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The InCHIP Lecture Series brings leaders in social and behavioral health research from diverse academic fields to the University of Connecticut. The series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about late-breaking findings, to identify emerging trends in health research, and to spark collaborations.


The 2021-2022 InCHIP Lecture Series is made possible with generous support from:

Upcoming Events

  1. Dec 6 InCHIP Meet n Greet With Connecticut Children's4:00pm
  2. Dec 9 M3EWB @ InCHIP Lecture Series:Emotional Well-Being In The Context Of Mind-Body Practices12:30pm

Attend a Lecture

The InCHIP Lecture Series will be held in a virtual format until further notice. Lectures are typically held on Thursdays at 12:30 PM, exceptions will be noted with an asterisk.

Watch the live webcast and join in a post-lecture Q&A with the speaker. Click here to learn more about participating in the Q&A.

Upcoming Lectures

Fall 2021



In Recognition of World AIDS Day (Dec. 1)

Marya Gwadz, Ph.D., New York University

"'There's Not That Many Places That You Can Feel Human': Addressing the Challenges of Long-term HIV Survivorship Using the Multiphase Optimization Strategy to Create Cost-Effective Interventions"

December 2, 2021 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Marya Gwadz is Associate Dean for Research, Professor, and Director of the Intervention Innovations Team Lab (IIT-Lab) at NYU Silver. She also serves as an Associate Director in the Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core in the NIDA-funded Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) at NYU School of Global Public Health. The main focus of Dr. Gwadz's research is the development and evaluation of potent, innovative, and culturally salient social/behavioral interventions to address racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender inequity in health. Her work with vulnerable adolescent and adult populations spans three decades and focuses on populations such as persons with substance use problems, sexual and gender minorities, heterosexuals in high-risk contexts, populations with high rates of criminal justice involvement, runaway/homeless youth, and people of color living with HIV from low socioeconomic status backgrounds. Dr. Gwadz's program of research has been continually funded by the NIH since 2000.


Crystal Park, Ph.D., University of Connecticut

"Emotional Well-Being in the Context of Mind-Body Practices"

December 9, 2021 | 12:30 - 1:30pm

Crystal L. Park, Ph.D., is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on multiple aspects of coping, including the roles of religious/spiritual resources, the phenomenon of stress-related growth, and the making of meaning in the context of traumatic events and life-threatening illnesses,. Her yoga-related research focuses on the mechanisms through which yoga may affect health and wellbeing and reduce stress, particularly through its fostering of healthier emotion regulation. She is currently co-principal investigator of NIH-funded studies of mechanisms of action through which yoga helps low back pain and alcohol misuse, and is also co-principal investigator of an NIH-funded research network, Mind-Body Measures and Mechanisms of Emotional Wellbeing. At UConn, she maintains an active research lab of graduate and undergraduate students, and teaches health psychology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.


Spring 2022

Sierra Carter, Ph.D., Georgia State University

Topic: Racial Health Disparities and Aging

February 3, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

My primary area of research focuses on racial health disparities and investigating how psychosocial and contextual stressors can affect both mental and physical health outcomes for underrepresented populations, with an emphasis on African American populations. I have a long-standing interest in the ways that health disparities in African American populations arise and are maintained by psychological, physiological, and contextual/social processes. A common theme throughout much of my work has been examining how racial discrimination, as an acute and chronic stressor, effects development and exacerbation of chronic illnesses and stress-related disorders across the life course. I integrate clinical, physiological, and biobehavioral measurement in my research to aid in improved identification of mechanisms that can be targeted in prevention and treatment efforts to reduce racial health disparities.


Antwi Akom, Ph.D., San Francisco State University

Topic: Structural/Social Determinants of Health

February 17, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Dr. Antwi Akom is the Director of the Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab—a joint research lab between UCSF and SFSU (SOULLAB.co). His research lies at the intersection of science, technology, spatial epidemiology, community development, health communications, medical sociology, ethnic studies, African American studies, culturally responsive human centered design, Big Data, and public health. Dr. Akom is also a faculty affiliate with UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP) at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center where he focuses on researching, developing, and deploying new health information communication technologies that amplify the voices of communities often excluded from digital and physical public spheres and connecting them with resources that improve health literacy, data literacy, health care delivery, and promote equitable economic development for vulnerable populations. Dr. Akom has an extensive background in building collaborative, community-facing technology projects and new models of urban innovation that help cities become smarter, more equitable, just and sustainable.

