OIBR Newsletter – Fall 2018

From the Director''s Desk

Research Spotlight

Dr. Katherine Ehrlich (Psychology)
Interviewed by Andrea Horsman

OIBR Fellow Katherine Ehrlich, Assistant Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Psychology and the Center for Family Research, has been a very busy lady. This junior faculty member has recently been awarded three grants totaling close to $2.5 million dollars! All three research projects focus on how children’s social experiences shape their mental and physical health.

Dr. Ehrlich received her B.A. at Washington & Lee University, her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Maryland, and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. Dr. Ehrlich’s research, which lies at the intersection of developmental, clinical, and health psychology, focuses on how social experiences, such as early adversity, close relationships, and socioeconomic status are associated with physical health across the lifespan. In addition to utilizing a variety of methods to evaluate social and emotional functioning, her research incorporates a number of health assessments, including clinical health outcomes, measures of cellular function, and adaptive immunity. Dr. Ehrlich is a recipient of pre- and post-doctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, an R03 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science.

We recently caught up with Katie and asked her to share some information about her research projects. Read more about Dr. Katie Ehrlich’s successes here.

Fellows, Affiliates and GDP ’s

Congratulations to the new Fellows of the Institute:

Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, (Advertising), Associate Professor, GDP Class of 2012
Dr. Ahn submitted her National Institute of Heart Lung and Blood (NIH) project titled “The Virtual Fitness Buddy Ecosystem: Using Digital Technology to Promote and Sustain Moderate-to-Vigorous Intensity Physical Activity in Children.”
Research Interests: Digital media; Persuasive communication; Virtual experiences; STEM learning; Health; Consumer psychology

Geoffrey Brown, (HDFS), Assistant Professor, GDP Class of 2014
Dr. Brown received an R01 from NIH to study how rural environments, social networks and paternal factors contribute to infant development in Black families in the rural South. By focusing on the role of unmarried Black fathers, this work is highly novel and will help to develop interventions to encourage fathers to be actively involved in their infants’ lives.
Research Interests: Family relationships; Children’s social and emotional development; Fathering; Early childhood development; Family functioning

Katherine Ehrlich, (Psychology), Assistant Professor, GDP Class of 2016
Dr. Ehrlich recently received a (1) NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation that will focus on proinflammatory phenotypes and depression risk in youth, (2) R03 from NIH focusing on the effects of exposure to parental depression as a risk factor for downstream youth physical health and (3) NIH Director’s New Innovator Award for her project submitted to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, “Innovative Approaches to the Study of Social Determinants of Health in Children.”
Research Interests: Stress; Health; Families; Relationships across development; Inflammation/Epigenetics

Paula Lemons, (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), Associate Professor
Dr. Lemons (SEER center) and her team were awarded a NSF grant aimed at transforming STEM education at a R1 university through multi-level action teams. This is an outstanding example of truly interdisciplinary scholarship as noted by the team (Paula Lemons, PI; Co-PIs include Tessa Andrews (Genetics), Marguerite Brickman (Plant Biology), Sarah Covert (Assoc. Provost for Academic Affairs), and Erin Dolan (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology). This project has a total of 13 senior personnel including individuals from Math, Chemistry, Physics, Entomology, Statistics, Engineering, and Education, plus many consultants from different units on campus.
Research Interests: Cognition; Discipline-based education; Student learning; Teaching; Professional development

Denise Lewis, (HDFS), Associate Professor
Dr. Lewis submitted her National Academies of Science Gulf Research Program grant, “Community and Family Resilience, Strength and Wellbeing: Sociocultural Influences on Cambodian and Laotian Refugee Communities’ Responses to Environmental Challenges.”
Research Interests: Gerontology; Qualitative methodology; Intergenerational relations; Aging; Immigrants and refugees

Assaf Oshri, (HDFS), Associate Professor, GDP Class of 2014
Dr. Oshri was recently awarded a K01 award from NIH to examine the influence of community and family protective processes on neurocognitive systems and early onset drug use among rural southern youth.
Research Interests: Child maltreatment; Risk behavior in adolescence; Resilience; Impulsivity; Decision making; Poverty

