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Recent Milestones for New Investigators

At the Institute for Health Research and Policy, we celebrate the achievements of our researchers at all stages of their careers. Here are some recent milestones reached by UIC investigators mentored at IHRP:

  • David Marquez, an assistant professor of kinesiology, was awarded his first grant as an independent researcher from the National Institute of Nursing Research. He will test how well a salsa dance program he developed for Latino older adults improves their level of physical activity — and with it, balance, mobility and cognitive function. He conducted a pilot study of the program with funding from the Midwest Roybal Center. [more]
  • Silvia Tejeda, a research scientist at IHRP, was awarded a supplemental grant from the National Cancer Institute to the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities to support her career development as well as to conduct research. She is learning what influences African American or Latina women with an elevated risk of breast cancer to follow — or not — their physician’s recommendation for more frequent screening or taking prophylactic medication such as Tamoxifen. [more]
  • The National Institutes of Health has awarded Randi Schuster, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology, a Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award, a fellowship to support her dissertation research examining the influence of using both tobacco and cannabis on mood and cognitive function among young adults. 
  • Chisina Kapungu, a psychologist and assistant professor in obstetrics and gynecology, was awarded a federally funded career development grant, or K grant, to develop and evaluate a faith-based, developmentally and culturally appropriate intervention to reduce risky sexual behavior among African American girls. [more]
  • Sandy Slater, research assistant professor in health policy and administration, completed the career development phase of a new hybrid grant from the National Institutes of Health, called the K99/R00, and began the research phase in November 2009. [more]
  • Dr. Claudia Hernandez, assistant professor of dermatology, was awarded the 2009 Women’s Health Career Development Award from the prestigious Dermatology Foundation. [Read more in the 2009 IHRP Annual Report.]
  • Dr. Vince Freeman, a physician and epidemiologist, was awarded his first grant in January 2009 as an independent researcher from the National Institutes of Health to study the link between body fat and prostate cancer progression. [more]
  • Renae Smith-Ray, a doctoral candidate in community health sciences, is conducting her multidisciplinary dissertation research with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and a UIC Chancellor's Supplemental Research Fellowship. [more]
  • In August 2009, Dr. Micaela Della Torre, a former UIC fellow in obstetrics and gynecology, was the first to complete UIC’s new master’s degree program in clinical and translational science, administered by the School of Public Health and developed at IHRP with a federal grant.
  • Lisa Sharp, a psychologist in the Section of Health Promotion Research in the Department of Medicine, was awarded a five-year, federally funded career development grant in 2008. She is using the award to develop and test an intervention that educates adult survivors of childhood cancer about health risks from their cancer treatment and empowers them to be more active in their health care. [more]