This is a career mentoring award to support Dr. Renee Heffron, Associate Professor at the University of Washington, with protected time to create a more structured approach to mentoring for herself and her colleagues and to increase the number of mentees that she has by at least 50%. Mentees will be among the next generation of researchers focused on HIV prevention, oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and novel PrEP products. Dr. Heffron, PhD, MPH is a clinical epidemiologist with advanced training in implementation science, behavioral science, and qualitative research. Dr. Heffron's mentoring style is grounded in the Social Cognitive Career Theory and includes emphasis on developing mentee's science identify. Mentees will work alongside Dr. Heffron on the newly proposed research in the K24 in the realm of implementation science as well as on her four ongoing NIH-funded studies in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa. Mentoring aims are to: 1. Support and grow the next generation of US- and Africa-based leaders conducting patient-oriented research focused on delivery of oral PrEP and novel PrEP products through the provision of structured mentoring to a total of 20-40 (~5 new mentees/year) pre-doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, and other junior investigators, including subsets who are female and identify as being from URG. 2. Establish and refine a structured mentoring program within the International Clinical Research Center, my research home within the University of Washington Department of Global Health. Newly proposed research provides opportunity for Dr. Heffron to grow her repertoire of work in implementation science, in order to identify best practices to integrate novel PrEP products into existing platforms for oral PrEP delivery by conducting 60 key informant qualitative interviews with experts developing novel PrEP products, PrEP program implementers, and end users who discontinued or rejected use of oral PrEP. A discrete choice experiment will be conducted with young women in Uganda to identify their preferences for different attributes of HIV prevention counseling and whether counseling scenarios would facilitate uptake of a PrEP product. Research specific aims are to: 1. Define a preliminary strategy for the integration of novel PrEP products (e.g., injectable Cabotegravir, Dapivirine intravaginal ring, TFV/LNG intravaginal ring) into existing oral PrEP programs by conducting qualitative interviews with experts in novel PrEP products, oral PrEP programs, and end users 2. Among young women who have discontinued or never initiated oral PrEP, to determine preferences for attributes of HIV prevention counseling that would support them to initiate and sustain use of a PrEP product
This is a career mentoring award to support the PI, Dr. Renee Heffron of the University of Washington, to mentor the next generation of researchers focused on HIV prevention, oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and novel PrEP products. Additionally, new proposed research will identify best practices to integrate novel PrEP products into existing platforms for oral PrEP delivery.