ICTR Pilot Award Project: Black Fathers, Equal Partners in Advancing Maternal and Infant Health

Uploaded 10/24/22
This internal document describes the outcomes and impact of the 2021 ICTR Clinical and Community Outcomes Research pilot award to Drs. Tova Walsh and Alvin Thomas. In collaboration with the African American Breastfeeding Network in Milwaukee, they completed a needs assessment among Black expectant fathers and mothers in Milwaukee, followed by a series of focus groups to gather community input to develop father-inclusive programming to support Black maternal and infant health.

File: ICTR-Pilot-Final-Report_Walsh-Thomas-102422-FINAL.pdf

Registration Open for Just Research Workshop – Advancing Researcher Skills for Research Equity


UW ICTR and the UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) are excited to launch the Just Research program with a full day workshop for researchers and research staff to be held on October 28, 2022, in Signe Skott Cooper Hall (School of Nursing).

Just Research is a new program for researchers and research staff to learn skills to promote diversity in study participation and research equity. Created from a decade of experience with community engagement, inclusive research practices, and the Building Trust initiative, Just Research is a partnership between CCHE and the Milwaukee-based Center for Community Engagement and Health Partnerships (CCE), and is sponsored by ICTR. Susan Passmore, Senior Associate Director of CCHE notes,

Susan Passmore

We are so excited to be offering this new program based on research done here at UW! Our goal is to provide access to knowledge and skills not often part of traditional research training and what could be better than working with Gina Green-Harris, who brings so much experience and knowledge.

This free workshop will be facilitated by Passmore and  CCE Director Gina Green-Harris. Participants can expect a full day of interactive exercises, skill practice, and discussion covering topics including the role of bias in research engagement, perspectives in community engagement, and effective communication.  Read more about local research underpinning the Just Research program

Click here for more information and to register.

Email justresearch@ictr.wisc.edu with any questions about this workshop or the Just Research program.  Just Research is supported in part by the Wisconsin Partnership Program.


Applications now open for STRIDE – Advancing Translational Research Workforce Diversity

Hands clasped in a circle

UW ICTR and the UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) is excited to announce the launch of the Success Together Reaching Independence, Diversity, and Empowerment (STRIDE) program. STRIDE is a mentored career development program designed for early career faculty from groups underrepresented in the translational research workforce.

The program provides a supportive environment and training in mentorship, scientific writing, grantsmanship and networking. The program also provides an opportunity for scholars to connect with underrepresented institutional leaders. In addition to STRIDE training opportunities, scholars are eligible for ICTR-sponsored pilot awards and other related ICTR resources.  Olayinka Shiyanbola, PhD, BPharm, Associate Professor of Pharmacy and CCHE Associate Director, is the STRIDE Program Director. Shiyanbola notes,

I’m excited to have the opportunity to enrich our mission-central initiatives to advance diversity and inclusive excellence. As both a HELI alumnus and a former KL2 scholar, I know the impact of ICTR support on career success. The STRIDE program will provide a holistic approach to delivering that support.

The STRIDE program is made possible in part through a grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.  For additional information about STRIDE, please contact Dr. Shiyanbola at olayinka.shiyanbola@wisc.edu or Terry Little at tlittle@uwhealth.org.

To apply, visit STRIDE Program Application.
Applications are due September 1, 2022.

All of Us Researcher Workbench Offers Data Access for Precision Medicine Studies

Based in the cloud, the All of Us Researcher Workbench contains an integrated dataset that includes nearly 100,000 whole genome sequences, survey responses from nearly 330,000 participants, and information from 214,000 electronic health records, alongside physical measurements and wearable device data. The participants mirror the rich diversity of our country. Local and national efforts are underway to accelerate researcher use of this resource to deliver innovations in precision health to individuals across the U.S.

Vouchers offered by ICTR. This April, ICTR offered vouchers to support workbench use for UW research projects that could be finished by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2022). Five vouchers have been issued to research teams from different clinical departments. They include:

  • Post-Acute Sequelae SARS Cov-2 (PASC): Can Physical Activity and Select Genomic Markers Predict Long-COVID Risk?
    Dane Cook, PhD (Department of Kinesiology)
  • Assessing Weight Trends in the All of Us Research Program Dataset
    Luke Funk, MD, MPH (Department of Surgery)
  • Producing Polygenic Risk Scores for Hundreds of Human Complex Traits Using All of Us
    Qiongshi Lu, PhD (Department of Biostatistics & Medical Informatics)
  • Characterizing Genetic and Clinical Variable Interactions and Their Importance in Estimating Risk of Developing Breast or Ovarian Cancers in Women
    Irene Ong, PhD (Departments of Biostatistics & Medical Informatics, Obstetrics & Gynecology)
  • Idiopathic Hypersomnia in All of Us: Prevalence, Comorbidities and Genetic Polymorphism
    David Plante, MD, PhD (Department of Psychiatry)

