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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 was made possible with generous support from:

Upcoming Events

  1. Jun 7 Disseminating Research Findings To Drive Action: A Workshop With Robert Wood Johnson Foundation10:00am

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.

Thank you for joining InCHIP for the 2021-2022 Lecture Series! Scroll down to access our recorded lectures on YouTube.

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.

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.

Sierra Carter, Ph.D., Georgia State University

"Racial Trauma and Racial Health Disparities among Black American Populations: Examining Pathways to Healing, Collective Action, & Liberation"

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., University of California, San Francisco (Medical School) & San Francisco State University (Department of Africana Studies/College of Ethnic Studies)

***This event was not recorded***

"Transforming Racial Health Disparities and Structural Determinants Through Community Informatics and Digital Health Equity"

February 17, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Antwi Akom Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor and Founding Director of the Social Innovation and Universal Opportunity lab. The SOUL lab is the first joint research lab between the University of California, San Francisco Medical School and San Francisco State University. Prof Akom is nationally recognized for innovating for heath equity by developing Neighborhood Informatics - which integrate Community-Drive Data and Patient Centered Data with Big Data and predictive analytics in ways that make communities smarter, more equitable, just and sustainable. Named as one of the world’s top innovators at President Obama 's Frontiers Conference (2016)-- and awarded the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Pioneer award (2019)--what makes Dr. Akom’s work unique is his ability to combine real-time data, location-based data, and health informatics with cutting-edge technology in order to transform racial health disparities and achieve new standards of accessibility, scalability, sustainability, health equity, and opportunity for all. Professor Akom's work enables hospitals, health care providers, community clinics, grassroots orgs, CBOs, Fortune 500 companies, policy-makers, designers, and everyday people to create more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive places and spaces with the world's most vulnerable populations.

Co-sponsored by:

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

"Weighing in on Stress: Exploring the Role of Psychological Factors in Chronic Diseases among Black Women"

March 3, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Black women experience a disproportionate burden of obesity and obesity-associated chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Black women also experience less weight loss than White women and men when attempting weight loss through a variety of modalities. Reasons for this are not fully understood and warrant additional investigation. Chronic psychological stress, which is reported to be higher among Black women compared to White women and men, is hypothesized as a contributor to weight gain and suboptimal weight loss among Black women. This presentation will review the triple threat of obesity, diabetes, and cancer among Black women; present what is known about chronic stress and weight management; and examine stress management as a tool to enhance weight loss outcomes among Black women with obesity and elevated stress levels who participate in behavioral weight loss interventions.

Genevieve Dunton, PhD, MPH, University of Southern California

"Using Intensive Longitudinal Data to Understand Physical Activity Maintenance in the Era of COVID-19"

March 24, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Genevieve Dunton, PhD, MPH is a Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences and Psychology, and Chief of the Division of Health Behavior Research 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 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 and applications, using smartphones and wearable sensors, to better understand the effects of psychological, social, and environmental factors on eating and physical activity. She is the PI on numerous studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society, author of over 190 peer-reviewed publications, and past Chair of the American Public Health Association Physical Activity Section. Dr. Dunton is also 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/

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

"Nursing Research: Meeting Challenges with Innovation, Inclusion, & Impact"

April 7, 2022 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN is Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). She joined NINR in September 2020, following a 14-year career as a faculty member at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing and Institute for Health Research and Policy. Her background is in nursing and public health. Dr. Zenk’s own research focuses on community environments as a social determinant of health and health inequities. She and her team conducted pioneering research on food deserts in the United States. Dr. Zenk was inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2019.

M3EWB Talk @ InCHIP Lecture Series

John M. Salsman, PhD, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Topic: Emotional Well-Being

April 21, 2022 |12:30 – 1:30pm

I am the Director of Clinical Research in Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology and the Co-Leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center. I am a health psychologist by training, and my work focuses on maximizing the health-related quality of life of AYAs with cancer both during and after treatment. I do this primarily through three ways: improving measurement of patient-centered outcomes in order to “give patients a voice,” identifying factors that promote resilience and thriving, and implementing behavioral interventions to foster psychological wellbeing. Among my NIH-funded research, I have received a K07 (CA158008) and two R01s (CA218398 & CA242849). The K07 provided focused training in state-of-the-art approaches to measurement science and led to the development of patient-reported outcome measures of psychological well-being for the NIH Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). As part of R01 CA218398, I am continuing my measurement science work by developing and validating new measures of health-related quality of life among AYAs with cancer. Lastly, for R01 CA242849, I am conducting a randomized controlled trial of a web-based, positive emotions intervention among AYA cancer survivors to determine the optimal (i.e., efficacious) components to improve well-being.

Watch InCHIP’s Recorded Lectures on YouTube