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Prevention Research Centers Program Selects Minority Fellows

Press Release

September 13, 2002—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Public Health, has selected four doctoral-level students of ethnic or racial minority origin for two years of training in chronic disease prevention research. Each Fellow will conduct guided research at one of CDC’s Prevention Research Centers.

“The centers are housed within schools of public health or medicine, and they partner with communities to do both research and practice,” said James S. Marks, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s chronic disease prevention and health promotion program. “This means the Fellows have both academic researchers and community residents as mentors at a critical time in their career development.”

The Prevention Research Centers work with largely underserved populations that bear a disproportionate burden of death and disability, and many of these populations comprise minority groups. The fellowship enables future health professionals to increase their knowledge and skills for conducting research with communities that are distinct by race or ethnicity, age, income, or other socioeconomic factors.

The Fellows and the host universities are Angela Garzon, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Priscah Mujuru, University of Pittsburgh; Lisa Pullen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Michele Ybarra, Johns Hopkins University.

Ms. Garzon’s research project examines differences in risk factors for ovarian cancer by race and ethnicity in Texas’s multiethnic population. Ms. Mujuru will study exposure to air pollution as a risk for cardiovascular disease among elderly residents of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County. Ms. Pullen is investigating physical activity and the disproportionate effect of type 2 diabetes in African American women, and Ms. Ybarra is studying adolescents’ Internet use and self-reported symptoms of depression and delinquency behavior.

“The Fellows selected submitted exceptionally strong research proposals,” said Harrison Spencer, MD, MPH, President and CEO of the Association of Schools of Public Health. “We are convinced these scientists are committed to reducing health disparities, and we believe their long-term contribution to research will improve public health. We are very pleased to co-sponsor their research and studies.”

The Prevention Research Centers Program, an activity authorized by Congress, is notable for engaging communities as participants in research. Academic researchers build relationships with communities that help define research questions and conduct research and interventions-such as performing community surveys and educating fellow residents. As a result, many communities build capacity for ongoing services while contributing to new knowledge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people’s health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.


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