Research Studies

The Center for Research on People of Color (CRPC) strives to promote and expand the body of research related to people of color. Affiliate members of CRPC conduct multidisciplinary studies that emphasize social and physical factors related to health equity and justice. One of the center’s aims is to reduce health disparities among populations that have traditionally experienced poorer health outcomes and that have been underrepresented in medical research.


Identifying and Reducing Stigmatizing Language in Home Healthcare: The ENGAGE Study

Multiple Principal Investigators: Maxim Topaz PhD, RN, MA, Scott Sittig, PhD, MHI, RHIA, Jacquelyn Taylor PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NIMHD

This study includes two of the largest providers of home healthcare (HHC) services in the US (Louisiana Health Care [LHC] Group and VNS Health), with more than 100,000 patients on the combined daily
census. The MPIs assembled a team of experts in linguistics, health disparities, HHC nursing, qualitative analysis, and natural language processing (NLP) to design a nurse-centered NLP-based system to rEduce stigmatiziNG languAGE ("ENGAGE").

NY Community-Hospital-Academic Maternal Health Equity Partnerships (NY-CHAMP)

Primary Investigators: Uma Reddy, MD, Kelli Hall, PhD, Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, Lauren Stidham Osborne, MD, Monika M. Safford, MD, Sevonna Brown, Madeleine Dorval-Moller, Emilie M Rodriguez, Victoria St. Clair

Funded by: NIH/NICHD

NY Community-Hospital-Academic Maternal Health Equity Partnerships (NY-CHAMP)

The broad goal of the NY- CHAMP is to upend the maternal healthcare ecosystem in New York City (NYC) and New York State (NYS) by establishing a sustainable, highly collaborative infrastructure for community-centered maternal health science. We have carefully co-designed, with our partners, a research, training, and community engagement agenda that will 1) identify and address the comorbid biologic and psychologic pathways linking adverse social determinants of health (SDoH) to disparities in severe maternal morbidity and maternal mortality (SMM and MM); and 2) co-create and implement scalable multi-level strategies grounded in anti-racism and empowerment to inform systems and policy change in our city and region. NY- CHAMP is set against the compelling backdrop of persistently high rates and disparities in SMM/MM across urban and rural parts of our state alike, despite a multitude of healthcare facilities and resources. More effective partnerships that break down siloes and leverage the knowledge and strengths of our diverse communities, hospitals, academic institutions, and government agencies are essential to assuring equitable access to culturally congruent, patient-centered care, redressing SMM/MM inequities, and maximizing our collective impact. We convene Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medicine, four lead community organizations (Black Women's Blueprint, Caribbean Women's Health Association, Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, and The Bridge), and a broad coalition of multisector actors to address 3 synergistic Overall Aims. In Aim 1, we will implement a unified, community-driven research program that will: Project 1) Develop and implement novel artificial intelligence risk prediction models and a resulting clinical decision support system for SMM, accounting for SDoH, bias and fairness. Project 2) Conduct a Type 1 Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trial of a novel doula-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy program holistically designed to address CV, MH, and SDoH outcomes during postpartum; build trauma-informed and empowerment-based service delivery models; and strengthen hospital-community care linkages. Project 3) Apply mixed methods to evaluate the effects of and excess costs attributable to structural racism and SMM/MM and the mitigating effects of two policy interventions for reducing maternal health disparities. In Aim 2, we will establish the Community Engagement and Policy Action Core (CEPA) to serve as an enduring platform for iterative community input, co-design processes, and research dissemination, capacity building, and policy action. In Aim 3, we will establish the Career Development and Training Core (CDTC) to transform the maternal health research culture and pipeline of early-stage investigators expertly trained in community partnerships, interdisciplinarity, anti-racism, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Our vision is perfectly aligned with the priorities, needs, and assets of our communities and with the NIH's IMPROVE initiative. Ultimately, NY-CHAMP will alter the underlying structural drivers of SMM/MM in NYC and NYS and shift the scientific paradigm for excellence in maternal health research.

