleep.
Medicine Is Getting More Precise … For White People
August 2, 2017 — Every human on earth is unique — our genes are different, we eat different things, we live in different places. As a result, medical treatments tend to work differently on different people. Depending on your genes, a drug might cure your sickness — or it might cause a side effect that makes you sicker.
Less than half of stroke patients nationwide are prescribed recommended cholesterol-lowering medication
August 2, 2017 — Nationwide, less than half of stroke patients discharged from the hospital received a prescription for cholesterol-lowering medications called statins, and the likelihood of a prescription varied by patients' geographic location, sex, age and race, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
UK Doctoral Student Organized Textbook Drive
July 26, 2017 — Along with organizing the textbook drive, Rice also spent 10 weeks in the summer of 2012 as a fellow of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Minority Health International Training (MHIRT) Program where she was provided the opportunity to receive biomedical research training in an international setting.
Reaching Black Men in Barbershops Could Lead to Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer
July 25, 2017 — Aging black men are at much greater risk of dying prematurely of colorectal cancer than any other group in the United States, and are less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed at an early stage of the disease. Now a new study finds that patients who participated in a patient navigator program in which they enrolled at their barbershops were twice as likely to get screened for colorectal cancer.
45 Years Ago, the Nation Learned About the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Its Repercussions Are Still Felt Today
July 25, 2017 — It was 45 years ago Tuesday when the nation first learned about the horrors of a federally funded experiment on unsuspecting African Americans with syphilis in rural Alabama — a study whose repercussions are still being felt today.
Future Neuroscientist Studies Antibiotic Resistance at Oxford
July 20, 2017 — Ayón is among 14 university students, including six from CSUF, who are spending 10 weeks this summer conducting research in Argentina, the United Kingdom, Thailand and Canada through the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program, known as MHIRT.
African-Americans with Healthier Lifestyles Had Lower Risk of High Blood Pressure
June 26, 2017 — Among African Americans, small health improvements were associated with lower risk of developing high blood pressure, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension. African Americans who had at least two modifiable healthy behaviors at the beginning of the study, compared to those with one or none, researchers found the risk of high blood pressure at follow-up was reduced by 20 percent.
Integrated Medical Records Can Reduce Disparities Between Blacks and Whites in HIV Care
June 26, 2017 — A streamlined and integrated method of tracking medical records called a laboratory health information exchange narrowed the gap in anti-retroviral therapy and viral suppression between HIV-positive blacks and whites, according to UCLA researchers. Also, the use of these exchanges led to Latinos who are HIV-positive being more likely than whites to use anti-retroviral therapy and higher viral suppression.
Local Youth Graduate from Hampton University’s Antiviolence Program
June 25, 2017 — Over the past six months, a group of approximately 50 young people from Newport News and Hampton became, in their words, men. These young black men, ranging from 12 to 25 years old, participated in Hampton University's Promise Program, which culminated in a graduation of sorts at HU on Sunday afternoon.
How Single-Cell Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) is Advancing the Analysis of Drug Therapies
June 22, 2017 — In a recent webinar Lauren Amable, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and Chady Stephan, Ph.D., Product Manager for Customer Solutions, PerkinElmer, Inc. discussed how the use of single cell ICP-MS is enabling researchers to see how effective a cancer drug is performing for each and every cell in a tumor.
Racism Aggravates Treatment-Resistant Asthma
June 14, 2017 — Racial discrimination experienced by African-American children and young adults exacerbates a type of asthma known to be resistant to standard treatment, according to a study headed by researchers at UC San Francisco.
A Black Alzheimer’s Patient Wants To Be Part Of The Cure
June 2017 — At her thirty-third appearance as Subject 16019 in a clinical trial of an experimental drug she hoped would fix “this little problem with my memory,” Sandra Brannon sank into a medical exam room’s recliner and waited.
Depression Strikes Teen Girls Earlier and More Often
May 30, 2017 — Depression among teenagers is even more common than previous estimates—especially for girls—a new study suggests. The findings show that the proportion of adolescents who experience depression is 36 percent for girls and 14 percent for boys—and that depressive episodes are associated with poor outcomes—including problems with school, relationships, and suicide attempts.
FSU Study Reports Encouraging Trend in Infant Mortality
May 18, 2017 — Eighteen states are on track to eliminate racial disparities in infant mortality by the year 2050 if current trends hold — sooner if they accelerate — according to a newly published paper from researchers at Florida State University’s College of Medicine.
Health Disparities: Big Data to the Rescue?
May 16, 2017 — Socially disadvantaged populations have fewer opportunities to achieve optimal health. They also experience preventable differences when facing disease or injury. These inequities, known collectively as health disparities, significantly impact personal and public health. Despite decades of research on health disparities, researchers, clinicians, and public health specialists have not seen the changes we were hoping for. Instead many health disparities are proving difficult to reduce or eliminate.