Our local All of Us (AoU) program at UW is nested within ICTR and is led by Co-PIs Elizabeth Burnside, ICTR Deputy Executive Director, and Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, Faculty Director of the UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity. Burnside comments,

Elizabeth BurnsideWe are so pleased to support this group of innovators in clinical and translational science from diverse departments as they undertake novel projects in the All of Us Workbench. As All of Us-Wisconsin enters year five of our NIH funding, our team remains laser-focused on participant engagement, enrollment, and retention activities. Simultaneously, UW is growing a strong scientific community and building momentum for advancing precision health by taking advantage of All of Us data. Congratulations to voucher awardees!

Administrative Supplements Offered by NIH. On May 20, the NIH released an additional, larger mechanism to support use of the workbench for precision medicine research by investigators with current active funding from NIH. The initiative will fund up to 20 supplemental awards in FY2022 and is due July 5, 2022. More details can be found here: Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplements to Advance Precision Medicine Using the All of Us Research Program’s Data (NOT-PM-22-002). Read More.

About 80% of the data in the Researcher Workbench is contributed by participants who represent communities that are historically underrepresented in research, including people from racial and ethnic minority groups, people from sexual and gender minority groups, and residents of rural areas. This diversity of participants is what makes the database such a valuable resource for research. Farrar-Edwards notes,

Dorothy Farrar-EdwardsThe Workbench provides data that have never been available before. The All of Us Program is committed to accelerating precision medicine – and enhancing  health equity – particularly for those groups that have never been adequately represented in biomedical research.


Healing Ethno-And Racial Trauma (HEART) Workshop, 1/21

CCHE encourages you to Save the Date of Thursday, January 21st for a Healing Ethno-And Racial Trauma (HEART) Workshop by Dr. Chávez-Dueñas and Dr. Adames and the Chicago-based IC-RACE team.

This is part of a larger HEART Community of Practice (CoP) developed by Dr. Alyssa M. Ramirez Stege from the UW Department of Counseling Psychology and Evelyn Cruz from Centro Hispano to bring together bilingual mental health supports from across the Madison area to discuss how this and other models of radical healing could look in our community. If you are interested or know of people who would be interested in being part of this community of practice, check out these links in English and Español with brief descriptions of the group.

You do not have to be a part of the HEART CoP to attend the workshop on 1/21! Save the Date and register for the HEART Workshop: THURSDAY, JAN 21st, 2021 from 9:00-12:00 pm CT

After registration, the organizers will follow up with Zoom links and calendar invites to the event.

Learn more:

Thank you to CCHE Assistant Director Dr. Stephanie Budge for sharing!

Utah Advanced Course on Mentoring, Leadership, and Cancer-related Health Disparities

CCHE would like to alert you to a cancer-related health disparities training course for junior faculty ~

This new NCI-funded training course for NCI-funded junior faculty ‘NCI Awardee Skills Consortium (NASDC)’ is entitled “Utah Advanced Course on Mentoring, Leadership, and Cancer-related Health Disparities.

Below is a brief overview:

  • Target trainees. The target participants are junior faculty with a NCI K, R00, R21 or first R01 equivalent awards.
  • The course will focus on these educational domains:
    • 1) Enhancing Mentoring Skills
    • 2) Strengthening Leadership Capacity
    • 3) Leveraging Cancer-related Databases and interventions to investigate health disparities. Prior experience in databases not required.
    • 4) Grant Development (mock study section, strategies to develop first R01 awards based on K awards, responding to reviewer comments for grant resubmission)
  • Course format will be online from 9:00am – 12:00pm Mountain Time on the following dates (February 22, 23; March 1, 2, 8, 9). There are no fees for the course.

See the course flyer for additional details: NASDC_Utah_flyer_2020-11-23_pm (PDF)

Applications are due by December 14, 2020. Please encourage junior faculty to apply via the course application portal.

Thank you to CCHE Associate Director Angela Byars-Winston for sharing.

Stroke Prevention with the Oneida: Building Successful Tribal Academic Research Partnerships

At the October 19, 2020 Population Health Science (PHS) Monday Seminar, Dr. Robert Dempsey presented “Stroke Prevention in the Wisconsin Native American Population: The Combined Roles of Science and Medicine in Population Health.”

