August 30, 2012

Racial and Ethnic Minority Population Health Research at Ball State University

Nationwide, racial and ethnic minority groups suffer from health disparities. Ball State University took a unique initiative this summer to research the predictors and outcomes of racial and ethnic health disparities.

Jagdish Khubchandani
Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, PhD (Assistant Professor of Community Health Education and faculty fellow of the BSU Global Health Institute) sponsored five health science students for the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation summer research program (funded by the National Science Foundation). Alicia McClendon, Eryn Pulliam Cannon, Chaztan Moore, Jillian Hicks, and Emily Sullivan received a funding of $3,000 each for the summer 2012 research.

The group is researching minority youth health disparities, adolescent dating violence in minority youth, and diabetes in racial and ethnic minority adults in the United States. In addition, a special topic, minority youth mental health disparities was also researched by the group. Dr. Khubchandani and his group have been invited to present the research on minority youth mental health at the Annual American School Health Association Conference in San Antonio, TX (Oct 10th, 2012).

Taking a step forward, Dr. Khubchandani and his students applied for Ball State University to become the Official summer host for NIDDK/ NIH Summer Student Research. BSU student Emily Sullivan has been sponsored by Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani for the NIDDK STEP-UP summer research fellowship. The Short-Term Education Program for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP) is a federally funded program managed and supported by the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination (OMHRC) in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK STEP-UP emphasizes increasing the participation of students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research on a national basis to promote the mission of NIDDK/ NIH.   To accommodate Dr. Khubchandani and Emily Sullivan’s proposed research, an exception was made by the NIDDK STEP-UP to make the Department of Physiology and Health Science at Ball State University a designated epidemiologic research center via the BSU Sponsored Programs Office.  Sullivan will be paid a stipend, and BSU will be given an award by NIDDK STEP-UP for supporting the research program. Currently, Sullivan and Dr. Khubchandani are looking at the National Health Interview Survey to assess the correlates of diabetes in minority adults. Dr. Khubchandani and Emily Sullivan presented part of their research at NIDDK/ STEP-UP conference in Boston on August 8th, 2012.

From left to right, Chaztan Moore, Emily Sullivan, Alicia McCledon, Eryn Cannon, and Jillian Hicks

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