The NY-CHAMP Career Development and Training Core (CDTC)

Principle Investigator: Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NICHD

Career Development and Training Core

The NY-CHAMP Career Development and Training Core (CDTC) will serve as a local and regional scientific career development hub that 1) offers resources and activities to foster cross-disciplinary, cross-sector collaboration and 2) sets the stage for a highly diverse, highly collaborative network of scientists poised to advance innovative, community-centered, anti-racist, multi-level solutions for maternal health equity. The CDTC will draw on the rich institutional resources of Columbia and Cornell University Medical Centers and synergize with the vast knowledge and assets of our strong community, governmental, hospital, and academic partners to transform the pipeline of maternal health scientists to be interdisciplinary in approach and committed to community-centered, health equity, and anti-racism research. In Aim 1, we will transform the maternal health research culture to create a pipeline of diverse scholars who are committed to community engagement and expert in interdisciplinary, multi-sector research partnerships. In Aim 2, we will operate as a hub for maternal- health-focused training opportunities and resources in structural racism, cultural humility, racial allyship, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. In Aim 3, we will engage early-stage investigator (ESI) NY-CHAMP Scholars in hands-on training in intervention science that is community-led, anti-racist, and interdisciplinary via a collaborative, to-be-designed demonstration project. Our training philosophy values co-creation and co- implementation of methods and interventions informed by, respectful of, and responsive to the needs of the diverse communities we serve. The CDTC will contribute to the overall goals of the NY-CHAMP Center of Excellence by grounding scholars in the culture and structural change that is required to foster innovative new science and sustained community partnerships for research impact on maternal heath equity from the next generation of researchers.

Race-Based Stress Reduction and Resilience Program for African American Women

Multiple Principle Investigators: Karen L. Saban, PhD, RN, CNRN, FAHA, FAAN, and Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NHLBI

The Impact of a Race-Based Stress Reduction Intervention on Well-Being, Inflammation, and DNA Methylation in African American Women at Risk for Cardiometabolic Disease (RiSE Study)

The RiSE study aims to improve psychological well-being and reduce inflammatory burden, with potential to ameliorate the progression of cardiometabolic disease (CMD). In addition, DNAm will be evaluated as the molecular basis for the observed psychological and inflammatory outcomes. The rationale for the proposed study is supported by allostatic load theory, which posits that cumulative life stress, including chronic racism and discrimination, predisposes individuals to inflammatory burden and risk for chronic disease. African American women (50 to 75 years of age) with CMD risk will be recruited from Chicago and New York City. Participants will be randomized to either the RiSE or Health Education Program (HEP) (attention control) program. 

NRSA Training Core

Primary Investigator: Marisa N. Spann PhD and Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NCATS

NRSA Training Core

The overarching goal of the Irving Institute's NRSA Training Core is to bring together pre-doctoral and post- doctoral trainees from across the broad spectrum of medicine, the other health sciences, and the basic sciences at Columbia University (CU), and prepare them to be leaders of the next generation of clinical and translational investigators. The Training Core, designated as a TL1 by NCATS, is founded upon a typical NRSA T32 training program, but has unique and innovative features distinguishing it from other T32 programs including the 47 at CU. For example, the TL1 is deeply integrated into our overall Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program hub training and education program, TRANSFORM (Training and Nurturing Scholars For Research that is Multidisciplinary), which enables trainees to participate in didactic and experiential programs, including programs focused on team-science, alongside scholars in the KL2 and Master's Degree in Patient Oriented Research programs. The Irving Institute's TL1 also differs from a typical T32 in its disease agnostic approach to recruitment and enrollment of trainees, and the designed focus on Precision Medicine (PM). As such, the program is named TL1-PM. The focus on PM has been stimulated by the CU-wide initiative in PM. Based on experiences during the first funding cycle, as well as the evolution of PM programs at CU, the Specific Aims for the renewal are: Aim 1. To further develop and refine our innovative TL1-PM education and career development program, thereby empowering our scholars and trainees to use the principles of PM to engage in interdisciplinary team science across all translational domains, make new discoveries, and be equipped to implement those discoveries into clinical practice and patient benefit. This TL1 is innovative in its focus on PM, significant coursework and seminars, a structured career development curriculum, and requiring all trainees to take externships. In the next five years, new opportunities will be added, including some focused on team and implementation science. Less successful programs will be scaled back or ended. Aim 2. To demonstrate the effectiveness of existing and new programs through continuous monitoring and assessment for quality improvement, using NCATS Common Metrics as well as our local, customized metrics to evaluate the impact of our educational programs on research output and the career trajectories of our graduates. Aim 3. To accelerate dissemination of the results of novel educational delivery approaches, new methods for assessing trainee learning, and best practices for enhancing interdisciplinary team science skills, to our partners at CU, regional CTSA Hubs (TriCon), and CTSA Program network throughout the nation.

