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Current Grants and Contracts

Principal Investigator (PI) & Study TitleStudy Description

Antimisiaris, Demetra

ExCITE Program -Medication Risk Estimator

This project models complex risk for individual persons using individual medications. The model proposed curates 1) Known published risk factors for the use of an individual medication (FDA drug monograph), 2) Known risk factors for expected adverse events associated with an individual medication, 3) If modifiable risk factors are controlled or uncontrolled (i.e., hypertension controlled with medications), 4) Unmodifiable risk factors (i.e. ITP or idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in a person taking anticoagulants), 5) Overall adverse event risk (i.e. frailty, age, high comorbidity burden, polypharmacy, cognitive impairment and others), and 6) Recent transition of care

Boone, Stephanie

RURAL: Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal Cohort Studies

Colleagues in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health are collaborating on the design, implementation, and overall strategy of the RURAL Cohort Study, a multi-state epidemiology study of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in high- and low-risk rural counties. The goal of the RURAL study is to identify, recruit and retain a multi-ethnic cohort of 4,000 participants (age 35-64 years, 50% women; 45% whites, 45% blacks, 10% Hispanic) in ten poorest rural counties in four states (Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana).

Brown, Aishia Ayanna

Program Evaluation Strategy for Bridge Kids International

Dr. Aishia Brown serves as the lead program evaluator for Bridge Kids International, a global non-profit organization helping young people of Africa and the African Diaspora unleash their social entrepreneurial spirits to solve challenges in economic development, education, environment, girls’ rights, and health to build sustainable communities. This three-year evaluation project is focused on assessing the outcomes of Bridge Kids’ Seven Generations African Heritage Summer Camp, Young Adult Mothers of African Heritage Community Group, and the African Heritage Family Activity Book Series.

Brown, Aishia Ayanna

Nourishing Food Literacy, Community Health and Sense of Place in Louisville, KY

The partnership between University of Louisville Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky (CIK) and the Food Literacy Project is to conduct a process and outcome evaluation of programming for the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Implementation Project (FASIP) funding from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from September 2018 to August 2020.

The Food Literacy Project provides farm-based experiential education and entrepreneurial youth development programs that bring the Field-to-Fork experience to life for local youth. Commonwealth scholars Drs. Aishia Brown and Kristi King are leading a program evaluation effort for the Food Literacy Project. The goal of the evaluation is to assess the impact Food Literacy Project activities and programs have on the community they serve. The evaluation will consist of conducting focus groups with members of the Food Literacy Project community advisory council and conducting a photovoice project with youth participants of the Food Literacy Project’s Youth Community Agriculture Program.

For more information about this study, click here.

Buchino, Susan Theresa

Kentucky Medicaid Monitoring

CIK Assistant Director Dr. Susan Buchino and Graduate Research Assistant Malea Hoepf Young partnered with Kentucky Voices for Health (KVH) to engage in multiple strategies in order to monitor ongoing Medicaid changes. Aims of this study included understanding the implications of ongoing Kentucky Medicaid reform on access to and utilization of care; understanding how enrollment assisters aid their clients to navigate changes in policies and coverage; assessing gaps in consumer and professional comprehension of the changes; and exploring the role of stakeholders in influencing Medicaid policy.

This qualitative study serves as a mechanism to provide feedback to stakeholders and policy makers regarding the implementation process, program successes, and barriers to accessing health coverage and health care in Kentucky during a period of extensive system alterations. Additionally, in anticipation of the implementation of Kentucky HEALTH, an 1115 Medicaid waiver to alter Medicaid expansion, CIK authored a baseline report outlining the impact of the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky and potential impacts of the waiver. External funding was provided to KVH by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities with grant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Creel, Liza

KISS PROJECT: Kentucky Infants' Sound Start

Dr. Liza Creel and Dr. Susan Buchino serve as the program evaluators for the HRSA-funded Kentucky Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (KY EHDI) Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Project of the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CCSHCN). For this project, CIK researchers administer annual stakeholder surveys and analyze EHDI program data, reporting results to the program’s Advisory Committee. Additionally in the past year, CIK reported the results of this project’s year-long learning community, which was conducted with health care providers and members of the community around developing an individualized care plan. Drs. Creel and Buchino also coauthored a poster with the KY EHDI team for the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs Annual Conference.

Creel, Liza

Evaluation Services for the Mountain State Regional Network

Dr. Liza Creel and graduate research assistant Deborah Niyongabo serve as evaluators of the Mountain States Regional Genetics Network (MSRGN) project. The MSRGN, which includes eight states, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, facilitates access to genetic services for the underserved populations. They engage stakeholders evaluating activities, especially around national performance measures, to determine the degree to which the MSRGN serves consumers and providers within the region through education, training, and facilitated connections to genetic services. 

