Research Studies


Current CTC-Related Research Grants

Dr. Dionne Coker-Appiah

PI of a NIMHD Disparities Research and Education Advancing Mission (DREAM) Career Transition Award (K22) entitled Project LOVE: Preventing Adolescent Dating Violence among Rural African Americans. The focus of the K22 is to gain additional training and research experience necessary to become an independent prevention researcher who can design, conduct and evaluate community-based intervention trials to prevent ADV among rural African Americans.

Dr. Priscilla Dass-Brailsford

PI of a Department of Psychiatry pilot grant entitled Maternal Disclosure of HIV Serostatus to Children. The primary goal of the project is to qualitatively explore mothers’ decision-making with regard to maternal disclosure of HIV status, including whether and when they disclose, the decision process itself, and what guidance or support they may have or not have in this process. The pilot data will support a grant application to develop an intervention to help with decision-making.

PI of pilot study funded by DC D-CFAR, entitled Traumatic Life Experiences of Women living with HIV. The aims of the study are to identify types and degree of trauma exposure among HIV+ women in urban Washington DC and to explore their differential relationship to HIV health behaviors and health care utilization. The study will evaluate the relationship of trauma exposure to treatment engagement and adherence to HAART among HIV+ women with and without PTSD, identify mental health outcomes that serve as mediators between trauma exposure and treatment outcomes, and conduct in-depth interviews with a sub-sample to elucidate the relationship between trauma history and treatment variables, and identify mechanisms that may play a role in improving treatment utilization.

PI on study entitled: The psychological effects of the 2010 Haitian earthquake on young children. The purpose of this study is to a. assess the psychological effects of the 2010 Haitian earthquake on children exposed to the disaster and b. examine whether there are differences in psychological functioning among children who were living in urban and rural environments at the time of the disaster.

PI on study entitled: A Substance Abuse, Trauma & HIV Intervention Study (SATHI). The purpose of this project is to conduct focus groups/individual interviews with African American women who have a history of trauma and substance abuse (at least 90 days sobriety) living with HIV, in order to gather information from them about how to adapt an integrated group curriculum: Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET). The adapted curriculum will later be tested in a clinical trial.

Dr. Mary Ann Dutton

PI of an NIMH R34 grant entitled A First Line Community-Based Mindfulness Trauma Intervention. The overall goal is to address the mental health care disparity for low-income, minority women exposed to intimate partner violence. This project will develop and test an accessible, tailored, and culturally appropriate mindfulness-based intervention suitable for delivery in non-mental health community settings.

Community Engagement Core Co-Director on a 5-year Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CTSA). Joint PIs Georgetown’s Joseph Verbalis, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Thomas Mellman, Professor of psychiatry and Vice-Chair of Clinical Research at Howard will direct the Center, which also includes MedStar Health/ MedStar Health Research Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Washington, DC Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.

PI of a GHUCCTS-funded study, Reducing Cardiovascular Risk in Veterans by Increasing Mindfulness Skills. Specific Aims of this pilot study are: 1) to pilot test (feasibility and acceptability of) study procedures for using MBSR to improve cardiometabolic risk factors; 2) to collect pilot data crucial to defining appropriate primary and secondary outcome measures for our subsequent RCT and to estimating effects sizes for these outcomes; and 3) to determine the acceptability of the MBSR intervention in our target (hypertensive, predominantly-AA, male veteran) population.

The study will use qualitative analysis of in-depth interview data from participants to develop a “thick description” of what veterans found to be personally meaningful, and what day-to-day differences that were experienced and observed, following treatment. Results will support the submission of a revised, adequately powered RO1 application to test the overall hypothesis that MBSR will positively impact cardiometabolic risk factors and that chronic and acute stress reduction will mediate those effects. Dr. Reinhard is a Co-Investigator.

Tawara D. Goode, MA

PI of multi-site study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services, entitled Project Intersect: Addressing Health Disparities at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Disability. The aims of this study are to: 1) determine the extent to which national efforts to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities include people with disabilities; 2) conduct secondary data analysis using the Medical Expenditure Panel and Survey Income of Program Participation to determine how disability type, severity, duration, and permanence interact with race and ethnicity to affect access to and quality of care; 3) identify specific barriers to health care through systematic review of the literature and focus groups with adults with disabilities from underserved racial and ethnic groups; and 4) translate research findings into recommendations to improve access to and quality of health care for adults with disabilities from underserved racial and ethnic groups. A national conference will be convened in Washington, DC April 26-27, 2013 to disseminate research findings.

PI for a Reflective Engagement in the Public Interest grant funded by the Office of the President of Georgetown University entitled, The Legacy of Research in Diverse Communities: Acknowledging our Past… Shaping our Future. The project will develop and test a social construct “Truth and Reconciliation” model for enhancing the engagement of minority groups in all phases of biomedical research. The primary question is “Can barriers to participation in research by racial and ethnic groups be reduced by “Truth and Reconciliation” community forums designed to (1) acknowledge past injustices and exploitation by researchers and research institutions; (2) foster reconciliation between research institutions and victimized communities; (3) increase awareness of safeguards to protect the rights of research participants; and (4) identify community defined strategies to reduce barriers and increase participation in research that will aid in efforts to decrease health disparities? The National Center for Cultural Competence and the Georgetown Howard Universities Center for Clinical Translation Science will conduct this multidisciplinary project in the District of Columbia. It will produce concrete tools (e.g. step-by-step guide, a multimedia resource, evaluation template) for conducting “Truth and Reconciliation” research forums as an approach to reduce barriers to and increase the participation of underserved racial and ethnic groups in research.

