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Funded Research and Training

(Listed by PI)

Emily Ahonen, PhD

EMPLOYMENT QUALITY
Sponsor: CDC IPA
Dates: 07/01/2022–06/30/2023
Project Description: This project seeks to research, intervention, outreach and education, and evaluation activities that advance the overall safety, health and well-being of the diverse population of workers in our nation, with emphasis on the creation and implementation of evidence-based solutions related to worker safety, mental and physical health and well-being.

Joseph A. Allen, PhD

CREATIVITY IN TEAMS: IDENTIFYING THE ROLE OF MEETINGS IN FOSTERING EFFECTIVE COGNITIVE AND SOCIAL PROCESSES IN TEAMS
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Dates: 08/01/2020-07/31/2023
Project Description: In the last two decades, interest in creativity and innovation has grown tremendously. Creativity and innovation have been suggested as important for organizational performance. In addition, the use of teams in organizations is on the rise. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the interrelationships between social and cognitive processes in team meetings for generating a creative idea or product. The project will assess the team cognitive process sequences that effectively result in more creative ideas, the effect of team dynamics on these cognitive processes, and how cognitive and social processes interact to produce creative outcomes. We will further investigate whether an intervention to facilitate team creativity will improve creativity and the effect it has on both cognitive and social processes.

TAKING SCIENCE TO THE STREETS: FIRE SERVICES SAFETY CULTURE ASSESSMENT AND TRAINING
Sponsor: Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FEMA)
Dates: 09/07/2021–09/06/2023
Project Description: A project with researchers at Drexel University. This project will develop and deploy Culture Camps, both in-person and online, to support the continued improvement of a safety culture.

SAFETY MEETINGS IN SMALL CONSTRUCTION ORGANIZATIONS: THE IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVE MEETING BEHAVIORS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SAFETY
Sponsor: US Department of Health & Human Services
Dates: 06/01/2022 – 05/31/2023
Project Description: Construction workers face a number of concerns related to their personal safety while at work and often discuss these concerns and hazards in safety meetings. An exploration of meeting practices, based on meeting science research that has identified good and bad practices, may shed light on how to improve the safety culture of small construction companies. Understanding the practical ways to improve the collaboration within safety meetings may ultimately improve safety culture and increase overall safety and well-being of construction workers.


Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, MPH, DBSM

A NOVEL COUPLES- BASED SLEEP HEALTH INTERVENTION FOR OLDER ADULTS WITH OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA: IMPLICATIONS FOR ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE RISK AND HEALTHY AGING
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Dates: 09/15/2020-08/31/2022
Project Description: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and debilitating health condition that affects both patients and their bedpartners' sleep, quality of life and health risk, including cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of this project is to develop and test a novel couples-based behavioral intervention that seeks to improve PAP adherence and sleep health among older patients with OSA and their partners. The results of this study could significantly advance the treatment of OSA and improve the lives of OSA patients and their partners, as well as reduce risk for downstream consequences of poor sleep.

EFFECTS OF A BEHAVIORAL SLEEP EXTENSION INTERVENTION ON CARDIOMETABOLIC RISK FACTORS AMONG PATIENTS WITH ELEVATED BP/HYPERTENSION
Sponsor: National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Dates: 09/25/2020-06/30/2025
Project Description: One in two adults in the U.S. have at least one cardiometabolic disease (CMD) including hypertension, heart disease diabetes or stroke. Despite links between short sleep duration and cardiometabolic health, few studies have sought to improve CMD risk by extending sleep. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of a behavioral sleep extension intervention on sleep and CMD risk factors among patients with elevated blood pressure or hypertension. Successful completion of this study will advance the possibility of increasing sleep duration for improving cardiometabolic health.

CIRCADIAN AND SLEEP PATHWAYS TO CARDIOMETABOLIC DISEASE RISK: ROLE OF NEUROBEHAVIORAL PROCESSES
Sponsor: National Heart,Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Dates: 02/01/2019-12/31/2023
Project Description: This project will investigate how disruptions in the body’s internal 24-hour sleep wake rhythms affects obesity and diabetes risk. We are interested in understanding how disrupted rhythms along with short sleep duration affects eating behavior behaviors (e.g. decreased ability to withstand temptation), metabolism and weight gain over a 12-month period. Results of this study will advance knowledge of the complex relationship between sleep/circadian rhythms providing the basis for new behavioral interventions.


Melissa Cheng, MD, MOH, MHS

UTAH SCREENING, BRIEF INTERVENTION AND REFERRAL TO TREATMENT (SBIRT) TRAINING CENTER
Sponsor: Utah Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Dates: 09/01/2020-09/29/2022
Project Description: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a comprehensive public health approach for delivering early intervention and treatment services to people with, or at risk of developing substance use disorders. This project provides SBIRT training to Utah-based providers.


