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Pilot Grants Awarded

Current Multisite Pilot Projects (2016 – 2017)

Todd Seto
University of Hawaii AND Sreejayan Nair, University of Wyoming,

Return to Traditional Hawaiian Diet Study: Pilot Project to Improve Cardiometabolic Disparities Among Native Hawaiians

Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker
University of Wyoming AND Merrill Landers, University of Nevada Las Vegas:

Decreasing health disparities for persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in rural communities: Assessing feasibility of coordinated telehealth

Current Health Disparities Pilot Grants (2016 – 2017)

Lindsay Larkins
University of Idaho:

Mechanical Treatment for Pregnancy Related Lumbopelvic Pain: Immediate treatment effects and gait changes

Julie Salvador
University of New Mexico Health Sciences

Expansion of Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders in Rural Primary Care

Sherry Weitzen
University of New Mexico Health Sciences

Identifying predictors of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) towards developing a risk score model

Luke Conway
University of Montana

Improving Smoking Cessation Treatments Via Nature Exposure

Alex Santos
University of Montana

Rapid screening of TBI in student athletes and veterans of rural mountain west

Elizabeth Morgan
Idaho State University

Access and Barriers to Primary Care Among Deaf Users of American Sign Language

Aida Midgett
Boise State University

Evaluating a brief, stand-alone bullying bystander intervention for mixed-race middle schools in underserved, predominantly Hispanic population

Jinan Banna
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Preventing excessive gestational weight gain via short mobile messages in WIC

Yan Yan Wu
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Socioeconomic and Behavior Determinants of Heath Disparities in Hawaii, a Multi-Ethnic Study

Mariah Ehmke
University of Wyoming

Behavioral Economic Measures for Improved Child Immunization Rates in Wyoming

Michael Johnson
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Decision-Making Factors that Influence Cervical Cancer Screening Among Transgender Men

Heather Burkin
University of Nevada Reno

Mechanisms of Dysfunctional Quiescence in Preterm Labor

Fang Jiang
University of Nevada Reno

Multisensory perceptual training in the elderly

Ernesto Moralez
New Mexico State University

Adapted Integrative Health Coaching to Improve Pain Management for Hispanic Patients in Primary Care

2015 – 2016 Pilot Grants Awarded

  1. Sandra Benavides-Vaello, Montana State University
    Determining Diabetes and Hypertension Healthcare Needs for Low-Income Hispanics
  2. Jingchun Chen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    To Develop a Cellular Model of Microglia for Schizophrenia Research
  3. Annette Crisanti, University of New Mexico Health Sciences
    Development of the Impact of Peer Support Worker Instrument (I-PSW-I)
  4. Michelle D`Antoni, University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Therapeutic Targeting of Chemokine Receptors to Probe Immunopathogenesis of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders
  5. Clare Fitzpatrick, Boise State University
    Optimizing Surgical Treatment of Crouch Gait on a Patient-Specific Basis
  6. Karen Heath, University of Alaska Anchorage
    A Multi-Level Community-Based Fitness Intervention for Adults with ID
  7. John Holmes, Idaho State University
    Integrated Clinical Telepharmacist Delivered Chronic Disease Management in Rural Primary Care Clinics
  8. Daniel Hudock, Idaho State University
    EEG time-course analysis of the sensorimotor mu rhythm during speech perception
  9. Bryn Martin, University of Idaho
    MRI-based Biomarkers for Characterization of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  10. Marian Melish, University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Effect of Doxycycline on Developing Coronary Aneurysms in Kawasaki Disease
  11. Cristina Murray-Krezan, University of New Mexico Health Sciences
    Informative Drop-out in Mammographic Density and Breast Cancer Risk Studies
  12. Domen Novak, University of Wyoming
    Robust driver attention monitoring by combining driving behavior with physiological measurements
  13. Phillip Post, New Mexico State University Aggie Play
  14. Laurie Slovarp, University of Montana
    Development of the Montana Screening for Behavioral Cough Therapy
  15. Jacqueline Snow, University of Nevada Reno
    How human food decisions are influenced by real objects versus image displays
  16. Qing Wu, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    A pilot study to Develop Personalized Reference Values of Bone Mineral Density

