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B-CU Wins Two HERI Research Awards

B-CU Wins Two 2016 Health Equity Research Institute Awards

Dr. Diana Lee and Dr. Danyell Wilson Will Head to UF This Summer to Research Adolescent Tobacco Use Intervention and 
Cancer Center Catchment Area Characterization
Two of Bethune-Cookman University’s faculty/staff were recently named winners of the 2016HERI Research Scholar Leadership Program Award.  The award supports the research training of Florida underrepresented minority (URM) investigators and post-doctoral fellows. Both doctors will head to the University of Florida (UF) to complete a summer research rotation.  Dr. Diana Lee will concentrate on adolescent tobacco use intervention tools; and Dr. Danyell Wilson will work with UF’s cancer centers to characterize their catchment.  They will spend approximately two weeks at UF in July.  
Dr. Wilson’s research project as a HERI Scholar is to characterize the UF Health Cancer Center’s catchment area.  In 1948, UF’s first cancer hospital opened in Jacksonville, FL. It was not until 2009 that the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital opened.  In order to characterize the catchment area of the two cancer centers, Dr. Wilson’s team will collect demographic information, based on 29 counties, from three cancer registries in the State of Florida.  The team will then generate a map of these 29 counties and locate areas of increased cancer incidences and high mortality rates.  With the assistance of a B-CU undergraduate researcher, Dr. Wilson will then identify interventions in the 29 counties and develop correlations between the catchment area outcomes and the interventions.  Dr. Danyell Wilson is an associate professor for the College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics.

Dr. Lee will spend time developing an electronic aid to identify adolescents who are at risk for tobacco use. Primary care interventions to prevent tobacco use in adolescents have been recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force. However, the number of rigorous studies examining behavioral interventions for adolescent tobacco prevention is limited. Dr. Lee’s team pilot study plans to develop and evaluate an electronic decision aid to screen for susceptibility to risk factors and adapt patient provider communications according to patient values and risk factors. Understanding risk factors can help clinicians identify adolescents who are at high risk of becoming smokers. This new tool will provide a valuable resource that can be adapted broadly in the pediatric primary care setting.  Dr. Diana Lee is the Director of the Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity at B-CU.

Awardees were selected by the HERI Research Core sub-committee based on: (1) personal statement; (2) potential contribution to health equity research in Florida; and (3) needs (e.g. junior investigators and investigators from Minority Serving Institutions). 

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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