COPH faculty recognized at USF Women’s Health Collaborative Luncheon

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The University of South Florida Women’s Health Collaborative recognized four USF College of Public Health faculty at its fifth annual Leading the Way Awards Luncheon on May 8.

More than 260 community leaders and health researchers attended the luncheon, making it the largest event since the program’s inception.

Dr. Rays Jiang, center, accepts a $15,000 grant from Drs. Catherine Lynch and Charles Lockwood.

Dr. Rays Jiang, center, accepts a $15,000 grant from Drs. Catherine Lynch and Charles Lockwood.

The USF Women’s Health Collaborative program provides annual seed grants for interdisciplinary, collaborative research focused on women’s health. Many of the past seed grant projects have resulted in prestigious publications and presentations, as well as additional grants and research awards.

The review committee considers criteria including new study collaborations across colleges, strong interdisciplinary teams, junior faculty with strong senior faculty mentoring, articulated plans for further research and publishing in basic science and/or psycho-social behavioral studies.

“The research projects supported by this luncheon have created meaningful mentoring and coaching opportunities that have advanced our faculty, especially women, in their careers as academic leaders,” said Dr. Catherine Lynch, associate vice president for women’s health and faculty development for USF Health and chair of the USF Women’s Health Collaborative.

Through the seed grants, the USF Women’s Health Collaborative hopes that they will help junior faculty as they aspire toward their research goals.

“Every year faculty look forward to seeing the research awards announcement come out because of the huge impact and difference these awards have made for our junior faculty members,” said Dr. Ellen Daley, associate dean of research and practice and professor of community and family health. “It gives these faculty collaboration opportunities with senior faculty and other colleges that they otherwise wouldn’t have. I think it has been successful.”

USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy lifetime member Dr. Valerie Riddle presented Dr. Cheryl Vamos with its first USF Health Faculty Research Award.

USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy lifetime member Dr. Valerie Riddle presented Dr. Cheryl Vamos with its first USF Health Faculty Research Award.

Since the program began five years ago, more than $325,000 in seed grants have been awarded to 88 researchers on 29 seed grant projects.

USF presented five research awards to USF Health faculty at the luncheon. The COPH had faculty members on four of those research awards.

  • Rays Jiang, assistant professor of global health
    • “Single-cell genomics and erythropoiesis: Their first high-resolution red blood cell developmental map to address iron-deficiency anemia” received a $15,000 seed grant. Rays H.Y. Jiang, Gloria Ferreira and Elizabeth Sagatys compose the research team.
  • Cheryl Vamos, assistant professor of community and family health
    • USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy lifetime member Valerie Riddle announced her commitment to endow a new WLP Health Research Award, and she presented COPH alumna Cheryl Vamos with $5,000 as its first-ever recipient.
  • Russell Kirby, USF Distinguished Professor, Marrell Endowed Chair and professor of community and family health
    • PNC Bank, the presenting sponsor of the event, awarded a $15,000 seed grant for “Behavioral training for mothers and pediatric residents: Does it improve managing stressful childhood behaviors?” The research team included Rebecca Plant, Emily Shaffer, Alison Solloum, Russell Kirby and Sharon Dabrow, who will examine ways to improve the use of evidence-based strategies for handling difficult developmental behaviors in young patients.
  • Jason Beckstead, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics
    • “Balance-based torso weighting and core exercise to improve balance and gait in women with Multiple Sclerosis” received a $15,000 seed grant. The research team consisted of Jeannie Stephenson, Derrick Robertson, Stephanie Carey, Doug Haladay and Jason Beckstead.
From left, Dr. Lynch, Dianne Jacob of PNC Bank, Dr. Sharon Dabrow, Dr. Rebecca Plant and Dr. Russell Kirby.

From left, Dr. Lynch, Dianne Jacob of PNC Bank, Dr. Sharon Dabrow, Dr. Rebecca Plant and Dr. Russell Kirby.

“We were blown away to have a faculty member on almost every grant awarded,” Daley said. “We are proud of that! I think that it’s a real step forward in terms of our research enterprise that we have faculty in all these critical areas of women’s health.”

Past award recipients include:

  • 2017
    • Amy Alman, “The Impact of Enteral Iron Availability on Intestinal Microbiome and Inflammation in Premature Infants”
    • Russell Kirby, “Video Training to Enhance the Implementation of Evidence-Based Strategies among Mothers and Their Toddlers within the Early Steps Program”
  • 2016
    • Alicia Best, “Supportive Care Needs of African American Women Diagnosed with Cervical Cancer”
    • Roneé Wilson, “Emerging Risk Factors for High Risk Pregnancy: Prediabetes”
  • 2015
    • Rita Debate, “An Intervention to Improve Feeding Success in Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome”

 

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health. Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications and Marketing. Excerpts from USF Health

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