As an early career scholar, my initial contribution to science involves broadening our sociological understanding of how inequalities emerge over the life course within different racial and ethnic populations. My program of research examines the ways in which socialization patterns, related to intersections of gender, race, and class, as well as powerful actors and institutions, influence access to opportunities and exposure to risks, with a special focus on the interrelationship between neurocognitive and psychosocial factors associated with mTBI, accelerated cognitive again, and Dementia among males across the life course.
My research funding history includes a five-year Mentored Research Scientist Development K01-Award (K01AG054762- 01A1) funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). This grant award provides training and support to address gaps in my knowledge of biobehavioral factors underlying accelerated cognitive aging related to mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) dementia. The approach used in the K01 research award addresses; a) male vulnerabilities in predicting the impact of psychosocial factors on accelerated cognitive aging and b) how understandings of masculinity develop across and within groups in relationship to pain and injury, chronic stress, and brain health. The grant award allows me to continue to build on insights I have gained through the examination of population data from the Study of Retired NFL Players and the NIA funded Health and Retirement Study (HRS).
I recently became a Co-Investigator for a 5-year grant titled “Risk for Later-Life Cognitive Impairment, Neurobehavioral Dysregulation, and Dementia in Former Soccer and American Football Players: The Head Impact and Trauma Surveillance Study (HITTS).” I was also named the Principal Investigator at GW for “Focus Groups to Understand Barriers and Improve Sleep Disorders Awareness, Diagnosis, and Treatment in Black American Communities” in collaboration with Project Sleep. I became the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative Program Head for the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project at Boston University. These were some of my key achievements this past year.