Meet the Pilot Awardees (Round 1)

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Dr. Heather Hardin, PhD, RN

Dr. Heather K. Hardin is an early stage investigator with expertise in adolescent health behaviors and associated health outcomes. In 2017, Dr. Hardin was promoted to Assistant Professor following an NIH-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). During her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Hardin was an early stage investigator with the NIH U01 Ideas Moving Parents & Adolescents to Change Together (IMPACT) study of adolescent obesity, a large multi-site randomized controlled trial. Using her previous work that showed trusting relationships influence adolescent health behaviors, in addition to her experience with the IMPACT study, Dr. Hardin designed a series of pilot studies to evaluate adolescent trust-building self-management interventions. Dr. Hardin is currently a pilot study investigator in the NINR P30 Self-Management Advancements through Research and Translation (SMART) Center at CWRU that focuses on the brain-behavior connections in adolescent management of obesity. In this study, she is conducting the first study of adolescent neuro-processing, trust-building, and weight management behaviors using fMRI. Dr. Heather Hardin is also a pilot study investigator in the NIMHD U54 Center for Health Equity Engagement Education and Research at CWRU and MetroHealth that focuses on reducing health disparities in adolescent depression with a collaboration with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. In the Center for Health Equity Engagement Education and Research study, Dr. Hardin is using adolescent/parent synchronous heart rate variability during a behavioral interaction to evaluate a trust-building depression management intervention for teens diagnosed with depression. These studies will evaluate the neuroprocessing and self-regulation mechanisms associated with improving adolescent/parent relationship quality, health behavior, and health outcomes.

Dr. Dana Prince, PhD

Dr. Prince, prior to joining the faculty at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, completed her NIDA-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale School of Medicine in 2016. During her doctoral training at the University of Washington School of Social Work, Prince’s research training was supported by two NIH-predoctoral fellowships (NIMH T32 and NCRR TL1). She is a current recipient of the NIMHD Loan Repayment Program. Dr. Prince has developed a robust program of health disparities research that focuses on the transition to adulthood for vulnerable and marginalized youth, most notably substance use, incarceration, and homelessness, among adolescents and young adults transitioning from foster care. Early adversity (including maltreatment) may lead to an increased propensity for, and heightened sensitivity to, stressful experiences throughout the life-course, leading to poorer mental health outcomes. System-involved youth experience heightened exposure to adverse events, including trauma and abuse. Subgroups of youth in foster care, notably sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth face additional risks. Nationally, SGM youth are at a significantly increased risk of psychological disorders including, major depressive disorder and suicidality. Foster youth who are SGM face compounded adversities that place them at even higher risk for psychological symptoms, warranting additional research and targeted intervention. Dr. Prince is engaged in multiple federally-funded community- and system-based research projects to impact services, health and well-being outcomes for SGM youth in foster care in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Dr. Johnie Rose, MD, PhD

Johnie Rose, MD, PhD is a Preventive Medicine and Public Health physician and epidemiologist specializing in cancer prevention and control research. He serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and as Preventive Medicine Residency Program Director at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland.  His research and methodological work involves development of computer simulation models of interventions in populations, large dataase research, community participatory research, and conducting health economic analyses.  Though his focus is on cancer prevention and control, he also conducts research pertaining to health disparities and global health.  In addition to his research, he frequently speaks on the topics of cancer survivorship, health systems, health policy, and health care reform.  Dr. Rose received his BS in Economics from Vanderbilt University, his MD from University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, and his PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Case Western Reserve University.  He completed his residency training at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.