The purpose of this Mentored Scientist Research Development Award (K01) is to provide the candidate with mentoring and research experiences that will promote her development as an independent public health researcher with particular methodological expertise in dyadic research methods. Objectives of the training are to develop knowledge and skills in: 1) relationship theory to understand interpersonal dynamics;2) dyadic study methods including cohort and intervention design;3) advanced statistical techniques for dyadic data;and 4) ethical conduct of research. Training activities will include didactic courses and specific workshops, directed reading and one-on-one tutorials with mentors, and applied research experience. The candidate will receive mentorship from a Training Committee of internationally renowned experts in the fields of socio-psychological relationship theory, dyadic methods, substance use research, and prevention science for substance using populations. The specific research aims of the proposed K01 are to: 1) measure interpersonal factors and examine their association with high-risk injecting behaviors at the dyad-level;2) determine the mediating and moderating effects of interpersonal factors on the association between factors exogenous to the dyad and high-risk injecting behaviors;and 3) examine whether changes in levels of interpersonal factors predict high- risk injecting behavior.
The research aims will be accomplished by collecting a combination of cross-sectional (n=300 pairs) and longitudinal (n=100 pairs) data from injecting dyads (pairs of individuals who inject drugs together) as part of a multi-site cohort study of HIV and hepatitis C incidence in injection drug users (InC3, PI: Page). The proposed K01 research activities leverage sponsor study infrastructure to pursue questions not posed by the sponsor study by collecting data on interpersonal factors from both members of injecting dyads. Research activities are innovative because they: (1) use a novel measurement scale for interpersonal factors; (2) use dyadic data collected from pairs of individuals who inject together;and (3) will inform dyad-based prevention strategies to reduce intravenous transmission of HIV. Findings from the proposed research will position the candidate to apply for an R34 award to develop, implement, and evaluated a dyad-based risk- reduction intervention targeting interpersonal dynamics within injecting-dyads. The findings generated under the R34 will allow the subsequent submission of an R01 to test the efficacy of a full random control trail for a dyad-based intervention targeting interpersonal factors. In sum, the K01 activities will develop the candidate into a successful independent researcher with a unique methodological skill-set which combines dyadic research methods with her foundation in qualitative and quantitative epidemiological methods.

Public Health Relevance

Drug use is a highly social process as represented by the high proportion of injection drug users (IDU) reporting recent syringe and injection equipment sharing;behaviors that put IDU at risk for HIV and hepatitis C. The quantitative study of interpersonal factors associated with HIV risk behaviors has been largely overlooked outside of HIV prevention studies of sexual risk. Findings from the proposed research will be critical for the development, implementation and evaluation of an evidence-driven intervention that concurrently addresses interpersonal factors, HIV transmission and drug use. Further, developing a foundation in relationship theory, innovative study approaches and advanced statistical methods to study pairs of individuals will uniquely position the candidate as one of only a handful of mixed-method epidemiologists to harness appropriate research methods and theory to assess the interpersonal context of risk.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section (BSCH)
Program Officer
Lambert, Elizabeth
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University of California San Francisco
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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Morris, Meghan D; Montgomery, Martha E; Briceno, Alya et al. (2018) A Study of Sexual Relationship Power among Young Women Who Inject Drugs and Their Sexual Partners. Subst Use Misuse 53:1281-1287
Eltahla, A A; Rodrigo, C; Betz-Stablein, B et al. (2017) Analysis of resistance-associated substitutions in acute hepatitis C virus infection by deep sequencing across six genotypes and three continents. J Viral Hepat 24:37-42
Morris, Meghan D; Neilands, Torsten B; Andrew, Erin et al. (2017) Development and validation of a novel scale for measuring interpersonal factors underlying injection drug using behaviours among injecting partnerships. Int J Drug Policy 48:54-62
Morris, Meghan D; Brown, Brandon; Allen, Scott A (2017) Universal opt-out screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) within correctional facilities is an effective intervention to improve public health. Int J Prison Health 13:192-199
Morris, Meghan D; Shiboski, Stephen; Bruneau, Julie et al. (2017) Geographic Differences in Temporal Incidence Trends of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among People Who Inject Drugs: The InC3 Collaboration. Clin Infect Dis 64:860-869
Rodrigo, Chaturaka; Walker, Melanie R; Leung, Preston et al. (2017) Limited naturally occurring escape in broadly neutralizing antibody epitopes in hepatitis C glycoprotein E2 and constrained sequence usage in acute infection. Infect Genet Evol 49:88-96
Rodrigo, C; Eltahla, A A; Bull, R A et al. (2017) Phylogenetic analysis of full-length, early infection, hepatitis C virus genomes among people with intravenous drug use: the InC3 Study. J Viral Hepat 24:43-52
Rodrigo, Chaturaka; Eltahla, Auda A; Bull, Rowena A et al. (2016) Historical Trends in the Hepatitis C Virus Epidemics in North America and Australia. J Infect Dis 214:1383-1389
Page, Kimberly; Mirzazadeh, Ali; Rice, Thomas M et al. (2016) Interferon Lambda 4 Genotype Is Associated With Jaundice and Elevated Aminotransferase Levels During Acute Hepatitis C Virus Infection: Findings From the InC3 Collaborative. Open Forum Infect Dis 3:ofw024
Doyle, J S; Deterding, K; Grebely, J et al. (2015) Response to treatment following recently acquired hepatitis C virus infection in a multicentre collaborative cohort. J Viral Hepat 22:1020-32

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