Dr. Dempsey is a Professor of Neurosurgery at UW-Madison and has made significant contributions improving health around the globe. He currently leads the ‘Stroke Prevention in the Wisconsin Native American Population’, a tribal-academic partnership with support from the Wisconsin Partnership Program.  This project, drawing on expertise in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and the Oneida Comprehensive Health Division, established a prevention program that aims to decrease the risk of stroke, vascular cognitive decline, and vascular deaths and disability in the Wisconsin Native American population.

The PHS seminar highlighted Dr. Dempsey’s extensive global health experiences and how these were intentionally drawn on to approach the Oneida community. Dr. Dempsey emphasized the importance of active listening – to involve the individuals who are subjects of interest and wait for an invitation to work together around mutual priorities. When one is invited, he noted, you’re welcomed. He drew parallels about the approach to global health work and to work with sovereign nations within the United States.

CCHE and Dr. Carey Gleason of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) served to link Dr. Dempsey to Oneida colleagues and lent to the writing of the 2018 WPP application. CCHE also facilitated connections to our colleagues in the UW Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP). Ms. Melissa Metoxen is a community and academic support coordinator with NACHP and a member of the Oneida Nation. She acted as a liaison for this project, introducing Dr. Dempsey’s team to the Oneida Medical Director, Dr. Ravinder Vir and Health Division Director Debbie Danforth.

Ms. Metoxen reflected on Dempsey’s team approach and how it helped get the project greenlit by the Oneida:

Dr. Dempsey’s team were transparent about what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it. I connected them to our Oneida Medical Director and Comprehensive Health Director and they were interested in learning more. Stroke is a concern in our population the Directors understood this research could directly benefit our community.

As part of the process of getting research approved within the Oneida community, Dempsey’s team presented to the Oneida Business Committee. In making that case, they were successful by highlighting all their prior stroke work, providing ample information, recognizing Melissa as a project liaison, and being very clear and straightforward about their plans. The support of the Oneida Health Directors was also helpful.

Even before the project was approved, Dr. Dempsey included information about how they would go about developing the project together. It was really a partnership and he understood it would be a process. His commitment to the research and it benefiting our community is refreshing to see.

Dr. Dempsey presented on this project at the Population Health Sciences Monday Seminar in October 2020 and the video capture can be accessed here: https://uwmadison.box.com/s/chfct382wc86zpjbbko9z7mwzmwojggl

Research team photos courtesy of Stephanie Wilbrand, PhD

2020 Advancing Health Equity & Diversity Pilot Awards

The 2020 UW ICTR Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) Pilot Program will award grants to three UW investigators conducting health disparities research with underserved populations.

The AHEAD initiative is a program of the ICTR Collaborative Center for Health Equity and engages participants from multiple fellowship & postdoctoral training programs in the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) as well as other early stage investigators pursuing health equity research across the UW campus. Stephanie Budge, PhD, serves as AHEAD Program Faculty Director. Budge notes:

Stephanie BudgeWe were excited to receive the highest ever number of responses to the 2020 AHEAD pilot RFA! AHEAD is committed to providing constructive and supportive mentoring across our programming. For our next cycle of AHEAD Pilots, we plan to offer additional preparatory resources in order to prepare all applicants for award eligibility and submission requirements.

The 2020 project areas span the lifecourse, from looking at social media usage and bullying among Latinx and Black youth to resource utilization by dementia caregivers in the Oneida Nation. Awardees are:

  • Mollie McQuillan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, School of Education
    Mentor: Stephanie Budge, PhD
    Research: Investigating the Work Experiences and Health of Trans Workers in K-12 Schools
  • Alvin Thomas, PhD, Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, School of Human Ecology
    Mentor: Janean Dilworth-Bart, PhD
    Research: Social Media Use and Parent Interruption: Expanding Considerations of Positive Youth Development
  • Mary Wyman, PhD, Advanced Fellow in Geriatrics, Madison VA GRECC
    Mentor: Carey Gleason, PhD
    Research: Understanding Resource Utilization by Dementia Caregivers in the Oneida Nation

Christine Sorkness, PharmD, Associate Director of CCHE adds:

We’re thrilled with the number and variety of applications submitted in this cycle and are so grateful to our esteemed panel of expert reviewers from across campus disciplines. It was inspiring to see so much interest in the AHEAD opportunity to fund health equity research projects and we had quite a difficult task narrowing down the awardees. In parallel, we were pleased to issue 2020 COVID-19 Response Grant Awards that ICTR supported with the Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP).

Congratulations to all awardees!

See more about the previously funded AHEAD Pilot Projects.