Faculty Members Receive Seed Funding Award

The Division of Public Health Sciences congratulates the following faculty members on their Public Health Cubed Seed Funding for Fall 2015:

  • Cassandra Arroyo-Johnson, PhD, assistant professor of surgery, and Melody Goodman, PhD, assistant professor of surgery, on receiving a Public Health Cubed Seed Funding award entitled Fatal Interactions with Police: Investigating Racial Bias. Together, Drs. Arroyo-Johnson and Goodman will work with Odis D. Johnson Jr., PhD, associate professor in the school of arts and science, in conducting multidisciplinary research around racial biases in officer-related shootings and other fatal interactions with the criminal justice system. The research team also includes Marcello Pagano, PhD, professor statistical computing at Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health; Keon L. Gilbert, PhD, assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University; David de la Cerda, an MPH student in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University; and Nicole Ackerman, MPH, Washington University.
  • Joaquin Barnoya, MD, MPH, assistant professor of surgery, on receiving a Public Health Cubed Seed Funding award entitled Availability and Characteristics of Electronic Cigarettes in Guatemala. This team will examine the electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) being sold in various retail stores throughout Guatemala City. Specifically, they will describe the retailers selling/marketing ENDS, the variability of these business, ENDS product characteristics, and sales prices. They will also describe fine-grained details about the ENDS including types of ENDS available, brands of these products, manufacturers, flavors of e-liquids, concentrations of nicotine in the ENDS and e-Liquids. The team is ultimately planning to study the impact of various marketing tactics on the ENDS attitudes and use behaviors of Guatemalan youth. In addition, the projects will generate baseline data ENDS that can be used to inform tobacco regulation activities to deter youth from nicotine addiction.
  • Aimee James, PhD, MPH, associate professor of surgery, on receiving a Public Health Cubed Seed Funding award entitled Effects of Insurance on Medication Adherence for HIV Prevention. About the project: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV (PrEP) is an intensive strategy for HIV prevention among high risk individuals. It is over 92% effective, and real world implementation needs to be studied. PrEP implementation in a Medicaid non-expansion state has not been evaluated in the Midwest. This team will examine the insurance and cost variables associated with PrEP care and medication adherence at Washington University’s Infectious Disease Clinic’s PrEP Program, and then potentially expand portions of this project to PrEP project site partners in in Providence, Rhode Island and Jackson, Mississippi. The investigators will study the correlation of medication adherence and insurance status, and also conduct cost studies related to PrEP use and make inferences about barriers related to insurance status when looking PrEP care across three sites.
  • Joaquin Barnoya, MD, MPH, assistant professor of surgery, and Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD, on receiving a Public Health Cubed Seed Funding award entitled Differences in Breast Cancer Treatment in a Low-Middle-Income Country, Guatemala. About the project: Standard of care for locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) requires neoadjuvant treatment to downstage tumors prior to surgery. However, many low/middle income country patients cannot afford this treatment due its high cost. At Cancer Institute Guatemala, an estimated 50% of these patients never begin or complete treatment. For hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer, neoadjuvant endocrine therapy with tamoxifen (TMX) has proven effective at a much lower cost. This study evaluates the feasibility, adherence, and efficacy of neoadjuvant TMX in a low-resource setting in Guatemala.
  • Aimee James, PhD, MPH, associate professor of surgery, on receiving a Public Health Cubed Seed Funding award entitled Evaluation of Social Apps for HIV Prevention Research among Men Who Have Sex with Men in St. Louis. About the project: Young adult minority men who have sex with men (MSM) are one of the highest risk groups most likely to get new HIV infections in St. Louis. This population has also not adequately been engaged in HIV prevention research and, consequently, interventions. The project team will use social network analysis to determine ad placement for HIV prevention research on social apps. The study will include a survey component to solicit direct feedback about the advertising from users. Based on data gathered regarding high risk venues, affiliation networks using social network analysis will be generated in order to create a more accurate picture of effective study recruitment methods among minority MSM.
  • Ross Brownson, PhD, professor of surgery, on receiving a Public Health Cubed Seed Funding award entitled Do Citywide Bicycle Path Networks Differ by Socioeconomic Status in Bogota, Colombia? About the project: The public network of bicycle paths in Bogota, also known as “Cicloruta,” is one of the largest in Latin America, with approximately 376 kilometers of bicycle paths distributed throughout the city. The Cicloruta increases bicycle use in the city, but there are some concerns regarding disparities in the design and distribution of the routes, with lower-socioeconomic status areas having fewer routes and poorer design. This situation has not been systematically evaluated. This project aims to document the spatial distribution of the public network of bicycle paths in Bogota, assessing differences by neighborhoods’ socioeconomic status. There is evidence that lower income populations in Bogota have a higher tendency to use the bicycle as a means of transportation, mostly due to economic reasons. Unfortunately the rate of injuries involving bicyclists remains high in the city, and lower income populations could bear most of the burden if the design and distribution of bicycle paths are unequally distributed.

To learn more about the Public Health Cubed Seed Funding, visit the Institute for Public Health website.