The current proposal is a competitive renewal of a previously funded Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24). This award will provide me with protected time to continue mentoring beginning patient-oriented researchers and to enhance my own research skills. During the first 5 years of support provided by the K24 award, I have upgraded my own skill set as a research mentor and obtained additional federal funding for patient-oriented research. I have also, during this period, served as a primary mentor to three NIH K23 award recipients, co-mentored five K23 award recipients, and mentored five junior investigators/trainees who have received independent research support from NIH or private foundations. Furthermore, during the last 5 years, I have co-authored approximately 23 peer-reviewed publications with trainees. There is an urgent need for a pipeline of beginning investigators, especially those from underrepresented groups. Alpert Brown Medical School has several NIH T32 and R25 training grants that provide quality mentoring and didactic training to early-career scientists;I am faculty on six of these training grants. My proposed 5 years of continued support will allow me to devote substantial time to mentoring new clinical investigators and to submit a R25 Education Research Project Award that will provide pre-doctoral graduate and medical students from underrepresented groups with a high quality summer research experience with a particular focus on conducting intervention research on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with high-risk (e.g., financially-disadvantaged, mentally ill, incarcerated, and victimized) women. In consultation with several experts in HIV research, the renewal of my K24 award will increase my experience, knowledge and skills in HIV and STI prevention research with high-risk women. My proposed training and research plan will achieve the aims of (1) building on my previous intervention work with low-income women at risk for mental health difficulties to include HIV and STI prevention research, and (2) transmitting these skills to the many racial/ethnic minority clinician scientists I mentor in an effort to advance their own careers in patient- oriented research. Relevance to Public Health: Women with intimate partner violence, other interpersonal trauma histories, and mental health difficulties, have an elevated risk for HIV and other STIs, both in terms of disease history and HIV risk behaviors. The integration of HIV research into my current research with financially- disadvantaged, victimized women with mental health difficulties will expand my research to address significant and interconnected public health problems facing these vulnerable women. Through mentoring on intervention research, I will help to develop a cadre of researchers that will continue research with an understudied and underserved group of women and address the unmet needs of the research community.

Public Health Relevance

The renewal of my K24 award will provide me with protected time to: (i) develop and test HIV risk reduction interventions that target significant and interconnected public health problems facing women (i.e., HIV, interpersonal violence, mental health problems, and substance use), and (ii) through mentoring of beginning investigators from underrepresented groups, I will help to meet a critical need to develop a cadre of minority researchers to continue this patient-orientated work.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-G (09))
Program Officer
Stoff, David M
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Women and Infants Hospital-Rhode Island
United States
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Zlotnick, Caron; Clarke, Jennifer G; Friedmann, Peter D et al. (2008) Gender differences in comorbid disorders among offenders in prison substance abuse treatment programs. Behav Sci Law 26:403-12
Zlotnick, Caron; Johnson, Jennifer; Kohn, Robert et al. (2008) Childhood trauma, trauma in adulthood, and psychiatric diagnoses: results from a community sample. Compr Psychiatry 49:163-9