Jennifer Coombs, PhD, MPAS, PA-C

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT TRAINING IN PRIMARY CARE
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Dates: 07/01/19-06/30/2024
Project Description: The purpose of this program is to increase the number of primary care physician assistants (PA), particularly in rural and underserved settings, and improve primary care training in order to strengthen access to and delivery of primary care services nationally. 


Steven Godin, PhD, MPH

SACRED CIRCLE HEALTH CLINIC TRIBAL OPIOID PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION
Sponsor: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) / Sacred Circle Healthcare
Dates: 08/31/2020-08/31/2022
Project Description: This project addresses the opioid crisis in Tribal communities by increasing access to culturally appropriate and evidence based treatment in American Indian/Alaska Natives Communities.

REDUCING VACCINE HESITANCY USING COMMUNITY HEALTH OUTREACH WORKERS AND TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS
Sponsor: Medi Inc
Dates: 01/27/2022–01/26/203
Project Description: The project addresses vaccine hesitancy through community health workers and technology applications.


Johanna E. Greenberg, PA-C

LEANING COLLABORATIVE: IDENTIFYING AND TESTING STRATEGIES FOR MANAGEMENT OF OPIOD USE AND MISUSE IN OLDER ADULTS IN PRIMARY CARE
Sponsor: ABT Associates (CDC) / AHRQ
Dates: 01/01/2022–03/31/2023
Project Description: This project seeks to manage opiod misuse in adults in primary care.


Rodney G. Handy, MBA, PhD, CIH

2EO21 AIR TOXIC ETHYLENE OXIDE
Sponsor: Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Dates: 05/01/2021-04/05/2023
Project Description: This project seeks to characterize ambient emissions of Ethylene Oxide from Utah-based sterilization facilities and conduct a subsequent health risk assessment to identify cancer and non-cancer risks associated with exposure.


Mia Hashibe, PhD

UTAH ADVANCED COURSE ON MENTORSHIP AND LEADERSHIP ON CANCER-RELATED HEALTH DISPARITIES
Sponsor: National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dates: 04/01/2020-03/31/2023
Project Description: The overarching goal of the Utah Advanced Course on Mentoring, Leadership, and Cancer-related Health Disparities is to provide innovative state-of-the-art, evidence-based career development experiences to current NCI grantees to enhance their skills in leadership, mentoring, and cancer disparities research for successful transition to independent academic careers. More specifically, this UE5 program will focus on three educational domains-1) Enhancing Mentoring Skills, 2) Strengthening Leadership Capacity, and 3) Leveraging Cancer-related databases. We bring expertise in mentoring and leadership training through the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), clinical and community-engaged research scholarship, cancer-related databases including population databases that are unique to Utah, and networking opportunities available in cancer consortia.

LONG-TERM ADVERSE OUTCOMES AMONG RURAL CANCER SURVIVORS IN A POPULATION-BASED COHORT
Sponsor: National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dates: 07/16/2020-06/30/2025
Project Description: There are an estimated 2.8 million rural cancer survivors today, and they experience lower survival rates than cancer patients living in urban areas. We propose to conduct a study of rural prostate, rural breast, rural colorectal cancer patients and comparison groups of urban cancer patients in Utah and in elderly patients across the US, to investigate whether rural cancer survivors experience higher rates of adverse outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, opioid use disorders and mental illness than urban cancer survivors. We will also assess why rural cancer survivors may experience higher adverse outcome rates, with possible reasons including differences in the cancer treatment they receive or the distance to care.


Kurt T. Hegmann, MD, MPH

ROCKY MOUNTAIN CENTER FOR OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) / National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Dates: 07/18/2018-06/30/2023
Project Description: The Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH) is among the largest graduate occupational safety and health (OSH) training programs in the US. It serves Region VIII, which has among the highest occupational death and injury rates. The RMCOEH's NORA research programs address major deficits in the region/nation's OSH. Research foci particularly include musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory protection, transportation safety, and mining issues.


Matthew Hughes, MD, MPH, FACOEM

HAZARDOUS& WASTE WORKER TRAINING PROGRAM (HWWTP)
Sponsor: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) 
Dates: 06/01/2021-05/31/2025
Project Description: The goal of HWWTP is to train workers to identify and prevent hazardous exposures to themselves, their colleagues, their community, and the environment.

HAZMAT DISASTER PREPAREDNESS TRAINING PROGRAM (HDPTP)
Sponsor: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) 
Dates: 06/01/2021-05/31/2025
Project Description: The goal of HDPTP is to prepare managers and workers from a variety of industrial sectors, vulnerable populations, and the general community, to respond to emergencies and intentional and natural disasters, including resiliency.


