With the requested Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24), I plan to: (a) mentor a multi-disciplinary and socio-demographically diverse group of graduate students and early career investigators in behavioral aspects of HIV research with ethnic and sexual minority populations, with an emphasis in Native HIV research, (b) broaden my own career capabilities to conduct research utilizing web- based technologies and expand my HIV research repertoire to include HIV preventive interventions with Native populations. I have been consistently productive and successful in obtaining funding for my program of patient-oriented research. Moreover, I have a long history of supporting diverse mentees (70+) and helping them secure their own funding. Since its establishment in 2005, I have served as Director for the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) at the University of Washington (UW), a university-wide interdisciplinary institute for indigenous health research and capacity building. Under my directorship, IWRI has generated over $12 million in research and training grants and we have mentored over 35 Native pre- and post-doctoral scholars as well as developed international and national research partnerships with Native organizations. IWRI is an ideal host institution to mentor aspiring early career scientists interested in pursuing HIV prevention research with indigenous populations. However, as a full-time faculty and Director of IWRI, administrative and teaching obligations have limited the time I can commit to mentoring. This award will allow me to further devote my time and resources to mentoring (from 5% to 25% effort for mentoring and 25% for career development and research). Moreover, it would move me closer to my longer term goals of becoming an internationally recognized leader in global indigenous HIV research and developing more systematic and formalized mentoring programs at international levels. At the UW, there is a large pool of diverse and well qualified mentees for whom I have outlined specific plans for selecting, mentoring, and involving in my own active ongoing program of research. Plans include continuing and formalizing individual and group-based support for a cohort of diverse pre- and post-doctoral and early career investigators at the UW and nationally. This support will be integrated with ongoing programs at the UW-particularly with IWRI's Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training Program (R25) and Center for AIDS Research's Sociobehavioral and Prevention Core. My career development activities will involve concentrated training in online technologies for intervention research, intensive training in HIV intervention research design and implementation, and mentorship/leadership training. The newly proposed research involves a 4-phase study of an online interactive intervention targeting Native MSMs at risk for HIV. This comprises qualitative formative work, an online internet feasibility and acceptability study, development of a multi-modular online intervention with social networking capabilities, and a pilot randomized controlled trial of the intervention.
This award will assist in increasing the availability of a diverse group of researchers successfully researching behavioral aspects of HIV, which is crucial to combating this global pandemic that disproportionately hits marginalized communities and communities of color, particularly among Native Americans, African Americans, and Latinos/Hispanics. This award will also assist in the career development of a UREM mid-career investigator who aims to develop an online interactive HIV prevention program for American Indian and Alaska Natives to assist them with increasing healthy behaviors and decreasing HIV-related risk behaviors. An internet intervention for this population is ideal given that they tend to live in rural locations where access to HIV preventive interventions is limited.
|Pearson, Cynthia R; Walters, Karina L; Simoni, Jane M et al. (2013) A cautionary tale: risk reduction strategies among urban American Indian/Alaska Native men who have sex with men. AIDS Educ Prev 25:25-37|