The significant and harmful role that alcohol consumption plays on the HIV epidemic in the U.S. and worldwide has only recently begun to be recognized. Therefore there is urgent need to train new researchers in this field. Dr. Judy Hahn, Associate Professor in Residence, University of California, San Francisco, is a leading epidemiologist studying within-person alcohol consumption patterns and associated risk behaviors, and the effect of alcohol consumption on HIV outcomes by persons living with HIV in Uganda and among young adult injecting drug users (IDU) in San Francisco. A distinctive hallmark of her research is the characterization and use of a direct metabolite of alcohol, phosphatidylethanol, to supplement frequently unreliable self-report. Dr. Hahn proposes to use K24 dedicated time to mentor USCF as well as Ugandan investigators in patient oriented alcohol/HIV research. Her mentees will gain hands-on research experience, training in data analysis, manuscript preparation, and grant writing, as well as career mentoring. Mentee training will leverage the infrastructure and resources of Dr. Hahn's ongoing longitudinal cohort studies (R01 AA018631 and U01 AA020776) and her collaborations with multidisciplinary researchers in the areas of alcohol, substance use, and HIV domestically and worldwide. In order to increase her mentoring skills, she proposes to participate in the UCSF Mentor Development Program and to engage in individualized training from a mentoring coach. To extend Dr. Hahn's research to conduct interventions reduce the impact of alcohol on the HIV epidemic, she will obtain training in implementation science, a field that aims to maximize the impact of applying evidence-based interventions to new settings. She will examine existing public health infrastructure such as HIV prevention, testing and treatment programs as possible avenues for incorporating alcohol interventions such as screening and brief intervention (SBI). Lastly, Dr. Hahn proposes to conduct K24 supported alcohol research studies that will serve as training vehicles for mentees and expand her research. These studies, using biomarkers of alcohol consumption to supplement self-report, will be conducted using data from her ongoing NIH-funded cohort studies of persons with HIV in Uganda and young adult IDU in San Francisco to examine (1) factors associated with under-reported alcohol consumption and (2) factors associated with spontaneously reducing alcohol consumption. She will additionally conduct formative work to explore potential avenues of interventions relevant to these two diverse settings. In summary, this K24 will leverage Dr. Hahn's active research program with extensive infrastructure at UCSF to support a program of (1) expanded mentoring of U.S. and international mentees to address the global problem of alcohol consumption and its effects on the HIV epidemic, (2) mentor development via mentorship courses and coaching, and training in the area of implementation science, and (3) research to advance the goal of implementing effective interventions to reduce alcohol consumption by those with HIV and those at risk for HIV.
The overall goal of this K24 application is to build and leverage Dr. Hahn's mentoring and research capacity in the area of alcohol and HIV in the US and sub-Saharan Africa, thereby multiplying the impact of her research. Her mentees will gain hands-on research experience, career mentoring, and training in data analysis, manuscript preparation, and grant writing. This K24 program aims to expand the capacity of a productive investigator to make meaningful progress towards her long-term goal of reducing the impact of alcohol on the HIV epidemic by integrating evidence-based alcohol interventions into existing health care programs.
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