Current Research

The research thrust of the Center for Health Disparities Research in Cardiovascular Disease and HIV will involve activities that will augment and strengthen research capabilities and resources in biomedical and behavioral research related to cardiovascular diseases and HIV.  The proposal,funded in July 2011 will occur in two phases:  Phase I - the recruitment/retention phase which will last two years, centers on the recruitment of a junior faculty to be trained and retained in biomedical/behavioral research. Additional activities will involve the establishment of the External Advisory Board to guide in the proposed activities in Phase I. The faculty selected for Phase I retention is Dr. Angela Meshack, assistant professor in the department of Health and Kinesiology. Phase II, which will occur after a successful completion of Phase I is of 5 years duration, and will witness the development of the research program and research operations of the Center for Health Disparities Research.  Among the research that will be conducted within the Center for Health Disparities Research is cardiovascular disease risk reduction among HIV patients especially, target prevention and reduction in health disparities among African Americans. The other activities will include but not limited to the following: seminars, journal clubs, laboratory and behavioral science training of undergraduate and graduate students, and advanced training for postdoctoral fellows, as well as community outreach. Additional funding will be sought to promote research enterprise in the CHDR while addressing community health issues with respect to disease prevention and working with additional investigators to provide an enriching ‘milieu’ for developing independent investigators. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) will be used to develop a health promotion/health education program that will engage the community in development of strategies to overcome health disparities.

Phase I Faculty

Dr. MeshackDr. Angela Meshack, the junior faculty to be retained under the provisions of this proposal, worked for 13 years at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health (UTSPH) in a research capacity, first as director of the REACT (Rapid Early Action for Coronary Treatment) study, a multi-center (20 sites) trial project aimed at reducing response time to symptoms of myocardial infarction. She managed the daily activities of the study conducted by field staff in Brownsville, Laredo, Tyler and Longview, Texas. During this time, she was a fellow of Ten-Day Seminar on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases offered by the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. Dr. Meshack worked later as project director for tobacco prevention studies funded by NIH and Texas Department of State Health Services. She also used her expertise in qualitative research methods to work on HIV/AIDS prevention research. Dr. Meshack is uniquely positioned to bring to the Center the combination of her experiences in cardiovascular and HIV/AIDS prevention research.