Catherine Walker O’Neal, (HDFS), Assistant Research Scientist
Dr. O’Neal is a long-time collaborator on a series of projects examining military families and social determinants of health. She was recently awarded a grant from the USDA/NIFA/DOD as Principal Investigator that will evaluate the Air Force Personal Financial Readiness Program to help military families.
Research Interests: Cumulative life experiences; Health outcomes; Adolescent life stages; Military families; Racial/Ethnic minorities

We would like to welcome the following new faculty Affiliates of the Institute:

Adrienne Baldwin-White, (Social Work), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Gender-based violence; Sexual assault prevention; Measurement and program development

Kristen Bub, (Educational Psychology), Associate Professor
Research Interests: Social competence; Self-regulation; Executive function; Early childhood; Research methods

Allison Dunnigan, (Social Work), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Child welfare; Foster care; Policy; Methods

Rachel Fusco, (Social Work), Associate Professor
Research Interests: Substance abuse; Mental health; Family violence

Jeremy Gibbs, (Social Work), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Sexual minority youth; Behavioral health; Technology informed methodology

Man Kit (Karlo) Lei, (Sociology), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Social determinants of health and aging; Quantitative methods; Neighborhood studies; Criminology

Tarkeshwar Singh, (Kinesiology), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Sensorimotor control; Eye-tracking; Electroencephalography; Neurodegenerative disorders

Julie Stanton, (Cellular Biology), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Metacognition; Students of color in STEM; Qualitative methods

Dee Warmth, (Financial Planning, Housing & Consumer Economics), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Well-being; Financial decision-making; Decision skill; Overconfidence; Economic empowerment

Kaixiong (Calvin) Ye, (Genetics), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Human genetics; Nutrition; Direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Congratulations to these Grantsmanship Development Program Participants who will be graduating at our Annual Meeting on Nov. 29:

Dorothy Carter, (Psychology I/O), Assistant Professor, GDP Class of 2016
Research Interests: Leadership; Teams; Multi-systems; Social network analysis

Katherine Ehrlich, (Psychology), Assistant Professor, GDP Class of 2016
Research Interests: Stress; Health; Families; Relationships across development; Inflammation/Epigenetics

Logan Fiorella, (Educational Psychology), Assistant Professor, GDP Class of 2016
Research Interests: Instruction; Problem solving; STEM education; Multimedia learning; Learning strategies

Yan Jin, (Public Relations), Professor, GDP Class of 2016
Research Interests: Crisis communication; Risk communication; Social media; Health communication; Strategic conflict management; Information dissemination

Ashley Johnson Harrison, (Educational Psychology), Assistant Professor, GDP Class of 2015
Research Interests: Autism; Eye-tracking; Cross-cultural; Attention; Global

Welcome to the Grantsmanship Development Program (GDP) Class of 2018-2020:

Michael Cacciatore, (Public Relations), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Media depictions of science and risk issues; Social media; Media communication process

Philip Chalmers, (Educational Psychology), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Computational statistics; Measurement invariance; Item response theory; Open-source software design

Jennifer Gay, (Health Promotion), Associate Professor
Research Interests: Physical activity; Children; Adolescents; Occupational health; Growth and maturation; Measurement and methodology

Kalsea Koss, (HDFS), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Social and biological processes; Life course; Biological embedding; Social environmental experiences; Health and well-being

Jiaying Liu, (Communication Studies), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Health communication; Social psychology; Message effects; Computational social science methods

More Kudos…

Dr. Scott Ardoin (Educational Psychology) and Dr. Thomas Mote (Geography) were selected as 2018-2019 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows.

Dr. Gene Brody (HDFS) was recently been appointed to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Director’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Dr. Phaedra Corso (Health Policy & Management) and Dr. Lillian Eby (Psychology I/O) were named to the UGA Provost Search Committee.

