From The Director

InCHIP Director Jeffrey Fisher
InCHIP Director Jeffrey Fisher

Dear InCHIP Affiliates

As usual, the atmosphere is highly dynamic at InCHIP, due to our wonderful administrative staff, Associate Directors, Executive Committee, and engaged faculty affiliates. This year we adopted a new Core structure to provide many more services to our affiliates, with a deep focus on training and development. We want to help faculty affiliates at each career stage to be even more successful in their research and their grant applications. In addition to an Administrative Core (which is not new), we now have a Training and Development Core, an Intervention Core, a Biostatistics & Methodology Core, and a Community-Engaged Health Research Core, all of which are active and available to InCHIP affiliates. In addition to providing extensive services, this new structure will position us to apply for future Center and other large interdisciplinary grants. Please read the articles on the new Cores in this issue of InCHIP Research News, visit our website which has pages devoted to each Core, and most of all, take advantage of what the Cores have to offer.

We have been privileged to bring to UConn and to InCHIP several critical new faculty over the past few years, as well as to move the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity from Yale to UConn as a unit within InCHIP. We are happy to announce that we have had the opportunity to continue to attempt to recruit exceptional faculty target of opportunity hires during the current academic year as part of a University initiative. We have interviewed new potential InCHIP researchers/UConn faculty in HIV prevention and in digital health, consistent with our long-term plans to hire a new generation of HIV prevention researchers (some of our HIV prevention researchers, like me, are getting older), and to grow in the fast developing domain of electronic and mobile health. Stay tuned for any news that may materialize on this front. Note that this issue of the InCHIP Research News highlights the research of two of the new faculty we have recruited in the past few years, Kim Gans and Lisa Butler. Both are great additions to our group and are very interested in collaborating with others at InCHIP and UConn.

An exciting initiative with Cuban health promotion researchers has been ongoing, led by Biostatistics & Methodology Core Director and InCHIP Executive Committee member Tania Huedo-Medina and Vice President for Global Affairs Dan Weiner, with assistance from InCHIP. This March, ten InCHIP researchers will be going to Havana to meet with ten Cuban health researchers for a weeklong workshop to develop collaborative research and funding plans. This global health initiative represents a wonderful opportunity for UConn and InCHIP, and one that we hope will continue to grow moving forward.

The highly acclaimed InCHIP Lecture series continues this semester with a number of very accomplished researchers from around the country. Take the opportunity to attend it “in person” over lunch (there is such a thing as a free lunch!) or watch it online, and make an appointment to meet with the speakers before or after their talk.

Last but not least, Dr. Kara Hall, who is the Director of the Science of Team Science (SciTS) Team at the National Cancer Institute, will be joining us for two days on May 11 and 12 to provide training in and facilitate discussions about team science. We are very fortunate to have someone with such tremendous expertise in team science coming to UConn. Not only did Kara help launch the SciTS field by co-chairing the 2006 conference, “The Science of Team Science: Assessing the Value of Transdisciplinary Research,” she also co-edited the 2008 American Journal of Preventive Medicine Supplement on the Science of Team Science, which has been the most cited and downloaded AJPM supplement to date.

As you know, there have been substantial changes in the upper UConn administration in recent months. We deeply thank Mun Choi, Sally Reis, Jeff Seemann, and Jeremy Teitelbaum for their wonderful support of InCHIP over the years. Each of them has had a significant impact on the success and growth of our Institute, and we wish them every success in their new roles.

We look forward to a successful and exciting remainder of the academic year.