Leaving Segregated Neighborhoods Reduces Blood Pressure for Blacks
May 15, 2017 — The systolic blood pressure readings of African-Americans dropped between one to five points when they moved to less segregated neighborhoods, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. It is the first study to look at the longitudinal effects of living in less segregated areas on blood pressure and to compare the effect within the same individuals. Previous research showed racial residential segregation is related to a prevalence of hypertension at a single point in time.
Medical Schools, Teaching Hospitals Partner with Community to Move Toward Health Equity
April 18, 2017 — When diabetes rates increased among minority groups in an urban neighborhood, department leaders at the local academic medical center each addressed the problem through their unique perspectives. Clinicians provided diabetes prevention education. Researchers examined the reasons for the rise in new cases. Medical school students learned about the disease and worked with diabetic patients in a free clinic.
NIH Study Shows Exercise May Lower Risk of High Blood Pressure In African Americans
April 17, 2017 — Researchers who study cardiovascular health have long known that exercise is one way to keep high blood pressure at bay. But studies confirming this protective effect have mainly focused on white patients, leaving it unclear whether African Americans, the most vulnerable of all populations, have stood to gain in similar ways.
Wanted: An end to health crises killing Native Americans
April 5, 2017 — Tribes in South Dakota want immediate results from a Sioux Falls-based research center in the face of deadly and destructive public health concerns. As the state’s Native Americans face higher poverty rates and less access to health insurance, tribal representatives will come together Wednesday to meet with experts and learn about ongoing research in their search for answers.
Guidelines Differ on Recommendations of Statin Treatment for African-Americans
March 18, 2017 — Approximately 1 in 4 African American individuals recommended for statin therapy under guidelines from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association are no longer recommended for statin therapy under guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, according to a study published online by JAMA Cardiology. The study is being released to coincide with its presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.
D.C. Update: FIU hosts 2017 Health Disparities Symposium
March 3, 2017 — FIU’s Office of Research and Economic Development and the University of Miami hosted the 2017 Health Disparities Symposium at FIU in Washington, D.C. on March 1 as part of a recently announced $9.5 million endowment by the National Institutes of Health.
Caregivers of black stroke survivors spend more time; but report more positive outlook
February 21, 2017 — Despite providing more hours of care, caregivers of black stroke survivors reported a more positive perception of caregiving than caregivers of white stroke survivors, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.
Biomarker Predicts Poor Prognosis in African-Americans with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
February 20, 2017 — Having high levels of a certain biomarker is linked to poor prognosis in African-American patients with triple-negative breast cancer, while the same biomarker doesn’t influence disease outcomes in white patients, according to a new study.
Kids who live with e-cigarette users may think smoking is okay
February 10, 2017 — Kids who don’t smoke but are around adults who use electronic cigarettes may start to think regular smoking is okay, a recent study suggests.
Integrity House Offers New Treatment Model for Previously Incarcerated People
February 7, 2017 — There are no cookie-cutter treatments in the world of recovery. Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous remain the standards, but new research is showing that those programs only effect individual-level change, and for a lot of substance "abusers" the reasons for their addictions are engrained on a community-wide level.
Air pollution linked to heightened risk of Type 2 diabetes in obese Latino children
February 7, 2017 — Latino children who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution have a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new USC-led study.
Designating the LGBTQ Community as a Health Disparity Group
February 1, 2017 — Since the concept of clinical medicine has existed, so too has the concept that health education, outreach and research are important in the quest to provide communities and individuals with comprehensive health care and support.
Regular exercise may reduce high blood pressure risk in African Americans
January 30, 2017 — Regular swimming, biking or even brisk walks can help African Americans lower their chance of developing high blood pressure, according to new research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.
U-M Receives Phase II Grant from the National Institutes of Health to Further Develop OTC Screening Device for Treating Sleep Apnea
January 26, 2017 — The University of Michigan’s Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory and Zansors, LLC recently received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further develop an over-the-counter screening device for sleep apnea.
Nurse researchers study oral bacteria linked to preterm labor in Hawaii
January 9, 2017 — Faculty members from UH Mānoa Nursing have been awarded a $39,000 federal grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities through the Research Centers in Minority Institutions Translational Research Network (RTRN) to conduct a study titled “Placental Oral Microbiota Associated with Preterm Labor in Hawai‘i.”
In the age of Uber and Lyft, it’s still hard for some Americans to get to the doctor
January 7, 2017 — Members of New York City’s fast-growing Bangladeshi American community aren’t in obvious need of transportation.