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.


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.

Research Education in Cardiovascular Conditions

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

Funded by: NIH/NHLBI

The Research Education in Cardiovascular Conditions (RECV) project aims to provide diverse undergraduate and graduate students with interdisciplinary training, innovative applied/hands-on research experiences, team science experiences, and mentorship alongside experts in cardiovascular disease (CVD) research. The goal is a sustainable RECV program that supports the interdisciplinary training of a diverse cohort of future scientists who will become pioneers in CVD-related research.

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.

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.