PI of an exploratory study funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, entitled Youth and Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities from Racial and Ethnic Groups Underrepresented in Postsecondary Education. The project aims are to: 1) conduct a review of the extant literature to determine the extent to which it addresses postsecondary educational options for young people with intellectual disabilities from racial and ethnic groups other than Non-Hispanic white; 2) conduct a structured fact-finding process to ascertain socio-cultural and economic factors that impact young people who experience intellectual disabilities and their families in the District of Columbia as they relate to postsecondary education; 3) convene a roundtable consisting of stakeholders and key informants to analyze study findings and reach consensus on potential interventions; and 4) create a policy paper that summarizes research findings and provides recommendations for future research and interventions.

Dr. Bonnie Green

PI of an NIMH-funded R34 entitled Improving Communication between Primary Care Providers and Their Trauma Patients. The aims of the project are to adapt and pilot test a curriculum for primary care providers (PCPs) to help them work more productively with trauma survivors. We plan to: (1) adapt an existing manual and training curriculum on working therapeutically with trauma survivors to be appropriate for PCPs, (2) evaluate initial acceptability of the curriculum and material to providers and patients; and (3) conduct a controlled study of the adapted training, all with a focus on providers serving low-income populations. Providing PCPs with multiple strategies to address the physical and mental health complaints of their patients will improve primary care for vulnerable populations.

PI of an NIMH-funded infrastructure grant (R24) entitled Improving Mental Health Services For Low-Income Latinos In Primary Care. It seeks to strengthen an existing partnership between the Center for Trauma and the Community (CTC) and the Primary Care Coalition (PCC) of Montgomery County, to support the timely development and evaluation of culturally competent, trauma-sensitive, and innovative interventions to improve patient mental health. It will support integration of clinical research into the clinical care process at the community clinic level. It will support the upgrade of the mental health section of PCC’s electronic medical record (EMR) and conduct a naturalistic evaluation of the Montgomery Cares Behavioral Health Program (MCBHP), comparing clinics with and without the program. Dr. Maria Rosa Watson of the PCC is Co-PI and Dr. Kaltman is a Co-Investigator.

Site-PI (PI is Dr. Lisa Meredith of RAND Corp.) of an R01 from NIMH entitled Improving PTSD Management in Primary Care. The project is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the PTSD Care Management program (PCM); assess the success of the PCM program implementation; and examine the cost-effectiveness of the PCM program compared to a control condition in terms of total costs, cost per adjusted-life year, and PTSD burden. The research is being conducted in collaboration with the Clinical Directors Network, Inc. (CDN) in the New York area, a community-oriented practice-based research network that provides primary and preventive health care services for poor, minority, and underserved populations. Dr. Stacey Kaltman is a Co-investigator.

Site PI of a grant funded by the NIJ/DOJ (PI is Dr. Shannon Lynch, Idaho State University) entitled Women’s Pathways to Jail: The Roles and Intersections of Serious Mental Illness and Trauma. The goal of this study is to address critical gaps in the understanding of women’s pathways to jail, including, a) current and lifetime prevalence of serious mental illness, including PTSD (across a sample of female offenders in urban and rural jails in four regions of the U.S.; b) level of impairment associated with serious mental illness in female offenders; c) the extent to which women with serious mental illness in jails meet criteria for more than one diagnosis, focusing on the comorbidity of serious mental illness and substance use disorders and/or PTSD; d) the extent to which seriously mentally ill females in jail have access to quality treatment prior to incarceration; and e) whether pathways to jail differ for women with serious mental illness versus women without such illness. Dr. Priscilla Dass-Brailsford is a Co-Investigator.

Dr. Stacey Kaltman

PI of a K23 from NIMH entitled Trauma and Mental Health of Latina Immigrants. The overall goal of the project is to gain an understanding of trauma and loss-related mental health needs of Latina immigrants from Central and South America and begin to develop culturally and linguistically competent services that are acceptable, effective, and accessible. The grant included funding for three studies. The first study examined trauma and loss exposure and its impact via qualitative life history interviews. The second study estimated the prevalence of trauma and its mental and physical health impact in a random sample of Latina primary care patients and, with a subsample with depression and/or PTSD, preferences for treatment and barriers to seeking care. The third study, which is ongoing, is examining the acceptability of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for depression and PTSD that combines individual and group sessions in primary care. Dr. Kaltman’s primary mentor is Dr. Green.