2014 – 2015 Pilot Grants Awarded

  1. Mary Cloud Ammons, Montana State University
    Biochemical association between skin microbiome and metabolomic landscape
  2. Rajal Cohen, University of Idaho
    Lighten up: Modifying postural state to reduce fall risk in older adults
  3. Robert Coker III, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Therapeutic nutrition for alcohol rehabilitation
  4. Diana Doumas, Boise State University
    Efficacy of a web-based alcohol intervention for high school students
  5. Craig McFarland, University of Montana
    Using memory and imagination to combat depression
  6. Katherine Morris, University of New Mexico
    HSCG-CSF and G-CSFR as novel prognostic biomarkers in colorectal cancer
  7. Sreejayan Nair, University of Wyoming
    Effect of Fenugreek Furostanolic Saponin on insulin sensitivity in obese subjects
  8. Frances Nedjat-Haiem, New Mexico State University
    Improving advance care planning for older latinos with advanced cancers
  9. Diane Ogiela, Idaho State University
    Electrophysiology of plural -s processing in specific language impairment
  10. Bracher Posten, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation for Parkinson’s disease
  11. Thomas Rau, University of Montana
    The development of a mulit-dimensional system of oculomotort evaluation for mTBI
  12. Christopher Remien, University of Idaho
    Mathematical modeling of acetaminophen-induced liver injury to assess outcome
  13. Ivo Sah Bandar, University of Hawaii
    Role of gut Macrophages and the microbiome in HIV-associated Immune Activation
  14. Susan Tavernier, Idaho State University
    The patient voice in healthcare
  15. Christopher von Bartheld, University of Nevada, Reno
    Analysis of Molecular links between strabismus and schizophrenia
  16. Dong Xu, Idaho State University
    Predicting the risks of drug-induced serotonin syndrome in elderly patients

2013 – 2014 Pilot Grants Awarded

  1. Heather Burkin, University of Nevada, Reno
    Myometrial mTOR Regulation of Preterm Labor
  2. Jiguo Chen, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    Clinical application of preferential amplification of pathogenic sequences method
  3. Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, University of Wyoming
    Expanding the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) to Adolescents and Adults with Cerebral Palsy
  4. Andrea Ferrante, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    Immunogenetic analysis of Autoimmune Hepatitis in Alaska Natives
  5. Jane Grassley, Boise State University
    Building Young Women’s Health Literacy Skills through an Online Game to Promote Breastfeeding
  6. Elizabeth Hodges Snyder, University of Alaska Anchorage
    More water in the home for basic hygiene needs: Addressing feasibility, acceptability, and optimization of rainwater capture for rural Alaska homes that do not have in-house piped water.
  7. Merrill Landers, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    High-intensity exercise and fall prevention boot camp for Parkinsons disease
  8. Ryan Mays, University of Montana
    Community-based walking exercise enhanced by orthoses to improve walking ability in patients with peripheral artery disease
  9. Mary Miles, Montana State University
    Sugar-sweetened beverages decrease benefits of exercise in overweight adults
  10. Jean Pfau, Idaho State University
    Correlating Autoantibody Profiles in Asbestos Lung Disease Phenotypes
  11. John Scarbrough, New Mexico State University
    Screening and Brief Intervention for Diabetes and Hypertension in Medically Underserved Hispanic Males
  12. Isabel Silvestre, University of Nevada, Reno
    Risk of CFS Due to Alleles of IgG Receptor Genes that Impair ADCC
  13. Mingzhou Song, New Mexico State University
    Genome-wide nonparametric functional dependency studies across ethnic populations
  14. Chantal Vella, University of Idaho
    Exercise and c-reactive protein in young, overweight and obese adults
  15. Xiaomeng Xu, Idaho State University
    Understanding the role of self-expansion in physical activity

