Socio-ecological and  Behavioral Science for Equity

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Effective translation research can efficiently identify ways to improve uptake, adoption, utilization, and maintained engagement with evidence-based prevention and care programs. Engagement and Behavior Change is well-positioned to catalyze this sort of diabetes translation research by leveraging its multidisciplinary expertise, its extensive experience in community- and clinic-based research, its access to ethnic minority physician practice networks, and its access to ethnic minority communities and clinical populations. This Core has extensive breadth and depth of experience and expertise in community-based participatory research (CBPR) with minority disadvantaged communities and clinical populations. Though these are often underrepresented populations in translation research, this core brings experience in facilitating their ethical recruitment, retention, and sustained engagement in health promotion and research activities.

The Core has three primary aims:

    Facilitate the use of community-engaged research and behavior change models to engage health disparity populations in multilevel interventions advancing diabetes health equity
    Provide methodological expertise and education on innovative mixed method data analysis strategies designed to understand, measure, and assess multilevel health equity determinants.
    Facilitate the integration of innovative technologies to support implementation research and optimize the measurement and impact of research with diabetes health disparity populations.

    Core Leaders

    Tabia Henry Akintobi, PhD, MPH

    Co-Leader, Socio-ecological and Behavioral Science for Equity Core, Georgia Center for Diabetes Translation Research

    Professor, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine & Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Morehouse School of Medicine

    Cam Escoffery, PhD, MPH, CHES

    Co-Leader, Socio-ecological and Behavioral Science for Equity Core, Georgia Center for Diabetes Translation Research

    Professor, Department of Behavioral, Social & Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

    Core Experts

    Erin Ferranti, PhD, MPH, RN, FAHA

    Assistant Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

    Research Interest:
    Identifying the role of the gut microbiome and effective dietary strategies to mitigate cardiometabolic risk burden in women of childbearing age who have had cardiometabolic complications during pregnancy.

    Melinda Higgins, PhD

    Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

    Research Interest:
    Biostatistics, healthcare bio-behavioral phenotype characterization and modeling, statistical support for clinical trials, remote sensing, multispectral/hyperspectral processing, signatures intelligence, knowledge decision support systems, geospatial information systems, sensors and image fusion, and target recognition.

    Alexandra Morshed, PhD, MS

    Assistant Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

    Research Interest:
    Prevention of weight-related chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Implementation science, public health nutrition, dissemination and implementation.

    Rakale Quarells, PhD

    Professor, Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine  

    Research Interest:
    Chronic disease prevention and self-management