Amy Locke, MD, FAAFP

PROMOTING RESILIENCE AND MENTAL HEALTH AMONG HEALTH PROFESSIONAL WORKERS
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Dates: 01/01/2022–12/31/2024
Project Description: The goal of this porject is to promote resilience and mental health amongst professional health workers.


Kola S. Okuyemi, MD, MPH

STROKE AND CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH TRAINING (SCaRT) INSTITUTE
Sponsor: Fogarty International Center (FIC) / National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Dates: 09/05/2011-05/31/2022
Project Description: S-CART will address a critical deficiency of African scientists committed to a career in stroke prevention and cardiovascular research. Successful completion of S-CART will lead to the establishment of a sustainable CVD research capacity and innovative and contextualized research projects targeted at stroke and CVD prevention.

UTAH ADVANCED COURSE ON MENTORSHIP AND LEADERSHIP ON CANCER-RELATED HEALTH DISPARITIES
Sponsor: National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dates: 04/01/2020-03/31/2023
Project Description: The overarching goal of the Utah Advanced Course on Mentoring, Leadership, and Cancer-related Health Disparities is to provide innovative state-of-the-art, evidence-based career development experiences to current NCI grantees to enhance their skills in leadership, mentoring, and cancer disparities research for successful transition to independent academic careers.

HUNTSMAN CANCER INSTITUTE PATHMAKER PROGRAMS FOR CANCER LEADERSHIP
Sponsor: National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dates: 09/01/2019-07/31/2025
Project Description: This project establishes cancer research programs for high school and undergraduate students, as well as for middle and high school science teachers, to increase the pipeline of students currently underrepresented in the biomedical sciences who are interested in biomedical research careers.

ENHANCED GRANT WRITING COACHING INTERVENTION FOR A DIVERSE BIOMEDICAL WORKFORCE
Sponsor: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Dates: 07/01/2019-06/30/2024
Project Description: NIH and other national public and private agencies and groups have steadfastly established the compelling need for a diverse scientific and biomedical research workforce, particularly in academia which drives the majority of health-related research and both trains and determines future generations of life science researchers. This intensive grant writing coaching intervention will be rigorously tested and studied in this project.

STIMULATING ACCESS TO RESEARCH IN RESIDENCY (STARR)
Sponsor: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Dates: 07/01/2018-06/30/2022
Project Description: University of Utah Health will offer the Utah Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (Utah StARR) training program to resident physicians from the departments of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pediatrics with the goal of transitioning resident investigators to successful careers as physician researchers to conduct clinical, translational, and health services research. Trainees will be provided didactic coursework in research methods, leadership training and career development, and extensive mentoring throughout the program.


Christy A. Porucznik, PhD, MSPH

EARLY LIFE EXPOSURES AND CHILD TRAJECTORIES: GROWTH AND RESPIRATORY HEALTH
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Dates: 09/21/2016-08/31/2023
Project Description: The research team will re-enroll members of two previous birth cohorts with existing biospecimens and information about environmental exposures during peri-conception and early pregnancy, which they will use to evaluate innovative approaches to assess exposures at the earliest critical windows of human development, including the microbiome. They will also collect additional data for early life exposures and health outcomes, with a focus on growth, obesity, respiratory health, and asthma.


Susan Saffel-Shrier, MS, RD

IMPLEMENTATION OF AN IMPROVED COLLABORATIVE MALNUTRITION-FOCUSED TRANSITIONS OF CARE AND REFERRAL PROCESS BASED ON PREVIOUSLY IDENTIFIED GAPS BETWEEN HEALTHCARE ENTITIES AND AGING SERVICES
Sponsor: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) / Administration for Community Living
Dates: 09/01/2019-08/31/2022
Project Description: The purpose of the study is to evaluate the impact of nutrition on the health of older adults who have recently been discharged from a hospital to home, or from hospital to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility, to home. Participants must be eligible for the Meals on Wheels program, or currently receiving the meals. 


Karen C. Schliep, PhD, MSPH

HYPERTENSIVE DISORDERS OF PREGNANCY AND SUBSEQUENT RISK OF VASCULAR DEMENTIA, ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, OR RELATED DEMENTIA: A RETROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY TAKING INTO ACCOUNT MID-LIFE MEDIATING FACTORS
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Dates: 09/01/2020-04/30/2025
Project Description: Women have a two-fold higher lifetime risk for Alzheimer Disease (AD), vascular dementia, and related dementias (RD) compared to men. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, including preeclampsia, eclampsia, and gestational hypertension, may contribute to sex differences in ADRD, with midlife experiences such as depression influencing the magnitude of risk. We propose to 1) create a model that can identify AD and related dementias in a large health administrative database; and 2) test the link (and mediating factors) between hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and ADRD, which will serve as the first step towards creating women’s tailored intervention that can mitigate ADRD risk for women.