2012 – 2013 Pilot Grants Awarded

  1. Blakely Brown, University of Montana
    Developing and pilot testing parent education activities within a childhood obesity prevention after-school program.
  2. Suzanne Christopher, Montana State University
    Understanding treatment adherence and health promoting behaviors of individuals with chronic disease on the Crow Reservation.
  3. Luke Conway, University of Montana
    Using Cognitive Complexity Research to Increase Hardened Smokers’ Quit Attempts.
  4. Kenneth Izuora, University of Nevada, Reno
    Impact of periodontal disease on outcomes in diabetes.
  5. Yu Kuang, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Combined Circulating Tumor DNA and Molecular Imaging to Monitor Therapeutic Response in Sarcoma.
  6. Seth Walk, Montana State University
    Multicenter surveillance of Clostridium difficile infection in the United States: Examination of current testing guidelines.
  7. Brian P. Bothner, Montana State University
    Mass spectrometry-based analysis of clinical predictors for hemorrhagic shock.
  8. Iain Buxton, University of Nevada, Reno
    Post-Translational S-nitrosation of Therapeutic Targets in Preterm Labor.
  9. Robert Coker, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    Muscle Preservation during Weight Loss in Older, Obese Individuals.
  10. Eric Dugan, Boise State University
    Temporal structure of variability in gait post stroke.
  11. Mark Guiberson, University of Wyoming
    Telehealth Behavioral Phenotype Language Impairment Markers for Spanish-speakers.
  12. Cheryl Jorcyk, Boise State University
    Association of serum OSM levels with metastatic breast cancer and therapeutic options.
  13. David Lee, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Walking biomechanics of persons with amputations wearing the Odyssey bionic ankle.
  14. Colin McGill, University of Alaska, Anchorage
    Devil’s Club: Therapeutic Potential for Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  15. Mary Nies, Idaho State University
    Spatial and Census Data to Evaluate Obese Persons and their Environment (SCOPE).
  16. Samantha Ramsay, University of Idaho
    Effectiveness of Child Centered Nutrition Phrases to Improve Food Behaviors.
  17. Kristynia Robinson, New Mexico State University
    Technology use to support behavior change in adults with chronic illness: A pilot.
  18. Martin Schiller, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Combinatorial GWAS analysis of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  19. Denise Wingett, Boise State University
    An NK cell subset and beta-adrenergic agonist dysregulation of T cell CD40L in asthma.
  20. Wendy Woodall, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    ERH screening Medical/Dental Risk Factors and CVD, T2 Diabetes, and Sleep Disorders.


Contact Us

To contact the CTR-IN Administrative Core by phone, you may call (702) 895-1079 between 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday - Friday, excluding holidays. Or, you may email us at ctr-in@unlv.edu at any time.


Site Map

Gwen Marchand Bio

Gwen Marchand, PhD, will serve as the Director for the new upcoming Tracking & Evaluation (T&E) Core in Years 6-10 of the MW CTR-IN Program. She is currently the Director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Center for Research, Evaluation, and Assessment (CREA) and oversees the evaluation training and coursework of graduate students. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Higher Education. Dr. Marchand received her Masters and PhD degrees in Psychology from Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

During her doctoral degree, she focused on rural and urban disparities in access to health care and youth risk behaviors in Oregon. More recently, she collaborated on a proposed project to investigate future thinking and health behaviors in minority youth and has conducted research and evaluation in diverse areas, including but not limited to team science in biomedical research fields, community health, drug court/treatment partnerships, built environments, statewide technology use, and STEM curriculum implementation. Dr. Marchand’s expertise is in assessment and evaluation methodologies that include methods for assisting with program development, formative assessment practices for program improvement, and summative assessment to demonstrate impact. Her evaluation work is grounded in a pragmatic approach that is theory-driven and emphasizes the generation of information that is useful to program stakeholders, funders, and policy-makers. As a trained systems scientist and psychologist, she has a strong quantitative tradition that has grown to include mixed-methods including expertise in measurement and assessment strategies and development, advanced statistics and the use of explanatory mixed-methods.

Robert Seville Bio

Robert “Scott” Seville, PhD, will serve as the Associate Director of the MW CTR-IN Pilot Projects Core. He is currently a Professor of Zoology and Physiology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Currently, he serves as the Lead Concierge for MW CTR-IN Concierge Network. Previously, he served as the Associate Dean for the University of Wyoming Outreach School where he had oversight of UW facilities, staff and programs across Wyoming including managing UW Academic Regional Centers located on each Wyoming community college and the Wind River Indian Reservation. He received his Master’s and PhD degrees, and Postdoctoral training in Zoology/Physiology/Parasitology from the University of Wyoming, Laramie, in Wyoming followed by a NSF/NATO Fellowship in Parasitology.