RSVP coming soon

Co-sponsored by:

Tiffany L. Carson, PhD, MPH, Moffitt Cancer Center

Topic: Racial Disparities and the Triple Threat of Obesity, Diabetes, and Cancer

March 3, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Dr. Carson's research focuses on cancer prevention and reducing racial disparities in obesity and cancer, primarily by helping individuals achieve healthier weights. Using a bio-behavioral model, Dr. Carson's research program examines how race, behaviors (e.g. diet, stress) and the gut microbiota intersect to influence health outcomes.

RSVP coming soon

Genevieve Dunton, PhD, MPH, University of Southern California

Topic: EMA and Physical Activity

March 24, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Genevieve Dunton, PhD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine and Psychology at the University of Southern California. She earned a doctorate in Health Psychology from the University of California, Irvine and a Master of Public Health from the University of Southern California. Dr. Dunton received post-doctoral training in physical activity, nutrition, and cancer prevention from the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Dunton´s research examines the etiology of health behaviors related to chronic disease risk in children and adults, with a focus on physical activity and nutrition. Dr. Dunton is the Director of the USC REACH (Real-Time Eating Activity and Children’s Health) lab, whose goals are to develop, test, and apply real-time data capture methodologies, including EMA and wearable sensors, to better understand the effects of time-varying psychological, social, and environmental factors on eating and physical activity episodes. She is the PI on numerous studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society, author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications, and past Chair of the American Public Health Association Physical Activity Section. Dr. Dunton is a past Chair of the National Physical Activity Plan Public Health Sector Committee and past member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Implementation of Physical Activity Surveillance Strategies. See http://reach.usc.edu/

RSVP coming soon

Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, National Institute of Nursing Research

Topic: How Community Environments Impact Health Outcomes

April 7, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Dr. Zenk was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2013, received the President’s Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research in 2018, and was inducted into the International Nurse Researchers Hall of Fame in 2019. She has spent time as a visiting scholar in Rwanda and Australia. She earned her bachelor’s in nursing, magna cum laude, from Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington; her master’s degrees in public health nursing and community health sciences from UIC; and her doctorate in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her predoctoral training was in psychosocial factors in mental health and illness, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Her dissertation examined racial and socioeconomic inequities in food access in metropolitan Detroit. She completed postdoctoral training in UIC’s Institute for Health Research and Policy’s Cancer Education and Career Development Program, funded by the National Cancer Institute, in 2006. Dr. Zenk’s own research focuses on social inequities and health with a goal of identifying effective, multilevel approaches to improve health and eliminate racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities. Her research portfolio has included NIH-supported work into urban food environments, community health solutions and veterans’ health. Through pioneering research on the built environment and food deserts, Dr. Zenk and her colleagues increased national attention to the problem of inadequate access to healthful foods in low-income and Black neighborhoods.

RSVP coming soon

Tony N. Brown, Ph.D., Rice University

Topic: Critical Race Theory and Health Disparities

*Postponed Until Further Notice*

As a critical race theorist, I investigate how racism works, from the womb to the tomb, to disadvantage blacks and privilege whites. Mechanisms of racism include interactions across interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels, implicating the mundane and extraordinary in the maintenance of white supremacy. In my quantitative research, I avoid attempting to explain away the race coefficient, instead highlighting heterogeneity within black populations thereby demonstrating that race is socially constructed and represents shared experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. Using survey data from community-based samples, I am currently examining the mental health significance of racial discrimination, the social construction of race in Brazil, race socialization during childhood, the epidemiology of racial trauma, the psychological wages of whiteness, and culturally-specific conceptualizations of mental health. I have secured funding from various federal agencies to support my program for research. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and completed postdoctoral training at Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Before joining Rice University in 2016, I was tenured in the sociology department at Vanderbilt University. While there, I co-edited the American Sociological Review, served as the inaugural Faculty Head of Hank Ingram House in the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, and held appointments in numerous departments and programs across the main and medical campuses.

Completed Lectures 2021-2022

InCHIP's Completed Lectures for the 2021-2022 Academic Year will be posted here. Watch recorded lectures on InCHIP's YouTube page.

