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Co-Investigators From CNHP and School of Public Health receive $14.4M NIH Award for Health Disparities Research

October 14, 2021

Deans Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, and Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, are the co-principal investigators on the recently awarded $14.4 million FIRST grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Diez Roux, the Dana and David Dornsife dean and distinguished university professor of epidemiology at the Dornsife School of Public Health, and Gitlin, College of Nursing and Health Professions' dean, a distinguished university professor and executive director of the AgeWell Collaboratory shared that Drexel is one of six institutions nationwide receiving funding as part of the inaugural “Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation” (FIRST)
cohort, and the sole recipient in Pennsylvania.

The NIH's FIRST grant will allow Drexel to hire, retain and support 12 diverse, early career researchers whose focus is on health disparities research on aging, chronic disease and/or environmental determinants. Diez Roux and Gitlin's initiative will create a collaborative structure involving University leaders, academic units and faculty to catalyze sustainable institutional change that supports scientific and inclusive excellence in the conduct of health disparities research.

The grant involves three cores co-led by Drexel faculty who are nationally recognized in their areas of expertise. The administrative core is co-led by Diez Roux and Gitlin while the faculty development core is co-led by Leslie Ain McClure, PhD, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, associate dean for Faculty Affairs and professor in Dornsife School of Public Health, and Stephanie Brooks, PhD, senior associate dean of Health Professions and Faculty Affairs and clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions' Department of Counseling and Family Therapy. Lastly, the evaluation core is co-led by Maria Schultheis, PhD, vice provost of Research and professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant dean for Special Research Initiatives and interim chair and associate professor in the Creative Arts Therapies department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

The full news story appears in DrexelNOW.