Dr. Seville’s research has focused on the taxonomy, systematics, and parasite-host co-evolution using gastrointestinal protozoan parasites (coccidia) in wild hosts as a model system. Additionally, he brings experience in leading and managing NIH-funded activities as the Program Director/Principal Investigator, Outreach/Education Core Director, and previously Program Coordinator for the IDeA-funded Wyoming INBRE program. In these leadership roles, he has been responsible for working with the INBRE leadership team and the University of Wyoming Office of Research and Economic Development in managing ~$35M in support from NIGMS IDeA Programs with a number of research, education programs and projects focused on addressing health disparities in rural and American Indian communities in Wyoming.

Tony Ward Bio

Tony Ward, PhD, will serve as the Director for the new upcoming Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Core in Years 6-10 of the MW CTR-IN Program. In addition to teaching within University of Montana’s School of Public and Community Health Sciences, Dr. Ward’s research focuses on investigating the relationship between air pollution and respiratory health, working with rural and American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) populations throughout our region. Concurrently, he is the Co-PI on two NIEHS-funded R01s investigating the impact of residential wood burning on respiratory health in both children and elderly populations living in rural and tribal areas located in the southwest, northern Rocky Mountains, and rural Alaska Native communities. He is also the Co-PI on a NIH funded Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) project that educates rural and AI/AN students in schools throughout Montana, Idaho, and Alaska about air quality/respiratory health. Moreover, Dr. Ward is the Chair at the University of Montana, School of Public and Community Health Sciences in Missoula, Montana, and the State of Montana Director of the CEO Core for the AI/AN Clinical Translational Research Project (CTRP). Dr. Ward received his Masters degree in Environmental Science and Industrial Hygiene from the University of Houston, Clear Lake in Texas, and his PhD degree in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Montana, Missoula, in Montana along with a Postdoctoral.

Dr. Ward has experience conducting Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in rural and underserved communities, including AI/AN communities. His experience with the AI/AN CTRP will be a valuable asset for his role as the CEO Core Director for the CTR-IN, providing synergy for both of the IDeA Programs.

Fares Qeadan Bio

Fares Qeadan, PhD, is the Associate Director for the MW CTR-IN BERD Core. Dr. Qeadan is also an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico (UNM) HSC. He also teaches the biostatistics courses for the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP) and participates in team science as a biostatistician with the UNM HSC Clinical & Translational Science Center (CTSC). He holds two Master’s degrees in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Nevada, Reno in Nevada and Michigan State University, East-Lansing in Michigan.

Dr. Qeadan has over 10 years of experience in the field of Biostatistics and Computer Science including extensive experience in statistical design and analysis in the areas of public health/epidemiology and biostatistics centers. Moreover, he brings experience from his work at the Nevada State Health Division and work on projects for the Sandia National Labs. His research interests extend to the areas of linear models (mixed effect models), generalized linear models (logistic/Poisson regression), distribution theory (boundary cases), extreme value theory (peak over threshold), time-series with regressors, Bayesian methods for hierarchical models, and Big Data including EMR such as the Cerner Health Facts database, Medicaid, and HIS General Data Mart. Dr. Qeadan has authored a diverse body of work regarding health disparities in which he has examined wide array of topics including the Hispanic Epidemiological Paradox and health outcomes in dynamic populations. His work on health disparities involved and touched other relevant areas of research including the developing of statistical methods for neurology, immunology, microenvironment data with emphasis on cytokines and chemokines. These methods are applied on data to statistically demonstrate differentials in the immune response profiles between males and females, and different race and ethnicity groups which in turn contributes to implementing better measures and promising interventions to reduce health disparities.

Cristiana Iosef Bio

Cristiana Iosef, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Professional Development Core (PDC) for the MW CTR-IN Program. In this role, she coordinates the Advance to Funding (ATF) Program and the Grant Writing Workshops (GWW). She received her PhD degree in Immunology/Microbiology from the University of Timisoara / WUSTL School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her Postdoctoral training in Immunology/Virology from the Ohio State University, Wooster in Ohio, and additional Postdoctoral training in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Iosef is also an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Nevada Reno.

In this role for the ATF Program, she assists research investigators in the review of their grants prior to submission to the NIH to provide constructive feedback from our many expert reviewers to increase their probability of extramural funding. Hence, the ATF Program functions very much like a “study section”. She is also in charge of coordinating the GWWs, which assist research investigators in improving their knowledge and skills in the preparation of grants to make them more competitive for extramural grant funding. Additionally, she has extensive experience in medical research and education, including studies of health disparities associated with abnormal child development and perinatal pathologies governed by growth factor(s) deficiencies such as in a state of malnutrition.

