Early Career Investigators: Project Directors
An overarching priority of our NIGMS COBRE project is to support the selection and career development of excellent UVM junior faculty. We support and mentor a maximum of 5 junior faculty projects at any one time. The COBRE junior faculty, referred to as Project Directors (PDs), receive generous research funding and mentoring by senior faculty with the overarching goal of having them succeed in obtaining their first NIH independent research grant (R01 or equivalent). Our current PDs and their research topics are:
- Thomas Ahern Ph.D.,M.P.H. Measuring the Impact of Lifestyle and Behavior on Breast Cancer Incidence in High-risk Women;
- Diann Gaalema, Ph.D. Incentives to Improve Cardiac Rehabilitation Participation in Low-Income Patients;
- Allison Kurti, Ph.D. Smartphone-based Financial Incentives to Promote Smoking Cessation among Pregnant Women;
- Thomas Longden, Ph.D. The Effects of Stress on Capillary-to-arteriole Communication in the Brain;
- Andrea Villanti, Ph.D.,M.P.H. Improving Smoking Cessation in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Young Adults
The VCBH supports their training by providing (a) an Administrative Core that provides scientific leadership and a stimulating intellectual infrastructure (e.g., seminar series, annual national conference), a mentoring plan, fiscal management, and strategic planning for fiscal support beyond COBRE funding; (b) a Behavioral Economics and Intervention Sciences Core that supports intervention development and evaluation, econometric modeling of cost effectiveness, and the study of health-related decision making and its neurobiological underpinnings, and (c) a Collaboration, Dissemination, and Education Core to facilitate those key missions.