Dr. Ted Futris (HDFS) was awarded the 2018 Margaret E. Arcus Outstanding Family Life Educator Award by the National Council on Family Relations.

Dr. Emilie Smith (HDFS) was named as one of the first Scholars-in-Residence with the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).

Policy Regulation & Compliance

1) NSF just released the new Proposal & Award Policy and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that will take effect 1/28/2019.  Click here for a summary of changes: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg19_1/sigchanges.jsp

2) NIH greatly expands investment in BRAIN initiative: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-greatly-expands-investment-brain-initiative

3) On June 20, 2018, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum raising the threshold for micro-purchases under Federal financial assistance awards to $10,000, and the threshold for simplified acquisitions to $250,000 for all recipients. As directed by OMB, NIH is updating its policy to reflect the new thresholds. This change is effective immediately for all NIH recipients. If purchases were made using the higher thresholds prior to this notice, NIH will support the charges in accordance with the OMB memo.  https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-219.html

4) Implementation of the Common Rule begins January 21, 2019.  https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-211.html

The revised Common Rule does NOT apply to FDA-regulated or human subjects research supported by the Department of Justice. What does this mean for UGA researchers?  The regulatory changes were designed to reduce administrative burden and to enhance the protection of human subjects. The UGA Human Research Protection Program is working to implement the revised regulations.  The revisions will include changes to the IRB Portal, policies, and some procedures.  There are some specific changes that may be of interest to many UGA researchers.  These changes are described below.

New Exempt Categories – The Common Rule defines three levels of review for human subjects research: exempt, expedited, and full (committee). The new Common Rule broadens the types of research that may be determined to be exempt from IRB review. For example, starting July 19, benign behavioral interventions conducted with adults may be determined to be exempt. Also, the collection of identifiable, sensitive information from adults may be determined to be exempt; however, this new category requires a limited IRB review to determine that appropriate privacy and confidentiality protections are in place.  Submission to the IRB office to obtain the Exempt determination is still required.

Continuing Review Changes – Some minimal risk research will no longer require continuing review (renewal). A general progress report will be requested at a period determined by the IRB during initial review but research activities can continue as approved without waiting for the IRB to acknowledge the report.  Such projects will not be assigned an expiration date.

Consent Form Changes – Consent forms must begin with a concise and focused presentation of the key information that is most likely to assist in understanding why one might or might not want to participate in the research. Consent forms must now include information regarding the potential for future use of de-identified data and biospecimens.  You can find more information through various links on UGA’s Human Subjects Office website under the link “Final Rule Changes

Contact your OIBR grants staff or UGA Human Subjects Office with questions.

Institute News

  • As a result of recent strategic planning, the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research has updated our vision and mission statements:
    OIBR Vision-
    For UGA to be recognized as a leader in interdisciplinary social and behavioral science research.
    OIBR Mission-
    OIBR addresses the world’s most pressing health, economic, social, educational, and policy challenges through the facilitation and promotion of social behavioral science research.
  • The request to change the name of the Center for Gene-Social Environment Transactions has been officially changed to the Center on Biological Embedding of Social Events and Relationships.
  • The Institute is currently at maximum capacity for grant awards. If you are working on a grant and would like to work with OIBR, please contact Kim Cherewick, Assistant Director, at ksilvis@uga.edu to discuss your needs as soon as possible.
  • Successful Events:

In June OIBR hosted a Transparency and Reproducibility in Research Forum. This was an informal, open discussion with a guest from the Center for Open Science (COS) to discuss funders and high impact journals emphasizing transparency and reproducibility in research findings. This was a great opportunity for researchers to learn more about sharing data and registering hypotheses.

Over the last few months Dr. JJ Bau, OIBR Statistician, has facilitated eight R Workshop Sessions for Applying R Statistical Packages for Data Analysis. These sessions were held in small, interactive groups at OIBR to introduce faculty members to R and provide programming and data analysis skills for beginners to more advanced users.

