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Training programs

Hypertension Center Fellows

Three Fellows will be trained over the 4 year funding period. A primary sponsor will be chosen for each Fellow from among the UAB Center’s senior investigators. The Fellow will be assigned a specific focus area that will be adaptable for development of a future independent research program. 

Year 1 Fellow, S. Justin Thomas, PhD - Clinical pyschology
Research techniques: Pulse wave velocity, flow mediated dilatation, sleep studies, ABPM
Ongoing projects:
1. Prevalence of Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring Phenotypes in a Population-Based Sample of African Americans: the Jackson Heart Study
2. Anxiety and Sleep as Potential Mechanisms Underlying Heightened Sympathetic Tone in Patients with Refractory Hypertension
3. Cumulative incidence of hypertension by 50 years of age: the CARDIA study

Year 2 Fellow, Daian Chen, PhD - Neurophysiology
Research techniques: Surgical skills, cell culture, Western blotting, lineage tracing, ELISA, immunohistochemistry, real time qPCR
Ongoing projects:
1. Elucidate novel salt-dependent mechanisms promoting hypertension and dysregulated diurnal blood pressure rhythm.
2. Determine the impact of dietary salt intake on blood pressure rhythms in an animal model of nocturnal hypertension.
3. Analyze the expression of clock genes in buccal cells from human participants in the CARDIA study cohort.

Year 3 Fellow, John Booth, PhD - Epidemiology
Research techniques: Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, longitudinal data analysis
Ongoing projects:
1. Racial differences in nocturnal blood pressure.
2. Racial differences in cardiovascular disease risk.


Health Services, Outcomes, & Effectiveness Research (HSOER) Training Program (T32)

Aims of the HSOER Training Program: 1) Provide a talented cadre of trainees with high quality training and mentoring, promoting core competencies and methodological skills required for success as independent HSOER investigators; 2) Provide an intensive HSOER focused didactic curriculum and multi-disciplinary training experience; 3) Engage all levels of faculty for continued growth of our highly successful mentor training programs; 4) Develop an Alumni Council of former trainees to partner with our External Advisory Committee to help evaluate the success of the program and trainees; and 5) Engage a Stakeholder Advisory Panel of patient advocates and representatives of patient-led organizations, healthcare payers, consumer organizations, and academic experts. The research and training base is drawn from 5 UAB Schools (Medicine, Public Health, Health Professions, Nursing, and the College of Arts and Sciences), including 37 Primary Mentors and 24 Associate Mentors and Mentors-in-Training. T32 training is supported by our extensive research base in three broad domains highly relevant to AHRQ priority areas: 1) Healthcare efficiency and disparities; 2) Healthcare quality measurement and improvement; and 3) Comparisons of effectiveness and safety of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options (CER). For more information, please contact Jeffrey Foster,

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