This application requests 5 years of K01 support to accelerate the NIDA-focused interdisciplinary research career development of Dr. Ruben Parra-Cardona, a clinician-researcher who seeks to become an independent NIDA prevention researcher committed to underserved Hispanic adolescents and families. His current research evaluates a cultural adaptation of an evidence-based parenting intervention for at-risk Hispanic families with young children (ages 4-11), for which there is potential distal NIDA impact such as reduced risk of starting to smoke tobacco or to use other drugs. Complete evidence on distal benefits of early randomized trial interventions of this type cannot be seen unless the scale of research shifts upward, as in multi-site trials, and unless the measurements include bio-assays to confirm self-report drug use, with probes for potential gene- intervention interactions. Based on the proposed K01 career training objectives, the applicant will acquire the necessary skills to develop an interdisciplinary program of prevention research, informed by epidemiological and biomedical science. During 75% protected time for career development toward independent R01 project leadership, core learning objectives will be met (e.g., RCR, FCOI, grants management). In addition to its core, the training plan has 5 tracks: (1) enhanced mastery of small sample parenting intervention research;(2) enhanced mastery of research design and measurements for larger sample multi-site NIDA prevention research on youth developmental trajectories leading toward NIDA outcomes;(3) enhanced mastery of data analysis for interdependent observations from multiple sites;(4) new learning about integration of biological assays in NIDA family intervention and prevention research via collaborations with expert NIH toxicologists and genetics researchers;(5) mastery of electronic technology complements to current 'in person'intervention delivery and program impact assessment. The proposed award is crucial now that the applicant has become K01-eligible via permanent residency. His college has guaranteed protected time for this K01 career acceleration through structured mentoring program led by a NIDA K05 Senior Scientist, backed by a strong local team of federally funded co-mentors, as well as scientific advisors. Through the proposed K01 award, Dr. Parra-Cardona will gain mastery of the theory and research approaches now being refined by quantitative developmental scientists in new lines of NIDA prevention research. The training plan includes guided readings, coursework, among other activities leading to publications. A prevention pilot study will serve as a 'preliminary study'for a NIDA R01 grant proposal planned for Year 4 of the proposed award.

Public Health Relevance

This application is responsive to NIH and NIDA's strategic plans highlighting the need to implement interdisciplinary programs of research aimed at preventing young people from ever using drugs, as well as ensuring that at-risk and underserved minority populations benefit from these scientific efforts.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section (PDRP)
Program Officer
Sims, Belinda E
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Michigan State University
Other Health Professions
Schools of Arts and Sciences
East Lansing
United States
Zip Code
Parra-Cardona, José Rubén; DeAndrea, David C (2014) Latinos' Access to Online and Formal Mental Health Support. J Behav Health Serv Res :