Completed Lectures

Katrina M. Walsemann, Ph.D., MPH, University of Maryland

"Education in the Jim Crow South and Racial Inequities in Cognitive Functioning among Older Adults"

September 16, 2021 | 12:30 - 1:30 PM

Dr. Walsemann is the Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Health Policy and associate professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a faculty associate at the Maryland Population Research Center. She received her Ph.D. and MPH from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and completed a National Institute of Aging (NIA) post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center. Dr. Walsemann is a population health scientist with a particular focus on how the U.S. education system shapes individuals’ physical and mental health, independent from and in relation to other structural factors such as race/ethnicity, gender, and social class. She has published extensively on how early school environments affect health and health behavior across the life course as well as how student debt influences the psychosocial health of young adults and their aging parents. Fundamental to her research is an understanding of the historical and contemporary social policies that can create, reduce, or eliminate social inequities in population health. Her current projects examine the role of state and local educational contexts on cognitive impairment and dementia in older adulthood. The first project, funded by an Alzheimer’s Association (AARG-NTF-20-684252), aims to determine if variation in the timing of state-level school desegregation efforts explain Black-White disparities in cognitive impairment among older adults who grew up in the U.S. South. The second project, funded by the NIA (1R01AG067536-01), examines if educational attainment has differential effects on the risk for cognitive impairment and dementia when education is attained under more (or less) advantaged educational contexts.

Co-sponsored by: Collaboratory on School and Child Health

In Recognition of World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10)

Jessica Fish, Ph.D., University of Maryland

"Future Direction in Understanding and
Addressing Mental Health among LGBTQ Youth"

October 7, 2021 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Today’s LGBTQ youth come of age at a time of dynamic social and political change concerning LGBTQ rights and visibility yet remain vulnerable to compromised mental health. Despite advances, there remain critical gaps in large-scale evidence-based prevention and intervention programs designed to support the positive development and mental health of LGBTQ youth. To spur advances in research and translation, I propose six distinct but interrelated considerations to developing future research and (ultimately) programs to address LGBTQ youth mental health: (1) framing LGBTQ health disparities in a life course perspective; (2) expanding notions of mental health; (3) attending to the complexity of youth’s context; (4) acknowledging heterogeneity; (5) leveraging community resources; and (6) fostering team science approaches for inquiry and application. By addressing these issues, we will ultimately provide new and innovative strategies for supporting the positive development and wellbeing of LGBTQ young people.

Co-Sponsored by UConn's Rainbow Center

Matthew Miller, MD, ScD, MPH, Northeastern University; Harvard University

"Firearms & Suicide: Is Intent All That Matters?"

October 21, 2021 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Dr. Miller is Professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology at Northeastern University, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Co-Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Dr. Miller is an expert in injury and violence prevention. His research encompasses intentional and unintentional injury, with an emphasis of firearm related violence and suicide prevention that focuses on nature of the agent of injury and the contextual aspects of the physical and social environment that can be modified to prevent death and reduce injury severity without necessarily affecting underlying behavior. In addition to empirical work in injury prevention, Dr. Miller’s scholarship includes pharmacoepidemiology and work on the fundamental and often unrecognized tension between research and therapy in clinical trials. Dr. Miller is Assistant Editor of the journal Injury Epidemiology and a recipient of the Excellence in Science Award from the American Public Health Association. Dr. Miller teaches research methods at Northeastern.

Co-Sponsored by: Gun Violence Prevention Research Interest Group 

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC,
PMHNP-BC, AAHIVS, FAAN, Duke University

"Developing Efficacious Parent-Based Interventions to Reduce Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health Disparities and Promote Sexual Health"

November 4, 2021 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, AAHIVS, FAAN, is Dean and Professor, Duke University School of Nursing and Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs, Duke University. He is the founding director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) at Duke University. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos is a nurse practitioner dually licensed in primary care (ANP-BC) and psychiatric-mental health nursing (PMHNP-BC) and he is credentialed as an HIV Specialist (AAHIVS) by the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Widely regarded as an expert in adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health promotion, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos’ research has been funded externally for two decades by the NIH, CDC, HRSA, and various federal agencies. His research focuses on the role of families in promoting adolescent and young adult health among Latinos and in other underserved communities, with a special focus on preventing HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and improving care outcomes for youth receiving HIV prevention and care services. He has published extensively in leading scientific journals and his research and scholarship has led to widespread coverage in well-known media sources. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos currently serves as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), the HHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents, the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment. He also serves on the Latino Commission on AIDS Board of Directors, the Power to Decide Board of Directors, and the Ending the HIV Epidemic Working Group of the HIV Medicine Association.

Timothy Caulfield, BSc, LL.B., LL.M., University of Alberta

**This Event Was Not Recorded**

Topic: Science Miscommunication

November 18, 2021 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science and health policy issues has allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently to the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015). His most recent book is The Vaccination Picture (Penguin, 2017). Caulfield is also the host and co-producer of the award winning documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which has been shown in over 60 countries and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Watch InCHIP’s Recorded Lectures on YouTube