Creel, Liza

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

The purpose of this project is to enhance the data collection and reporting capabilities of Kentucky’s Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Information System (IS) to allow creation and validation of data files to specifications given by the CDC and to submit this data file to the CDC for joint analysis by Kentucky and the CDC.

Creel, Liza

Louisville Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program Evaluation

Dr. Liza Creel and Dr. Susan Buchino received a contract to serve as the research partner for the newly-funded Louisville Law Enforcement Diversion (LEAD) Pilot Program, operated by Louisville Metro Criminal Justice Commission. The LEAD Pilot offers a new local approach in which the Louisville Metro Police Department will exercise discretionary authority at the point of contact to divert individuals from designated police beats in the Russell and Portland neighborhoods, into a community-based, harm-reduction intervention for offenses driven by opioid addiction. By providing intensive case management and social services, it is anticipated that LEAD will reduce recidivism and improve public safety, as well as generate criminal justice system-related cost savings. The study will engage multiple stakeholders in quantitative data collection and analysis, as well as dissemination of findings.

Creel, Liza

Behavioral Parent Training for Families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Preschoolers

The project adapts an evidence-based parent training intervention to increase its acceptability and relevance for parents of young deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. As site PI, Dr. Creel is responsible for establishing data collection structure and methods, monitoring data collection throughout the study period, and leading the cost-related data analyses. This is a collaboration with the University of Kentucky.

Creel, Liza

Communities Helping the Hearing of Infants by Reaching Parents: The CHHIRP Navigator Trial

The research employs a new method for helping children with hearing loss receive timely care by using a patient navigator, who is someone who teaches and provides emotional/social support for the families of these children. As site PI on this project, Dr. Creel leads Specific Aim 3 – Determining the cost-effectiveness of PN. She is responsible for establishing data collection structure and methods, monitoring data collection throughout the study period, and leading the cost-effectiveness analysis. https://www.ccts.uky.edu/news/32-million-grant-helps-families-access-diagnostic-hearing-tests-infants


DuPre, Natalie

Exposure to Greenness & Physical Activity in relation to Mammographic Density and Mammography Screening Practices

This project seeks to gather an additional data source from the American Community Survey to better characterize the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the neighborhoods where Boston Mammography Cohort Study (BMCS) participants reside and link this data to existing databases within the BMCS on volumetric mammographic density, lifestyle factors, and greenness (Aim 1). With this comprehensive database, they will be able to address two scientific research questions. Aim 2 will examine whether greenness is associated with variation in breast biology as measured by mammographic density to assess whether greenness can directly influence breast tissue composition. Aim 3 will explore whether greenness influences screening mammography frequency to address the degree of bias due to screening practices in studies of greenness and breast cancer risk.

Gaskins, Jeremy

A Novel Analysis Plan for the Caries and Fluorosis Data from the Iowa Fluoride Study

Working with the University of Florida, the researchers are actively involved in the development of statistical models and determining their operating characteristics, writing computer programs to implement the proposed model, analyzing the Iowa Fluoride Study data, and publishing methodology and findings.  In particular, they focus on the modeling issues related to specification of prior distributions, Bayesian computation, and spatio-temporal dependence modeling.

Jennings, J'Aime C

Preparing for Value-Based Purchasing Quality Metrics for all Hospitals in Kentucky

A partnership with KY Medicaid to evaluate the readiness of health systems in Kentucky and the Department of Medicaid Services (DMS) to implement core quality measures as outlined by the Performance Measures Alignment Committee (PMAC).

Johnson, Christopher

Phase II: Center for Health Organization Transformation 

CHOT is a federally awarded National Science Foundation industry-university collaborative research center that aims to accelerate applied research and workforce development by integrating healthcare systems engineering, health services research and health policy. In 2017, the University of Louisville joined six other universities in this innovative Center, which is comprised of university members from the United States and United Kingdom.

Visit the CHOT website for more information.

Kerr, Jelani Calhoun

Increasing Pre-exposure Prophylaxis among High-Risk African Americans in Louisville KY

This project focuses on developing pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP materials, provide PrEP education to an AIDS service organization and medical doctors, conduct and media campaign to assess if community knowledge about PrEP increases. This is an intervention study that aims to increase knowledge of PrEP among high risk groups in West Louisville, Kentucky and those that treat high risk individuals.

LaJoie, Scott

LMPHW-Anthem Harm Reduction Training for Healthcare Professionals

The HR Training Program aims to improve the integration of harm reduction and healthcare services by providing education and technical assistance throughout all levels of the healthcare system - organizational leadership to frontline service providers. The SPHIS team will implement harm reduction information and techniques including naloxone and syringe exchange training and distribution.

