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Dornsife Postdoctoral Research Fellow Receives $50,000 Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Grant will support Sharrelle Barber in examining the link between racial residential segregation and cardiovascular disease in the Deep South

September 29, 2016

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care, has awarded Dornsife School of Public Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH, a 12-month grant through the foundation’s New Connections program. Dr. Barber is among a select group of Junior Investigators to receive a New Connections grant. The grant will allow Dr. Barber to examine the link between racial residential segregation and cardiovascular disease risk among African Americans in the Deep South.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be among the junior investigators awarded with this prestigious grant," says Dr. Barber, who works with Drexel’s Urban Health Collaborative. "This award will allow me to extend my independent research agenda which examines structural racism, including racial residential segregation, and its impact on health and health inequalities with a specific focus on residential environments in the South. The New Connections program will also connect me to a network of established experts in the field and give me the opportunity to broaden my network of colleagues and mentors across multiple disciplines who are committed to the work required to build more equitable and just communities” says Barber.

New Connections is a national program designed to introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the foundation’s programming.  The program seeks early- to mid-career scholars from backgrounds that are historically disadvantaged or underrepresented in research disciplines, such as individuals from ethnic or racial groups historically underrepresented in research disciplines, first-generation college graduates, and people from lower-income communities.

“We are so excited to welcome Dr. Barber into the tenth cohort of New Connections grantees. The program connects first-time grantees to the Foundation, and the new perspectives they bring are essential to solving the critical, complex issues affecting our nation’s health,” says Catherine Malone, DBA, MBA, and Program Officer at RWJF.

“This cohort joins the larger New Connections network of more than 850 scholars—a network that provides opportunities for scholarly support and collaboration for academics from underrepresented groups,” says Malone.

More information about New Connections

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at