Month: September 2011

CHIP Doctoral Student Presents Research to UConn BOT

CHIP Doctoral Student Laramie Smith recently shared her NRSA-funded research about retention in HIV medical care at a UConn Board of Trustees meeting. Excerpt from the article:

Laramie Smith
Laramie Smith
Even though most HIV patients in the U.S. have access to recommended treatment for their illness, only about 60 percent take advantage of it. Doctoral student Laramie Smith studies why this happens.

Smith, a fifth-year doctoral student in social psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, presented her research to the UConn Board of Trustees at its Sept. 28 meeting. Her adviser is Jeffrey Fisher, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Psychology.

Click here for the full article.

Roper Center Announces Resumption of Summer Graduate Research Fellowships

The Roper Center is pleased to announce the resumption of —


University of Connecticut graduate students enrolled in a degree program in every department and college are eligible to apply for one of several Warren J. Mitofsky Graduate Fellowships to be awarded for the summer of 2012. The fellowships pay a stipend of $1800.

  • Students should submit a brief proposal – two pages is strongly recommended – describing an original research project they will carry out utilizing or/and expanding upon the data files in the Roper Center archives. Data in the Roper Center archives must be central to the proposed research. A copy of the student’s curriculum vita should be included with the proposal.
  • Included with the student’s proposal, a University of Connecticut faculty advisor must submit a cover letter – two paragraphs are strongly recommended – briefly noting the theoretical and/or methodological contribution the proposed study is expected to make. It does not matter if the proposed research is related to a student’s course work, thesis or dissertation.

Papers previously submitted to conferences or journals are not eligible. Papers originally written for course assignments are eligible, provided the proposal is designed to extend the contribution of the original paper.

The deadline for submission of complete proposals – hard copy or electronic – is March 9, 2012. Award notification date is April 16, 2012. Students selected for one of the awards will receive the first part of the fellowship – $1200 – at the end of May. All recipients are expected to submit a one page summary of their research progress on, or before, August 24, 2012. The final $600 of the award is contingent upon receipt of that summary.

Both the student’s proposal and the faculty cover letter should be sent, together, to:

Mark Abrahamson, Director
The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
Unit 2164

*These fellowships are named for Warren Jay Mitofsky, a man who made extraordinary contributions to the collection of public opinion data: innovating both random digit dialing telephone surveys and Election Day exit polls. Mitofsky served for many years as director of surveys at CBS News and Chair of the Roper Center Board of Directors.

CHIP PI Finds Incentives Effective for Weight Loss

CHIP PI Linda Pescatello is part of a research team that has been featured in UConn Today. Excerpt from the article:

Linda Pescatello
Linda Pescatello
UConn researchers are finding that applying the concept of reinforcement can be an effective way to improve efforts to lose weight.

“The importance of maintaining a healthy body weight is clear to most, but the pervasiveness of obesity in our population today suggests that that’s not motivation enough, or at least not enough to keep people motivated to lose weight,” says lead author Nancy Petry, director of the Behavioral Cardiovascular Prevention Program in the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center.

The contingency management approach attempts to steer patients toward making healthy choices by rewarding those choices. Petry, who has received millions of dollars in grants for her research on the treatment of addictive disorders, has demonstrated the effectiveness of contingency management, a behavioral intervention that uses reinforcers, in treating addictions such as drug abuse.

In a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, Petry, Dr. William White and Danielle Barry from the Calhoun Cardiology Center, and Linda Pescatello from the Kinesiology and Human Performance Laboratory in Storrs used reinforcement techniques on half the participants. All participants were considered overweight or obese based on their body mass index, a ratio of weight to height.

Click here for the full article.

Dr. Paul D. Thompson to Speak at CHIP September 29th

On Thursday, September 29, 2011, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm, the 2011-12 CHIP lecture series continues with Paul D. Thompson, M.D., Director of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital and Professor of Medicine at UCHC, who will present on “Exercise and Statin Myopathy.”

The lecture will be in Video Conference Room 204 on the second floor of Ryan at 2006 Hillside Road at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. For a map of the area, look at

You can also view this talk streamed live during or after the lecture at the following link:

Paul D Thompson, M.D., is Director of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital and Prof of Medicine at University of Connecticut. He did his undergraduate and medical training at Tufts University, was an intern and resident at Tufts Northeast Medical Center and a cardiology fellow at Stanford. He was on the faculty at Brown and professor of Medicine at Pittsburg before coming to Hartford Hospital in 1997. His research group presently has 4 NIH projects examining the effect of statins on skeletal muscle and exercise performance, but prior NIH support examined the effects of exercise on lipid metabolism, the effect of anabolic steroids on vascular function, and genetic factors affecting exercise performance and skeletal muscle adaptations. He has over 250 scientific publications, and is one of 12 cardiologists chosen by the American Board of Internal Medicine to write the cardiology certification exam.