The Research Core

The Research Core

The Research Core

The Research Core focuses on translational research. Specifically, behavioral interventions have the potential for preventing human suffering and massive medical expenses associated with poor health behaviors. Evidence suggests that community efforts to increase health promotion have inadvertently increased health disparities because low-income and minority individuals have been less likely to benefit from these health interventions than have middle-class white Americans. Specifically, because of high rates of obesity among low-income African American and Latino women, they remain at high risk for type 2 diabetes. The EXPORT team participated in the ground-breaking intervention study that recently demonstrated that a life style intervention is effective in preventing type 2 diabetes. The Research Core has modified this intervention for low-income Latinas and plans to disseminate this intervention in community settings.

The Research Core specific aims are:

Specific Aim 1: To translate a lifestyle intervention shown to be effective at lowering incidence of Type 2 diabetes through weight loss for dissemination to low-income Latinas.

Specific Aim 2: To examine the impact of an empirically-validated lifestyle intervention for reducing weight in low-income Latinas when administered by lay health workers or promotoras.

Specific Aim 3: To begin to develop appropriate measures for assessing the cost effectiveness of providing a lifestyle intervention to low-income Latinas.

Specific Aim 4: To conduct an ethnographic study to evaluate the facilitators and barriers to implementation of a lifestyle intervention in community settings for low-income Latinas.

Specific Aim 5: To develop expertise for culturally adapting and disseminating behavioral interventions in community settings so that specific aims 1-4 can be achieved for low-income African Americans.

This research is highly significant, as obesity remains a problem for many Americans, and African American and Latina women are particularly over-represented among those who are obese. Although interventions are helpful in improving diet and exercise, few individuals receive these interventions. This study will determine how to get effective lifestyle interventions to low-income African American and Latina women.

Recent Research Core Highlights

Development of sustainable prevention strategies is critical especially for Latina and African American women who are overweight. The project implemented by the Research Core moves one step closer to achieving sustainable preventative healthy lifestyle changes to decrease chronic disease among disadvantaged populations who have limited access to heath care. Focus groups have been completed and the findings published. (Punzalan C, Paxton KC, Guentzel H, Bluthenthal RN, Staunton AD, Mejia G, Morales L, Miranda J. Seeking community input to improve implementation of a lifestyle modification program. Ethn Dis. 2006 Winter;16(1 Suppl 1):S79-88). A pilot intervention is underway

Jeanne Miranda, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute
Box 957082
Suite 300 UCLA Wilshire Center
10920 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7082
Phone: 310-794-3710
Fax: 310-794-3724

Dr. Jeanne Miranda has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Kansas and completed post-doctoral training at University of California San Francisco. She is Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Miranda’s major research contributions have been in evaluating the impact of mental health care for ethnic minority communities. Her most recent NIMH-funded trial found that short-term care for depression was effective for low-income African American and Latina women, many of whom had extensive histories of trauma. She was the Senior Scientific Editor of Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity, A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, published August 2001.

Core Faculty

Mayer Davidson, M.D.
Center for Clinical Research Excellence in Diabetes and Metabolism
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
1731 East 120th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90059
Phone: (323) 357-3439

A fellow of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Mayer Davidson is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, American Diabetes Association, American Federation for Clinical Research, and The Endocrine Society, as well as other professional organizations. He is past president of the national American Diabetes Association and cofounder of that organization's Los Angeles chapter. Dr. Davidson has acted as a diabetes consultant for numerous pharmaceutical companies, and principal or co-principal investigator for clinical studies of diabetes mellitus treatment. He has received the Banting Medal for Distinguished Service and the Upjohn Award for Outstanding Physician Educator in the Field of Diabetes from the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Davidson serves on the editorial boards of Geriatric and, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. He is the founding editor of Current Diabetes Reports, editor-in-chief of Diabetes Care, and an associate editor of Endo Trends. The author of more than 350 articles, book chapters, reviews, editorials, and abstracts, Dr. Davidson has lectured extensively at medical meetings, conferences, and symposia in the United States and abroad.

Carol M. Mangione, M.D., M.S.P.H.
UCLA Med GIM & HSR, Box 951736
911 Broxton Plz
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1736
Phone : (310) 794-2298
Fax: (310) 794-0723 (310) 794-0766

Dr. Carol M. Mangione is a Professor in the Department of Medicine of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is a consultant in the RAND Health Program. Dr. Mangione is the Director of the NIA funded UCLA/Drew Resource Center for Minority Aging Research / Center for Health Improvement of Minority Elderly and is and Co-director of the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Dr. Mangione’s funded research focuses on the care that older Latinos and African Americans with diabetes receive. As part of this research agenda she is a principal investigator for a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control to study the quality of care for persons from ethnic and racial minority groups with diabetes in managed care settings. Dr. Mangione is currently conducting a community-based empowerment intervention among older Latinos and African Americans with diabetes to improve their self-care skills and has a long-standing interest in the relationship between visual disability, falls and functional decline among the elderly.

Peter Mendel, Ph.D.
Associate Social Scientist
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407
Phone: 310.393.0411 ext.7194
Fax: 310.451.7063

Dr. Peter Mendel, an Associate Social Scientist at RAND, is an organizational researcher with broad experience analyzing the dynamics of healthcare systems, healthcare reform, and quality improvement. He co-authored a study on institutional change and healthcare organizations in the U.S. over the past half-century, which received best scholarly book awards in organizational and medical sociology from the American Sociological Association in 2001 and 2002. More recently, his research has focused on the introduction of quality improvement in healthcare organizations, local inter-organizational networks and coordination of care for persons with co-morbid conditions, and the dissemination of evidence-based health interventions within community settings. He has also participated in cross-national research on self-help groups for substance addictions and the organization and financing of national health systems. Dr. Mendel received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University.