Merle Kataoka-Yahiro Bio

Merle Kataoka-Yahiro, DrPH, MS, APRN is an Associate Director of the Professional Development Core of the MW CTR-IN Program since 2013. She coordinates the Education/Training for the PDC. She is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Additionally, she has served as PI for the NIH Extramural Associates Research Development (EARDA) Awards, Office of Research Development in 2013, and served as the Section Leader and Co-Leader for the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Multidisciplinary and Translational Research Infrastructure Expansion Hawaii Grant (RMATRIX) from 2010 – 2014. Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro earned two Master’s degrees in Parent-Child Nursing (Rush University) and Public Health (Northwestern University) and a DrPH in Public Health from the University of Illinois, School of Public Health in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro’s research area has been in health disparities research focused on chronic disease management with vulnerable populations which include women, children, older adults, and minority populations. Currently, she is examining and analyzing population data sets of Asian Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian groups and chronic diseases, specifically in prevention of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and associated cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes, hypertension, and obesity). Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro has mentored a cadre of diverse faculty and students through developing and providing scientific research training opportunities targeting towards health disparities research in clinical translational research.

Yiliang Zhu Bio

Yiliang Zhu, PhD, is the Director of the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) core for the MW-CTR-IN Program. He is also a Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Department of Internal Medicine at the College of Medicine at the University of New Mexico HSC. He received his Masters and PhD degree in Statistics from Queen’s University, Kingston and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Zhu’s expertise is in data analytics. His recent research has focused on health system and policy, health outcome evaluation, and data analytic methods. In the Loess Plateau Health Project (2013-2030) in northwestern rural China, he established a multidisciplinary, international team during his Fulbright Fellowship (2012-13) during which he and his team conducted observational and interventional studies on healthcare system development, policy assessment, health promotion, as well as health disparities within the content of the local environment and rural development. Additionally, he has actively conducted research in statistics methods, focusing on spatially and temporally clustered data and applications in health risk assessment. More recently, he has studied integrative system modeling as informed by biological mechanisms to seek ways to integrate data across heterogeneous systems. He has over 20 years of collaborative experiences in health and clinical and translational research, as well as experience in leading biostatistics research support in academic settings. He is committed to integrating biostatistics support into the fabric of MW CTR-IN clinical and translational research culture.

C. William Shuttleworth Bio

C. William “Bill” Shuttleworth, PhD, is the Core Director of the Professional Development Core (PDC) for the MW CTR-IN Program. He received dual B.Sc. degrees (with honors) in Pharmacology/Biochemistry and Anatomy from Adelaide University and Flinders University of South Australia and a PhD degree in Physiology from the University of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. He also completed his Postdoctoral training in Physiology from the University of Nevada, Reno in Nevada.

Dr. Shuttleworth has been involved in leadership roles for the MW CTR-IN Program since its inception, having initially served as the Associate Director of the Pilot Projects Program In 2016, Dr. Shuttleworth transitioned to a leadership role for PDC [formally termed Clinical Research Education, Mentoring and Career Development (CREMCaD) in the initial funding phase]. In addition, Dr. Shuttleworth serves as the Associate Director of the University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Science Center’s (HSC) Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTSC), and has worked with a large number of UNM clinical and translational investigators to help develop new projects, programs and their careers in clinical and translational research. Moreover, he currently directs the CTSC’s Research Expertise and Methods, which includes training and career development activities that further supplements his leadership role of the CTR-IN PDC.

Dr. Shuttleworth’s research has a strong clinical and translational focus. He is the Principal Investigator of the Center for Brain Recovery and Repair, which is funded through a COBRE mechanism by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). His research is developing clinical interventions for underserved patients in New Mexico who have experienced brain injuries.