Dr. Janice Krupnick

PI of a DoD funded grant entitled Online Writing Intervention for Veterans: A Pilot Study. The goals of the project are 1) to adapt an online writing intervention focused on trauma for veterans who have PTSD subsequent to service in OIF or OEF; 2) to determine the acceptability, feasibility, and safety of the intervention; 3) to obtain preliminary evidence of the safety of the intervention. Drs. Green and Dutton are Co-Investigators.

Co-PI of a supplement to the Women's Interagency HIV Study grant, funded by NIAID (National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases), entitled Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Women with HIV infection and Depression. This pilot study is aimed at developing a trauma-informed, phone-based intervention for low-income, urban, predominantly minority women who have co-morbid HIV and depression. Dr. Daniel Merenstein is Co-PI and Dr. Priscilla Dass-Brailsford is Co-Investigator.

Dr. Matthew Reinhard

PI of pilot study funded by WRIISC, Washington DC, Development of an Improved Estimate of PTSD among OEF/OIF Veterans Treated at VA Facilities.
PI of pilot study funded by Institute for Clinical Research, Washington DC VAMC entitled Clinical Bio-Behavioral Assessment of Inhibitory Control in PTSD: A Pilot Study of the Anti-Saccade Paradigm.

PI of pilot study funded by Institute for Clinical Research, Washington DC VAMC entitled Affect Recognition and Memory for Facial Expressions in Combat PTSD.


Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble

Consultant/Co-Investigator on an NICHD funded study entitled Selective Prevention of Conduct Disorder in Historically Underserved Preschoolers PA-10-069 NIH Exploratory Developmental Research Grant Program (R21). The PIs of this study are Central Michigan University faculty members Drs. David Acevedo-Polakovich and Larissa Niec. The objective of this grant is to develop an innovative intervention based on parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT; Eyberg &University of Florida Child Study Lab, 2009) to reduce disparities in conduct-disordered behavior in a sample of Latino youth using CBPR and natural helpers.

Co-Investigator of an NIMH funded study, R01-MH081947 Goldston (PI) Breland-Noble (Co-I) Impact of Adolescent Suicide Attempts on Parents. Duke University Medical Center faculty member Dr. David Goldston is the PI. This is a longitudinal study examining reactions and mental health needs of mothers of adolescents who have made suicide attempts, as compared with mothers of other hospitalized adolescents. Dr. Breland-Noble is the cultural qualitative research expert for this study.

Drs. Green, Dutton, Williams

The National Institutes of Health, Minority Health and Health Disparities has awarded a five-year, $6.1 million grant to Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) to establish the Center of Excellence for Health Disparities in Our Nation’s Capital (CEHD). The PI is Dr. Lucille Adams-Campbell. The aim of the new center, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is to eliminate or dramatically reduce health disparities in Washington, D.C., where chronic diseases disproportionately affect the largest minority group, African Americans.

Drs. Williams, Green and Dutton are a part of the CEHD’s Community Engagement Core, building and strengthening relationships between the scientific and lay communities to expedite evidence-based ways of impacting health disparities, focusing initially on stroke and breast cancer.

The FDA established a partnership with GUMC in October 2011. The partnership establishes a Georgetown Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI). The center is supported by an FDA investment with an initial $1 million grant, which is potentially part of a three-year funding program for improving drug development and manufacturing. Ira Shoulson, MD and two co-principal investigators (Kenneth Dretchen, PhD and Lawrence Gostin, JD) lead the CERSI, working with experts in science, medicine and law at GU Medical Center and GU Law Center. Drs. Green and Dutton, along with Dr. Pamela Saunders (Neurology and Psychiatry) are investigators/collaborators for the center.

Dr. Reinhard

Serves on the Executive Committee, Chair of Cognitive Section of VA Office of Public Health study entitled Markers of the Identification Norming and Differentiation of TBI and PTSD (MIND).

Executive Committee Member, Co-Investigator, Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program 579, Health ViEWS : Health of Vietnam Era Veteran Women’s Study.

Dr. Bruno Anthony

Site PI (PI is Larry Wissow, MD of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) of an NIMH funded Developing Center Grant entitled Center for Mental Health Services in Pediatric Primary Care. The Center’s specific aims are to:

1) adapt Wagner's Chronic Care Model (CCM) of primary care mental health service to include treatment based on "common factors" and "common treatment elements within the CCM's 5 domains, address priority research needs related to the impact of common factors and their implementation in office practice, and develop packages of practical interventions, built around domains of the adapted CCM, for larger scale trials in pediatric primary care;

2) develop measurements, study designs and analytic methods to efficiently assess outcomes in community settings; and 3) stimulate innovation in pediatric mental health services through multidisciplinary and community-academic collaboration, attracting new and diverse scholars and providing a resource for scientists, policy makers, and advocates. Dr. My Bahn is a co-investigator.

Co Principal Investigator (with Suzanne Bronheim, Pediatrics) of a HRSA/Maternal and Child Health Bureau funded Research Grant entitled Increasing Access to Information and Support for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs.

The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate an approach to increased access to information and support for African American and Hispanic families of children with special health care needs from a range of geographic locations and backgrounds that is grounded in Diffusion of Innovation theory, reflects the principles of cultural and linguistic competence and can be implemented by existing Family-to-family centers.