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Tzung Hsiai and Keith Norris awarded $20M American Heart Association grant to foster clinical trial diversity



UCLA CTSI News Archive


Tzung Hsiai, MD, PhD and Keith C. Norris, MD , PhD.

CTSI congratulates the UCLA team, including Dr. Keith Norris, vice dean for equity, diversity and inclusion at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and senior associate director of equity, diversity and inclusion for UCLA CTSI

Led by Tzung Hsiai, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and bioengineering, the Maud Cady Guthman Endowed Term Chair in Cardiology, and co-directed by Keith C. Norris, MD, PhD, executive vice chair for equity, diversity and inclusion, professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), research scientists will study how to improve participation of multi-ethnic populations in personalized dietary approaches to mitigate cardiometabolic disease in Los Angeles County. Through a partnership with a community consultant panel, UCLA researchers will identify barriers to clinical trial participation among African/Black, Asian/Filipino and Latin American populations, develop culturally informed resources encouraging trial participation, and evaluate effectiveness of culturally informed resources versus standard engagement examining recruitment and retention rates of underrepresented adults for trial sites in Los Angeles.

The study is performed in collaboration with researchers at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, who will focus on recruitment of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander trial participants, and Washington State University who will focus on recruitment of Native American participants. The three complimentary projects aim to mitigate cardiometabolic disparities and will be thematically connected to improve recruitment, enrollment, and participation of diverse individuals in clinical trials. The teams will be integrated by mHealth (mobile health tools), provide diversity training, and where appropriate, machine learning approaches to advance health equity in trials.

“Our team's prior work in clinical trial recruitment, community outreach and engagement will further enable in-depth understanding of the many barriers and facilitators to enhance diversity of clinical trial recruitment,” stated the team leadership. “Thus, our overarching goal is to mitigate longstanding and ongoing structural racism with the maldistribution of health and health related resources, and persistent stark disparities in health conditions and outcomes.”

The project is supported by the American Heart Association’s Strategically-Focused Research Network (SFRN) on the Science of Diversity in Clinical Trials, an initiative which seeks to address social determinants of health and improve health equity. For more information, visit heart.org.

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