Eric Prossnitz Bio

Eric Prossnitz, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Professional Development Core for the MW CTR-IN Program. As the Associate Director for the PDC, Dr. Prossnitz’s focus is on the Mentorship Program. Dr. Prossnitz is also currently the Co-Director of the Translational Cancer Biology and Signaling Program at the UNM HSC Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Team Science lead within the UNM HSC Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSA), the UNM HSC institutional PI of the NM-INBRE, and the Associate Director for the UNM COBRE in Autophagy, Inflammation and Metabolism. Dr. Prossnitz received his B.Sc. degree (with honors) from the University of Victoria in Canada and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in California. He received his postdoctoral in Immunology from Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.
Additionally, Dr. Prossnitz developed a Biodesign program at UNM HSC that brings together faculty from the School of Engineering and the Health Sciences Center to innovate clinical technologies. He has mentored large numbers of research investigators to develop new projects and programs that has facilitated their careers in clinical and translational research. His mentoring experience over the last 20 years provides a strong basis for his leadership for the Mentorship Program within the CTR-IN PDC.

Curtis Noonan Bio

Curtis Noonan, MA, PhD, is the Director of the MW CTR-IN Pilot Projects Program. He has served in this role for the past five years and will continue to serve in this role for the next grant cycle. The Pilot Projects Program has successfully administered the single institution, single investigator and the multi-site pilot grants since the inception of the MW CTR-IN Program.

Dr. Noonan received his MA degree in International Health and Development from George Washington University and his PhD in Environmental Health, Epidemiology from Colorado State University. He is currently a Professor of Epidemiology in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Montana. He has led NIH funded multi-site randomized trials focused on improving health outcomes and reducing exposures among vulnerable populations exposed to elevated levels of particulate matter from burning of biomass fuels for residential heating. Dr. Noon is a member of the Infectious, Reproductive, Asthma and Pulmonary Conditions (IRAP) Study Section.

Carl Reiber Bio

Carl Reiber, PhD, has served as the MW CTR-IN Program Deputy Director since 2013. He is also the Senior Vice Provost and a Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the College of Sciences. Additionally, he has been the Program Coordinator of the NV INBRE since 2008, and the Steering Committee Lead since 2017. Previously, he was the cluster leader in two statewide NSF EPSCoR grants ($6M) and functioned as the coordinator for an NIH Bridges grant. He also served as an ad hoc and permanent member of several NSF review panels including mentoring numerous undergraduate and graduate students (MS and PhD). Dr. Reiber received his Masters degree in Cell Biology from George Mason University, Fairfax in Virginia and PhD degree in Zoology-Physiology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst Massachusetts followed by Postdoctoral training from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Richard Larson Bio

Richard Larson, MD, PhD, serves as the CTSC Liaison for the MW CTR-IN Program. He is the Executive Vice Chancellor for Research of Health Sciences at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center as well as a tenured Professor at the University of New Mexico. In addition, he is also the PI of the UNM Clinical and Translational Science Center. He also served on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Genome Research. In 2001, he co-founded Cancer Services of New Mexico, a non-profit organization which serves, free of charge, over 2000 New Mexicans suffering from cancer each year. Moreover, he is the President of the Cancer Services of New Mexico Foundation. In addition, Moreover, he also serves as the Chair of the Mountain West Research Consortium, which was critical in laying down the ground work for the eventual development of the MW CTR-IN Program. Dr. Larson received his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard University and performed his residency training at Washington University in St. Louis and fellowship training at Vanderbilt University in Pathology.

Parvesh Kumar Bio

Parvesh Kumar, MD, is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the MW CTR-IN Program. In addition, he also, serves as the Vice Dean of Research for the UNLV School of Medicine. Dr. Kumar received his B.Sc. degree (with honors) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1981 and his M.D. degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1986. He completed his residency training in Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in 1990, while also serving as Chief Resident and Fellow of the American Cancer Society during his senior year.

Dr. Kumar is an experienced clinical and translational researcher who has led several multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary national oncology clinical trials sponsored by the NCI [i.e., Cancer & Leukemia Group B (CALGB) Protocols 8935 and 9134 in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and CALGB Protocol 9493 in Prostate Cancer, and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Protocol Protocol 9615 in Head & Neck Cancer]. In addition, he has also conducted several other federal (i.e., Department of Defense) and pharma (i.e., Aventis Oncology) funded investigator initiated clinical trials. Moreover, his leadership experiences include building and managing research programs as Chair of the Departments of Radiation Oncology at 4 major medical schools and at several NCI-designated Cancer Centers. In his several research leadership roles, he has developed significant experience in health disparity research. For example, as Associate Director of Clinical Research for the University of Kansas Cancer Center, ensuring appropriate enrollment of under represented patient populations to therapeutic clinical trials was a critical requirement for the NCI and an important objective of his leadership role.

Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu

Dr. Xu is a 2015 MW CTR-IN Pilot Grant Awardee recipient. Her project was entitled, “Understanding the Role of Self-Expansion in Physical Activity”. Her research focuses on cardiovascular behavioral health including weight control, smoking and physical activity; close relationships, especially romantic; and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) neuroimaging. Dr. Xu is also interested in these research areas in the context of individual differences such as trait self-control, and development over time, such as aging or as a romantic relationship progresses.

Dr. Xu received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology from New York University, and Master of Arts Degree in psychology from Stony Brook University, and a Ph.D. in social health psychology from Stony Brook University. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship sponsored by the National Institutes of Health at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and The Miriam Hospital.

Dr. Xu is an Assistant Professor of Experimental Psychology at Idaho State University and was honored as a 2015 Rising Star from the Association for Psychological Science. As a result of her advanced work in the field, the Association for Psychological Science has recognized Dr. Xu as an outstanding psychological scientist. As facilitated by the Individualized Development Plan (IDP) which is a critical component of the CTR-IN PG award, Dr. Xu had a successful mentorship experience with her mentor, Claudio Nigg, PhD, from the University of Hawaii. The pilot grant’s IDP provides mentorship for career development. As a result of the mentoring facilitated by the IDP, Dr. Xu has collaborated with Dr. Nigg on various projects, which have led to a manuscript publication, poster presentations, future collaborations, etc. Moreover, based on her academic productivity which has been significantly facilitated by the MW CTR-IN PG award, she will be applying for tenure at Idaho State University.

Susan Tavernier

Education: BSN from Whitworth University in Spokane in Washington; MSN from Loyola University of Chicago; PhD in Nursing from the University of Utah; Postdoctoral fellowship from the College of Nursing at the University of Utah.

MW CTR-IN helped to provide education in grant management, post-award processes, timeline projections, and meaningful tools for grant tracking.

Dr. Tavernier was a Year 4 MW CTR-IN Pilot Grant Awardee in 2016. Her project was entitled, “The Patient Voice in Healthcare”. The MW CTR-IN pilot grant was also instrumental in helping her with the nuances of grant management including hiring personnel, budgets, quarterly and annual reports. As a nurse scientist, her research area focuses on cancer patients. She has gained expertise with large qualitative data sets and has conducted research in the clinical setting. Dr. Tavernier is currently an Assistant Professor at Idaho State University in the School of Nursing and was a recipient of a Presidential Scholarship for new health service researchers from Academy Health.
Additionally, she has authored a chapter on Symptom Distress in the textbook Cancer Symptom Management 4th Edition, and has served as a review panel member for the Oncology Nursing Foundation for research and awards. She is also an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society.

Blakely Brown

Education: PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota; RD from the University of Minnesota

MW CTR-IN helped to expand collaborations for a nutrition and physical activity study with a direct impact on the health of community children.

Dr. Blakely Brown was a MW CTR-IN Pilot Grant (PG) Awardee and Visiting Scholar in 2014. Her project was entitled, “Developing and Pilot Testing Parent Education Activities within a Childhood Obesity Prevention After-School Program”. Dr. Brown built upon this PG research funding from the MW CTR-IN Program and secured 3 additional extramural grants also in the areas of childhood obesity totaling $278,167 in extramural grant funding as follows: (1) Partnerships to Prevent Childhood Obesity on the Flathead Indian Reservation; (2) Generations Health Project: An After-School and Home Based Childhood Obesity Prevention Program; (3) and USDA Strengthening Grant: Growing Strong Generations. These research studies have allowed Dr. Brown to successfully expand her research collaborations with rural and Native American communities that have resulted in longitudinal outcomes reporting risk factors for diabetes in native and non-native children, assessments of environmental and behavioral factors associated with risk for childhood obesity and diabetes in youth in rural communities.
Dr. Brown’s research, teaching and service focus on nutrition and chronic disease prevention, maternal-child health, childhood obesity and diabetes prevention, community-based participatory research methods, Native American health and diversity-related activities.

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