Postdoctoral Training in Arteriosclerosis Research

Principle Investigators: Henry N Ginsberg, MD, Muredach P Reilly, MD, and Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NHLBI

Postdoctoral Training in Arteriosclerosis Research

Project Summary/Abstract This application requests continued funding, at the present level of eight training positions, for the post- doctoral T32 program, “Training in Arteriosclerosis Research” that began in 1978 and was last renewed on August 1, 2018. The goal of this program is to provide basic and clinical investigators with broadly based knowledge in scientific fields related to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which has a major impact on the health of the American population. This training program is, therefore, very relevant to the mission of NHLBI. This T32 functions within a broad framework of research addressing various aspects of cardiovascular disease and the spectrum of biologic and social determinants, including diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, sleep disorders, and health disparities that increase the risk for atherosclerosis. A major strength of the program is the many collaborations that exist between faculty mentors. The training program has a long record of success, with over 75% of trainees that completed the program presently in research positions, mostly in academic centers and funded by NIH and foundations. The faculty is anchored by a group of outstanding Senior Mentors, who in addition to mentoring postdoctoral trainees working in their laboratories will act as mentors for other trainees and junior faculty members in the program. Many of the Senior Mentors have worked together in this program for more than 15 years, and to ensure the continued success of the program in these challenging times, we have recruited a new group of younger and significantly more diverse faculty, both at the Senior and Junior Co-Mentor levels, to join them. Importantly, 20% of the new faculty are underrepresented minorities and 40% are women. Dr. Henry Ginsberg, PI of this program for 20 years, joins with Drs. Muredach Reilly (PI of Columbia's CTSA) and Jacquelyn Taylor (Director of the Center for Research in People of Color in the School of Nursing) in a 3 MPI model that will allow them to meet the many challenges facing sciences and healthcare. Associate Directors, the Executive Committee, and several subcommittees, will assist the MPI's. In addition to one meeting each month where trainees present their research, a second monthly meeting will focus on rigor and reproducibility, health disparities, and the impact or gender or racial bias on research outcomes. All trainees will enroll in didactic programs to strengthen their knowledge in biostatistics and translational/clinical research, as well as Precision Medicine and Health Disparities, two new areas that will be highlighted. Mentoring, particularly of women and minority trainees, will be a major focus of the program. The program will continue to recruit Ph.D.'s, M.D.'s. and others with professional degrees, with new opportunities for graduates of Columbia's Ph.D. programs in Nursing and Social Work. New collaborations with outside universities will increase our ability to recruit scientists from underrepresented minorities. All these changes will begin in year 45, the last year of the present funding cycle.

Whole Genome Sequencing as a Screening Tool for Cardiovascular Diseases Among African Americans in the Community

Principle Investigator: Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NINR

The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) that is funding this study was presented to Jacquelyn Y. Taylor by President Barack Obama in 2017. It is the highest honor awarded by the federal government to scientists and engineers. The project is looking at interactions between next-generation sequencing and the environment on blood pressure among African Americans. The project is examining the lack of knowledge about potentially and likely pathogenic variants among African American populations and the lack of inclusion within medicine for the needs of those populations. In addition, it aims to provide recommendations for whole genome sequencing as a screening tool in community and clinical settings for use in early detection and treatment of cardiovascular-related diseases, in an effort to help reduce this health disparity.

DNA Methylation, Preterm Birth, and Blood Pressure in African American Children

Principal Investigator: Veronica Barcelona, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN, PHNA-BC

Primary Mentor: Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NINR

This study is investigating how health during pregnancy and children’s genetics and epigenetics may influence blood pressure among African American children—especially how preterm birth or preeclampsia may influence their health. This is a substudy that enrolled 100 children from the Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure (InterGEN) study.

Research Education in Cardiovascular Conditions Program

Primary Investigators: Victoria Vaughan Dickson, FAAN FAHA FHFSA PhD RN and Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NLHB

