COM Faculty Member Dr. Homero del Pino Awarded Prestigious Grant from NIH
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has granted Homero del Pino, PhD, MS, associate professor in the College of Medicine, a five year K01 grant totaling $647,235. The grant will support Dr. del Pino as he conducts research on his project titled Understanding and Engaging Families in HIV Biomedical Prevention for Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men.
"Despite the prevention and treatment efforts of the past 30 years, Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV nationally, and is particularly a problem in Los Angeles, which is a predominantly Latino minority city," he explained. "Yet a powerful cultural source of motivation has been underutilized: the family. This project seeks to address HIV disparities by addressing gaps in our knowledge of how family support affects the behaviors and health of Latino MSM over time and how to engage family members in the development HIV biomedical prevention interventions."
In conducting this research, Dr. del Pino hopes to become a national thought leader in expanding people's understanding of the impact of family relationships on Latino MSM and how to integrate them in the development and testing of biomedical interventions. He also hopes his research will help him in addressing HIV and other health disparities in diverse sexual and gender minority communities.
The K01 grant is a highly prestigious and competitive award offered to promising individuals that provides protected time for an intensive, supervised career development experience as they transition to independent research careers. Dr. del Pino spent the last three years working on his proposal to ensure its success.
"I am grateful to Dr. Nina Harawa, one of my K01 mentors,” he said, “and Dr. Mohsen Bazargan, who awarded me an AXIS pilot in 2012 [and] believed in my capacity to conduct research in public health.”