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May / June 2023

"How we go about engaging the people who stand to benefit most from our research is essential."

It was May 16th, and the year was 1997. I had just ended my freshman year at Tuskegee University as an undergraduate student and Bill Clinton was U.S. President. It was on this day that the President issued the first formal public apology on behalf of the U.S. government for the infamous Tuskegee Experiment, more formally known as the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male. This apology, which came two and a half decades after the 40-year study ended, was the moment that would mark the beginning of my journey in addressing health disparities and inequities, both in my career as a bedside nurse and as a future scientist of color.

The injustices of the Tuskegee Experiment taught us many lessons about the importance of ethical research, especially with marginalized populations. Fast forward to the present day. I’d like for readers of this issue to reflect on the ethical engagement of participants in research. In the social and behavioral sciences, this may be considered community-based participatory research (CBPR), or patient-centered research. How we go about engaging the people who stand to benefit most from our research is essential. Are they members of our research teams? Can we include them as we formulate our research questions or design our studies? Do we invite them as co-authors as we disseminate our findings? In my research, I work primarily with African Americans living with HIV, and some of my most well received presentations are those in which I co-present with a member of this community.

In the spirit of inclusive excellence, let us affirm our commitment to doing research differently. Consider the future possibilities of how engaging the populations we serve in every step of the research process will yield the best outcomes.

Ann Gakumo

Associate Professor, College of Nursing

In the Headlines

Antiracism and Community-Based Participatory Research: Synergies, Challenges, and Opportunities

Structural racism causes stark health inequities and operates at every level of society, including the academic and governmental entities that support health research and practice. We argue that health research institutions must invest in research that actively disrupts racial hierarchies, with leadership from racially marginalized communities and scholars.

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Select Resources to Drive DEI in Research at UC

NIH: Community Level Interventions to Improve Minority Health and Reduce Health Disparities

The purpose of this National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities initiative is to support research to develop and test community-level interventions to improve minority health and reduce health disparities. This initiative will emphasize research priorities that can be addressed through community-engaged research approaches and that utilize the NIMHD Research Framework to assess and intervene on health determinants beyond the individual level, at the interpersonal, family, organizational, neighborhood, community, and societal levels.

SPIN ID: 116116

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CDC: Outcomes Building Capacity to Reduce the Burden of Menthol and Other Flavored Commercial Tobacco Products in Communities that Experience Health Disparities

This CDC funding opportunity seeks to build a community of practice of local, diverse community collaborators together with state tobacco control programs in order to: 1) develop control policies, systems, and/or environmental interventions; 2) increase opportunities for culturally appropriate cessation support, and; 3) evoke behavior change

SPIN ID: 118214

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The UC DEI in Research Advisory Council

Meet the members of the 2022-2023 DEI in Research Advisory Council

Ann Gakumo

Associate Professor

Endowed Chair

NURS-Inst for Nursing Research

Angela Vazquez

College of Medicine

Ashley Ross

Associate Professor


Brieanne Sheehan

Program Director


Caitlyn Chambers

Post-Doc Fellow

Office of Research and the School Psychology Program

Heekyoung Jung

College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning

James Mack

A&S-Arts and Sciences

Associate Dean

Professor of Chemistry

Jasmine Burno

Sr. Sponsored Research Admin

Research-Grants and Contracts

Jennifer Krivickas

Associate Vice President for Research

Strategic Programs & Signature Initiatives

Jessica Guess


Office of Institutional Accessibility

Tai Collins

Associate Professor

CECH-Human Services

Vesna Novak

CEAS-Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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Learn more about the DEI in Research team and our initiatives on the official website

University of Cincinnati Office of Research

University Hall Suite 540 ML0663

Cincinnati, OH 45221-0663

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