Harnessing Research to Improve Health

The Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy is the nexus for health research at UConn.

InCHIP-affiliated faculty and students work across many health domains, tackling issues that impact human health from a multitude of analytic lenses and approaches. Together they work toward a shared goal of improving human health and well-being.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the need for strong, evidence-based approaches to combating public health issues of national and international importance.

InCHIP’s scientific wheelhouse lies in the behavioral and social health sciences, with existing or emerging strengths in several key health domains (e.g., food/nutrition policy and obesity, global health, HIV, school and child health, substance use, emotional well-being), cross-cutting issues (e.g., intersectionality, self-regulation, health equity, social drivers of health), and methodologies (e.g., advanced quantitative methods, community-based participatory research, meta-analyses, mHealth and social media, qualitative research, randomized controlled trials, mixed methods).

Project Highlights

With 122 active InCHIP PIs, it is nearly impossible to showcase all the exciting research going on. Below is a brief overview of some of the recently funded projects currently being undertaken by our PIs.

  • hiv metaslider

    HIV Prevention

    Seth Kalichman,PhD (Psychological Sciences) received two multi-year R01s from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH/NIH). The first project examines an intervention designed to improve HIV care retention and medication adherence in stigmatized environments. The second project seeks to identify what dose of an evidence-based behavioral intervention is needed to effectively implement the intervention in a community setting.

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InCHIP Centers

UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media

The Center for mHealth and Social Media (CHASM) advances the science of digital health by applying existing and developing novel digital technologies to the study of health promotion through research and intervention.

UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity is dedicated to promoting solutions to childhood obesity, poor diet, and weight bias through research and policy.

Collaboratory on School and Child Health

The Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH) facilitates innovative and impactful connections across research, policy, and practice arenas to advance equity in school and child health. CSCH is committed to anti-racist work that prioritizes inclusion, reduces disparities, and creates systemic change

InCHIP Funded Projects

InCHIP hosts annual seed grant competitions for faculty pilot projects. Listed below are the projects funded during the past fiscal year.

InCHIP Rolling Seed Grants to Develop New Interdisciplinary Research Teams

  • César Abadía-Barrero, DMD, DMSc (Anthropology/Human Rights Institute) and Alejandro Reyes Bermúdez, PhD (Universidad de la Amazonia) for “From Environmental Degradation to Buen Vivir: Using Participatory Action Research to Promote Community Auto Sustainability while Protecting Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” 
  • Loneke Blackman Carr, PhD, RD (Nutritional Sciences) and Shardé Davis, PhD (Communication) for “Sistah Circles for Weight Control: Investigating Novel Intervention Approaches for Black Women” 
  • Kristen Cooksey Stowers, PhD, MPP (Allied Health Sciences) and Kim Gans, PhD, MPH (HDFS) for “The Healthy Hartford Hub Evaluation Planning” 

InCHIP Gun Violence Prevention Seed Grant

Jennifer Dineen, PhD, Kerri Raissian, PhD (Public Policy), and Mitchell Doucette, PhD (Eastern Connecticut State University) for “Using Interviews to Learn What Physicians Can Tell Us about Facilitators and Barriers to Firearm Medical Screenings in Diverse Clinical Settings” 

Faculty Research Seed Grants

  • Sandro Steinbach, PhD (Agricultural and Resource Economics), Douglas Brugge, PhD (Public Health Sciences), and Eric Loken, PhD (Educational Psychology) for “Non-Occupational Pesticide Exposure and Academic Achievements of Children and Adolescents” 
  • Anna Tarakanova, PhD (Mechanical Engineering) for “A Multiscale In Silico Approach for Deconstructing Aging Mechanisms in Elastic Arterial Tissue” 

InCHIP Community-Engaged Health Research Seed Grant

Greg Rhee, PhD, MSW (Public Health Sciences), Jean Schensul, PhD (Institute for Community Research), and Robyn Harper- Gulley (North Central CT Area Agency on Aging) for “Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Interventional Approaches with Low-Income Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Funded InCHIP Rapid Response Proposals to Address COVID-19

Within three days of UConn closing its campuses, InCHIP launched a rapid response funding program. Twenty awards of up to $5,000 each were made, allowing investigators to capture time-sensitive data as the pandemic unfolded. Awards supported UConn faculty and graduate students from CLAS, Medicine, Neag, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work, as well as partners at external organizations.

A complete list of those projects can be found here.