Dr. Robin Gaines Lanzi is an Associate Professor and Director of Academic Programs. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Hollins College Magna Cum Laude and her Ph.D. (Developmental Psychology) and M.P.H. (Maternal and Child Health) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During graduate school, Dr. Lanzi was selected as a policy fellow in the "Putting Children First" Fellowship Program in Child and Family Policy at the Center for Young Children and Families, Teacher's College, Columbia University.
Dr. Lanzi’s scholarly activities center on reducing family and child health disparities and promoting positive youth development through the advancement of new research methodologies and strategies and the use of technology to improve the health and well-being of children and families. A central theme throughout her research is “putting research into practice” through multiple pathways, including a focus on community based participatory research (CBPR) in the design, planning, implementation, and dissemination of findings.
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Lanzi has been consistently funded as Principal Investigator or Co Principal Investigator on numerous grants, including a current R43 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development titled “Sexually Active Adolescent Focused Education (SAAFE): A Mobile Based Game to Promote Healthy Sexual Practices," which is aimed at developing a consumer friendly HIV/STI prevention application for adolescents. This NIH SBIR Grant seeks to improve young adults’ perceptions of sexual health risks, increase young adults’ motivation to adopt specific protective factors (including getting testing for STIs and HIV), and increase young adults’ adoption of specific protective sexual health practices.
Dr. Lanzi serves as Co-Director of the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Behavioral and Community Sciences Core (with Janet Turan, Health Care Organization and Policy Department). The aims of the UAB CFAR are to support the mission of the National/NIH CFAR through programmatic leadership and provision of targeted services that enable UAB investigators to successfully complete research projects of high signficance and impact. The Behavioral and Community Sciences Core seeks to coordinate and support innovative studies in reducing barriers to HIV testing, linkage to care, and retention in care through the provision of behavioral and community science resources in the areas of recruitment, risk assessment, prevention and targeted interventions.
Dr. Lanzi has served as Co-Principal Investigator on three major National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) multi-site longitudinal studies, two on the prevention of child neglect and another on addressing perinatal health issues. Additionally, she has spearheaded statewide initiatives to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents. This includes being Principal Investigator on grants concerning research and evaluation capacity building (specifically, developing, implementing, and monitoring a research and evaluation infrastructure for the statewide child abuse and neglect prevention agency, the Children’s Trust Fund) and helping adolescents with cognitive disabilities obtain their driver’s license (specifically, created and evaluated a modified driver’s license manual and teacher’s curriculum guide to help individuals with cognitive disabilities obtain their driver’s license, which was adopted by the state of Alabama and implemented in every high school, funded by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation). Further, she collaborates with colleagues in the Health Behavior Department and the community on community based maternal mental health promotion initiatives and with UAB SOPH’s Health Care Organization and Policy Department on a number of initiatives including the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (formerly the Department of Children’s Affairs) home visiting statewide initiative and the Children’s Policy Council of Jefferson County on addressing the needs of children in Jefferson County. She has also served as Co-Investigator in a national evaluation of more than 11,000 children transiting from Head Start to public school in 31 national sites. She conducted a five year NICHD K01 award on adolescent parenting and child neglect and a reading and literacy motivational grant for high-risk mothers and their babies.
Dr. Lanzi serves as a reviewer for numerous federal scientific review panels and scientific journals, and has served as vice-chair of a university Institutional Review Board (Georgetown University). Dr. Lanzi has conducted hundreds of family interviews, child assessments, home visits, and classroom observations as well as trained key national project officers and local evaluation teams to conduct standardized assessments of children's development, home observations, and parent interviews. She has led national site visit review teams of local projects participating in a congressionally mandated study of the transition from head start to public school.
Dr. Lanzi teaches the Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health graduate core course (in person and online) and the Adolescent Health graduate course and has taught courses in Research Methods (Intro and Advanced), Child Development, Cross Cultural Perspectives in Child Development, and Developmental Psychology.