Research Education in Cardiovascular Conditions Program

Project Summary/Abstract The goal of this innovative program “Research Education in Cardiovascular (CV) Conditions (RECV)” is to develop, implement, and evaluate a short-term program that offers a broad knowledge base on CV risk factors, health disparities, and innovative research methods and analyses (e.g., advanced statistical methods, genomics); and provide cutting edge research and scholarship experiences in team science and individualized mentoring. We will recruit and enroll underrepresented minority undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in research education in the prevention and management of CVD. The proposed RECV is a 10- week summer research intensive program that leverages the resources and expertise of NYU Meyers as well as those across NYU (including the School of Medicine (e.g., AHA Soter Center for Women's Cardiovascular Research); Department of Population Health (e.g., NYU PRIDE); College of Dentistry; College of Global Public Health; and the Silver School of Social Work) to provide interdisciplinary and team science training and research opportunities, thereby contributing to an increased number of promising diverse interdisciplinary scientists committed to future biomedical, behavioral and clinical CV research. Specific aim 1 is to develop, implement and sustain a 10-week interdisciplinary RECV program that provides individual mentorship and group-based education along with applied learning experiences. Together with interdisciplinary NYU faculty experts in CVD, we will develop and implement the RECV curriculum and applied/hands-on research experiences. Further, we will establish an Advisory Committee to provide oversight and recommendations for the program, particularly on evaluation and sustainability. Specific aim 2 is to recruit, enroll, and retain an interdisciplinary cohort of 10 underrepresented minority undergraduate (n=6) and graduate (n=4) students annually into the RECV program. We will recruit students from underrepresented populations from NYU, New York City, and outside the region using multi-faceted strategies. Specific aim 3 is to evaluate the success of the RECV program. To accomplish this aim we will evaluate student and faculty mentor satisfaction and program goal attainment, establish a RECV Research Meeting for presentations of student-faculty research products, track student progress in the program, evaluate students' future plans for educational and career development upon RECV completion and yearly for the duration of the award, and establish a network of RECV program alumni and research mentors to support trainee career trajectories that prepare them to pursue future competitive fellowships and other CVD research training. The expected outcome is a sustainable RECV program that supports interdisciplinary training of a diverse cohort of future scientists who will become pioneers in CV health-related research engaged in team science. Our RECV supports the NHLBI strategic plan to enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce.

Actions to Decrease Disparities in Risk and Engage in Shared Support for Blood Pressure Control in Blacks

Primary Investigator: Olugbenga G. Ogedegbe, MD, MPH

Co-Investigator: Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Funded by: NIH/NHLBI

This study provides an opportunity to address this public health challenge by using practice facilitation as a practical and sustainable implementation strategy to support the implementation and evaluation of three multi-level evidence-based interventions (nurse case management, home blood pressure monitoring, and use of community health workers) delivered as an integrated community-clinic linkage model.


Effects of Chronic Lead Exposure, Multi-Omics, and Psychosocial Factors on Blood Pressure Among African Americans in Flint

Principal Investigator: Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Co-Principal Investigator: Cleopatra Caldwell, PhD

The ultimate goal of this study (known as FlintGEMS) is to examine the main interaction effects of genetics, psychosocial factors, and blood levels of lead in parent-child groups in Flint, Michigan, as well as to assess the role of risk factors and protective psychosocial factors in this process on the symptom of interest (high blood pressure in African American families) and the population’s outcomes. This pilot study is led by the Columbia University School of Nursing and the University of Michigan.


The Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure

Principal Investigator: Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Co-Principal Investigator: Cindy A. Crusto, PhD

High blood pressure (hypertension) in children is a growing public health concern, given significant recent increases in blood pressure levels among children in the United States. Racial/ethnic disparities have been linked to the prevalence of hypertension in children; Black/African American children in particular are at increased risk for hypertension. Black/African American populations develop high blood pressure more often and at an earlier age than Whites and Hispanics, and more Black women than men have high blood pressure. This study (known as InterGEN) sought to reduce hypertension health disparities among underserved Black/African American children and their mothers by conducting community-based research to better understand the genetic, psychological, and environmental factors that may contribute to high blood pressure.

Whole Genome Sequencing: The Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Body Mass Index Study on African Americans

Principal Investigator: Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Intramural Principal Investigator: Paule V. Joseph, PhD, MS, FNP-BC, RN, CTN-B

Funded by: NIH/NINR

This was a contract to run whole genome sequencing (WGS) on DNA samples obtained from Jacquelyn Y. Taylor’s InterGEN study, described above. The purpose of this project was to identify across generations in this racial/ethnic group the most frequent disease-associated variants for high blood pressure and other common and chronic cardiovascular-related diseases. Each participant in the study had their sequence analyzed by a SNP array harboring about two million features, allowing a standard genome-wide association study (GWAS) data set to be built; in addition, each individual had WGS, generating a state-of-the-art, foundational resource for the African American community. We utilized our African American cohorts and compared the results with diverse cohorts to search for strong effects specific to African American populations.

Whole Exome Sequencing and Environment Interactions on Cardiovascular Outcomes Among African American Mothers and Children

Primary Investigator: Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Co-Investigator: Yan V. Sun, PhD

Funded by: NIH/NIMHD

This study examined the protein-coding regions of the genome and how these regions, along with environmental interactions, can influence outcomes for cardiovascular disorders. The study specifically examined mother and child participants within the InterGEN study described above.