Highlights from the HISTP 2022 Summer Institute

Eleni Vlachos
July 20, 2022

Presenters and scholars addressed inequities in HIV through technology, implementation science, community-engaged research, and big data science at the HISTP 2022 Summer Institute.

The HIV Intervention Science Training Program (HISTP) has been housed at SIG (PIs Drs. Nabila El-Bassel and Elwin Wu) for over a decade. It recently held its second institute of the year for scholars in the program. The theme for this institute was “Translational Research, Data Science and Community-Engaged Research to Advance HIV Prevention and Care.”

Translational Research, Data Science and Community-Engaged Research to Advance HIV Prevention and Care

Bi-annual institutes are a key part of HISTP’s mission to redress racial health disparities and systemic racism by increasing the disproportionately low number of BIPOC faculty who apply for and receive NIH grants in the field of HIV implementation science research. 

One of the program’s greatest strengths is peer support, drawing from the experience and knowledge shared by scholars in the training program of barriers and strategies to navigating academia as BIPOC faculty. The program and its institutes provide space to collaborate and engage in meaningful conversations about the impact of white supremacy culture within and outside academia, both with peers and mentors. 

In addition to peer support, institutes also feature distinguished speakers, sometimes alumni of the program, who share the latest HIV and implementation science research.

Last, the institutes allow scholars to present drafts of their grant applications and receive constructive peer and mentor feedback. 

Day 1: Presentations by esteemed guests

Following opening remarks by  HISTP’s co-Director Dr. Elwin Wu and Omar Martinez, JD, MPH, MS, training program consultant, the scholars were treated to a presentation by HISTP alumna Liliane Windsor, PhD, an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Windor presented on enhancing behavioral intervention science using CBPR and MOST. 

Next, Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz, PhD, an Associate Professor at George Washington University presented “Using translational research to reduce health inequities among Latinx LGBTQ populations.”  

Dr. Diaz was followed by Rasheeta Chandler, PhD, an Associate Professor, at Emory University who presented “Strategies to engaging minority communities in technological interventions relative to HIV prevention & Sexual/Reproductive Health.

Sonya Arreola, PhD, MPH of Arreola Research shared a presentation about considerations for community-engaged research. 

HISTP alumna Tawandra L. Rowell-Cunsolo, PhD, an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work presented  “Using a mixed methods approach to reduce drug use among formerly incarcerated individuals living with HIV.

Another HISTP alumna Rita M. Melendez, PhD, Professor at San Francisco State University, Center for Research & Education on Gender and Sexuality, presented “Working with Latino immigrants: Using data to directly impact prevention and treatment programs.

Huanmei Wu, PhD, a Professor at Temple University, shared ”Using translational research to reduce health inequities among Latinx LGBTQ populations.”

photos from presentations of scholars and of histp scholars presenting

Day 2: Development Work Review and Feedback Session

Five HISTP scholars participated in the NIH mock review process on day two of the institute. Scholars presented their proposals and received constructive feedback from seasoned researchers. 

  1. Caroline Kingori, Ph.D., MPH, CHES (Feedback by Dr. Sonya Arreola) 
  2. Peter Memiah, DrPH, MSc (Feedback by Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz) 
  3. Melonie Walcott, DrPH, MPH (Feedback by Dr. Rita Melendez) 
  4. Aimalohi Ahonkhai, MD, MPH (Feedback by Dr. Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo) 
  5. Donaldson Conserve, Ph.D., M.S. (Feedback by Dr. Huanmei Wu) 

Following this session, HISTP alumna Dr. Jamila Stockman provided feedback to all scholars.

One theme that emerged from the work of the HISTP scholars was the community-engaged nature of their work. All of the scholars mentioned working with the community members and centering their voices. Significantly, their research work is also based within community-based organizations. 

HISTP is seeking additional scholars to apply

Interested in applying to the program or know a new faculty member who might be? Learn more about becoming an HISTP scholar, or share the opportunity with others here.