UTAH CAREGIVER ASSISTANCE FOR RESEARCHERS IN EARLY STAGES (U-CARES)
Sponsor: University of Utah U-CARES
Dates: 02/01/2022–01/31/2023
Project Description: The purpose of this project is to implement support for early stage researchers who are caregivers.


Darrah Sleeth, PhD, MPH, CIH

BIOLOGICAL HAZARD SITE TRAINING IN EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES (BIOSTET) FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY
Sponsor: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Dates: 09/22/2021-08/31/2026
Project Description: This project is designed to establish academic and continuing education (CE) courses in emerging technologies specific to site biological/infectious agent safety. This collaborative, multidimensional educational experience will facilitate not only skills development and field application, but also create opportunities for innovative, cross-disciplinary research experiences and curriculum development on emerging technologies.

ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURES AMONG THE NORTHERN ARAPAHO
Sponsor: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Dates: 04/23/2021-03/31/2023
Project Description: The long-term goal of this project is to form a collaborative partnership with the N. Arapaho in order to empower the tribe to participate in environmental research with the end goal of becoming guardians of their own health. Our overall objectives are to characterize environmental risks to the community and, in doing so, establish which methods of data collection facilitate active participation and behavioral change.


Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH

EARLY LIFE EXPOSURES AND CHILD TRAJECTORIES: GROWTH AND RESPIRATORY HEALTH (ECHO)
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH) / Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO)
Dates: 09/01/2018-08/31/2023
Project Description: This study will re-enroll members of two previous birth cohorts with existing biospecimens and information about environmental exposures during peri-conception and early pregnancy, which will be used to evaluate innovative approaches to assess exposures at the earliest critical windows of human development, including the microbiome. Researchers will also collect additional data for early life exposures and health outcomes, with a focus on growth, obesity, respiratory health, and asthma.


Sharon L. Talboys, PhD, MPH

COVID-19 UOFU PPPHEA CONTACT TRACING RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING 2021
Sponsor: Utah Department of Health (UDOH)
Dates: 01/01/2021-11/17/2022
Project Description: This contract provides COVID-19 contact tracing, recruitment, and training.

NATIONAL INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS COVID-19 HEALTH DISPARITIES AMONG POPULATIONS AT HIGH-RISK AND UNDERSERVED, INCLUDING RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITY POPULATIONS AND RURAL COMMUNITIES
Sponsor: Utah Department of Health (UDOH) / Centers for Disease Prevention and Control
Dates: 06/01/2021-05/31/2023
Project Description: The research team will participate in the National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities, acting as a sub-contractor to the Utah Department of Health. Researchers and staff participating in the grant will provide technical assistance to Utah’s health departments and community partners in reducing health disparities among high-risk and underserved communities. They will assist in improving data collection and leveraging data linkages, evaluating the effectiveness of COVID-19 efforts in reaching underserved communities and supporting public health systems and the healthcare workforce. The grant also supports internships and field placements for Public Health graduate students and AHEC scholars.


Matthew S. Thiese, PhD, MSPH

FMCSA SEIZURE RISK AND COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE (CMV) DRIVERS
Sponsor: Applied Research Associates (ARA)
Dates: 10/09/2020-09/24/2021
Project Description: The research team will conduct systematic literature reviews for each guideline topic, including risk of seizure recurrence among adults who have experienced seizures, professional recommendations, and state-specific driving regulations.


Carl Whittaker, MD

MATERNAL HEALTH CAPACITY BUILDING FOR THE MEDICALLY UNDERSERVED IN RURAL AND URBAN UTAH
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Dates: 07/01/2021-06/30/2026
This project is designed to allow the Family Medicine Residency program greater resources for preparing their residents via education such as UDOH Title V opioid training, and instruction on telehealth and care delivery. Additionally, residents will have expanded rotations opportunities in rural Utah facilities. The grant will also fund two additional HRSA fellows, increasing the total number of fellows in the program to four.


Sarang Yoon, DO, MOH

STUDY IMPLEMENTATION OF PROJECT: STUDY AND PEDIATRIC RESEARCH OBSERVING TRENDS AND EXPOSURES IN COVID-19
Sponsor: 
ABT ASSOCIATES (CDC)
Dates: 05/01/2021–04/30/2022
Project Description: This project is designed to observe trends in exposure and trends in COVID-19 in pediatric cases.