The purpose of this K24 proposal is to enhance exponentially Dr. Carla Kmett Danielson's mentorship and research program in innovative approaches to risk reduction of HIV infection and addiction among adolescents, with a particular focus on trauma-exposed populations. Dr. Danielson, a clinical psychologist and scientist, is the ideal candidate for this mechanism. She has sustained continuous federal-funding of her patient oriented research (POR) since 2005, which has provided the framework for her mentorship of 19 junior investigators contributing to the science of substance abuse comorbidity with high-risk sexual behaviors and trauma. Her mentees, who have included early career faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and predoctoral psychology interns, have made significant contributions to the HIV prevention, substance abuse, and traumatic stress fields through high-impact publications and independent lines of NIH-funded research. Dr. Danielson's long-standing dedication and achievements in POR mentorship are further evidenced through her leadership roles as PI of an NIH-funded T32 Program dedicated to clinical research training in traumatic stress and its sequelae across the lifespan and as Co-Chair for the Faculty Mentorship Program in MUSC's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (currently ranked 7th in the country for NIH funding). The proposed K24 award will be essential in providing time and resources necessary for the candidate to formalize, expand, and sustain her mentoring program and capacity, further stimulate the research program of her mentees (e.g., through a proposed trainee pilot award program and new training opportunities) and augment her research skills and growing program of research in e- and m-health technologies for traumatized adolescents at risk for HIV infection and addiction. Innovative research proposed by Dr. Danielson under the K24 involves development and evaluation of a dynamic, technology-based prevention tool-kit (electronic HIV-sex Education and Addiction Risk for Traumatized Teens; eHEARTT). The toolkit will enhance the quality, accessibility, and efficacy of HIV- risk and substance use prevention interventions for adolescents receiving trauma-focused treatment.
Specific aims of the research are to: 1) Develop the eHEARTT toolkit to support delivery of evidence-based HIV and substance use prevention interventions during the delivery of trauma-focused treatment (TF-CBT); 2) Conduct usability tests of the eHEARTT toolkit with teens, caregivers, and clinicians to guide refinements; and 3) Conduct a randomized controlled feasibility trial with 40 families to evaluate TF-CBT plus eHEARTT in comparison to TF-CBT plus a risk behavior electronic Resource List through a 6-month post-treatment follow- up assessment.
These aims harmonize well with Dr. Danielson's proposed mentorship activities and current federally-funded research projects in the areas of HIV prevention, substance use risk reduction, and trauma among teens. The proposed research affords rich training opportunities for her mentees (early career faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and predoctoral psychology interns with an emphasis on trainees from groups under- represented in clinical science) and will invigorate new directions in POR with teens at risk for HIV infection and addiction. The proposed work is directly in line with NIDA priorities and funding announcements that call for research designed to evaluate the application of new technologies for delivering adapted prevention interventions targeting drug and alcohol use and prevention of HIV acquisition.

Public Health Relevance

Teens who have witnessed and/or experienced child maltreatment and violence (~1 in 2) are much more likely than teens who have not had such experiences to become infected with HIV and to develop substance use problems, costing the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars. The goal of the proposed research is to offer a dynamic, personalized technology-based toolkit to maximize the feasibility, applicability, and efficacy of HIV and substance use prevention for a population at high risk for HIV infection and addiction across the lifespan. The significantly heightened capacity for mentorship of new patient-oriented researchers who will learn about the incorporation of e- and m-Health technologies with HIV and substance use risk reduction for trauma- exposed teens, along with the numerous other related training experiences gleaned from the candidate's existing research program in these areas, further enhances the public health importance of the proposed K24.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
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Behavioral and Social Science Approaches to Preventing HIV/AIDS Study Section (BSPH)
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Jenkins, Richard A
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Medical University of South Carolina
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United States
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W Adams, Zachary; McClure, Erin A; Gray, Kevin M et al. (2017) Mobile devices for the remote acquisition of physiological and behavioral biomarkers in psychiatric clinical research. J Psychiatr Res 85:1-14
Bountress, Kaitlin; Adams, Zachary W; Gilmore, Amanda K et al. (2017) Associations among impulsivity, trauma history, and alcohol misuse within a young adult sample. Addict Behav 64:179-184
Adams, Zachary W; McCauley, Jenna L; Back, Sudie E et al. (2016) Clinician Perspectives on Treating Adolescents with Co-occurring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Use, and Other Problems. J Child Adolesc Subst Abuse 25:575-583