LaJoie, Scott

Building the Capacity of Kentucky's Rural Health Clinics to Promote Prevention and Early Detection of HPV-related Cancers

The goal of this project is the development and feasibility assessment of an ECHO for the prevention, detection, and treatment of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) cancers in Kentucky.

Little, Bertis Britt

University Partnership - Study on Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) among Medicaid Beneficiaries in Kentucky

This project examines the historic record of Kentucky Medicaid data among T2D beneficiaries to identify factors that predict expensive and life threatening complications from T2D

McKinney, William Paul

Public Health Training Center (PHTC)

The purpose of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Public Health Training Center (PHTC) Local Performance Site (LPS) is to strengthen the competencies of the current and future public health workforce, expose public health students to the value of working in underserved areas, advocate for public health systems and policies, and contribute to the work of the national PHTC program. This mission will be achieved through the provision of workforce training in collaboration with partners, faculty and student collaborative projects, and student placements.

Neal, Rachel

Developmental CSE: Impacts on Intestinal Bacterial Community Development

Utilizing a unique and well characterized murine inhalation model of developmental ETS exposure established in our laboratory, the researchers will: 1) Examine the impact of developmental cigarette smoke exposure (CSE) on offspring gut microbial community colonization and the persistence of the microbiome phenotype; 2) Examine the impact of developmental cigarette smoke exposure on gut microbial community function; and 3) Compare the outcomes within the murine model of developmental tobacco smoke exposure with findings of very low birth weight infants exposed in utero to maternal tobacco smoke consumption. Central Hypothesis: Developmental Cigarette Smoke Exposure Induces Pathogenic Intestinal Bacterial Colonization with Persistent Alterations in Carbohydrate Metabolism in Mice with a Similar Impact in Very Low Birth Weight Children.

Rai, Shesh

Statistical Methods for Modeling and Prediction of Lung Cancer Clinical Data

Rai, Shesh

The Nanotube CTC Chip

Wendel, Monica Lynn

Changing the Narrative: Using Media to Shift Social Norms of Violence Among Youth in West Louisville

Louisville’s Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (YVPRC) was  established in 2015, joining other National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (YVPCs) funded by the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention.

YVPRC launched its community social norming campaign, Pride, Peace, Prevention, in 2017. The YVPRC team includes faculty, staff, students, and youth from West Louisville, who together with community partners and Renaissance Creative Group, designed the campaign. The first wave of the campaign focused on pride, which emphasized important elements of history. The second wave, launched in May 2018, promotes advancing justice to achieve peace. The final wave will run in 2019 and center on prevention. Through visibility from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisville’s YVPRC is recognized as a resource for other communities and is leveraging opportunities to provide training and consultation to help others prevent violence.

Learn more at: https://pridepeaceprevention.org/

Wu, Dongfeng

Dynamic scheduling of the upcoming screening exam based on screening history and other parameters

This study proposes probability methods to address the problem of when to schedule the next exam for an asymptomatic individual with a history of negative screenings. Distribution of Lead time (i.e., diagnosis time advanced by screening) and probability of over-diagnosis are derived, if one would be diagnosed with cancer at the future scheduled time. The methods will be applied to four cohorts from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial for lung cancer (PLCO-Lung) and four cohorts from the National Lung Screening Trials (NLST).



Zhang, Qunwei


Mechanisms Underlying Ambient Particulate Matter-induced Lung Cancer


This project develops important preliminary data on the genotoxic effects of particulate matter (PM)  and will also explore how PM induces lung carcinogenesis.

Zhang, Qunwei

Mechanisms of carcinogenic effects of nickel nanoparticles

This project aims to clarify whether and how exposure to nickel nanoparticles causes genotoxic and carcinogenic effects. The researchers expect that the results will provide scientific knowledge and tools for evaluating other nanomaterials. Successful completion of this project will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which metal nanoparticles induce genotoxic and carcinogenic effects.

Zhang, Qunwei

Mechanisms underlying metal nanoparticle-induced lung in

This project aims to explore how exposure to metal nanoparticles may cause lung diseases. The researchers expect that the results will provide tools for evaluating other nanomaterials. Successful completion of this project will not only lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which metal nanoparticles induce lung injury, but also provide scientific evidence to reduce their toxicity.


Zheng, Qi

FRG: Collaborative Research: Quantile-Based Modeling for Large-Scale Heterogeneous Data


In this study, Dr. Zheng develops new statistical inferences methods for high dimensional censored quantile regression, work with other PIs on other types of high-dimensional inference, and mentor graduate students.


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