This fall our Director, Dr. Lillian Eby (Psychology), and our Associate Director, Dr. Phaedra Corso (Health Policy) hosted three Mystery Meet and Greet luncheons with guests from ten different departments on campus. The purpose of these informal luncheons is to meet others around campus with similar research interests in behavioral and social sciences, while enjoying good food and conversation. WHO you will be dining with is the mystery part of the lunch. We are always amazed at the great conversations and information shared at these events. These luncheons are by invitation only, so be on the lookout for your invitation next spring.

In October OIBR co-sponsored the 2018 Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) conference in Savannah, Georgia. Dr. Lillian Eby (Psychology) and Andrea Horsman (OIBR) served on the planning committee. This conference is an annual opportunity to interact with a close-knit community of researchers, to learn about outstanding work in this field, and to generate new ideas. About 180 guests from all across the country participated in pre-conference workshops, break-out sessions, lectures and a research poster session.

COSSA News & Notes

On September 28, President Trump signed into law a fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding package containing funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill – which may impact research efforts for our affiliates and fellows.

At a glance…

  • NIH: $38.084 billion, an increase of 5.4%
  • CDC: $7.892 billion, a decrease of 1.4%
  • NCHS: $160.4 million, 0% change
  • AHRQ: $338 million, 2% increase
  • BLS: $615 million, 5% increase
  • DOE: $615.5 million to Institute of Education Sciences, 3% increase

For COSSA’s analysis of the FY 2019 funding levels, go here.

COSSA is an advocate for the research community, educating policy makers on the need for federal funding for research in the social and behavioral sciences. To read their bi-monthly updates, you can check them out of our website here.

Funding News

We have kicked off FY2019 with funding for a lot of exciting new Research Proposals:

Dr. Gene Brody (HDFS) Director of Center for Family Research and OIBR Fellow, received a new NIH R01 in the amount of $922,710 for his project, “Origin of Chronic Diseases of Aging Among Rural African American Young Adults.” Project period: 6/20/18-5/31/21.  Co-Investigators from UGA include Co-Director of Center for Family Research and OIBR Fellow, Dr. Steve Beach (Psychology).

Dr. Steve Kogan (HDFS), Director of Faculty Development and OIBR Fellow, received a new NIH R01 in the amount of $2,547,809 for his project, “Rural Southern Contexts and Pathways to Black Men’s Alcohol Use and Abuse: A Ten Year Prospective Analysis.” Project period: 7/1/18-3/31/23.  Co-Investigators from UGA include Dr. Gene Brody (HDFS).

Dr. Geoffrey Brown (HDFS), GDP graduate and OIBR Fellow, received a NIH R01 in the amount of $3,062,209 for his project “Rural Environments, Social Networks, and Paternal Contributions to Infant Development.” Project period 7/9/18-6/30/23. Co-Investigators include Dr. Gene Brody (HDFS) and Dr. Steve Kogan (HDFS).

Dr. Assaf Oshri (HDFS), GDP graduate and OIBR Fellow, received a NIH K01 in the amount of $889,325, for his project “The influence of community and family protective processes on neurocognitive systems associated with early-onset drug use: An investigation of rural southern youth.”  Project period 7/15/18-6/30/23. Primary mentor is OIBR Fellow Dr. Larry Sweet (Psychology) with Co-Mentors, Dr. Gene Brody (HDFS) and Dr. Steve Kogan (HDFS).

Dr. Katie Ehrlich (Psychology), GDP graduate and OIBR Fellow, received a NIH R03 in the amount of $150,542 for her project, “Parental Depression and the Early Origins of Disease Across Three Generations.” 8/1/18-7/31/20.

Dr. Larry Sweet (Psychology), OIBR Fellow, received a NIH R01 in the amount of $1,274,651 with Co-PI, Dr. James MacKillop, former OIBR Fellow and Associate Director, who is now at McMaster University in Canada, for their project “Using Neuroeconomics to Understand Alcohol Overvaluation in Alcohol Use Disorder.”  Project period is 8/5/18-7/31/23.

Dr. Catie O’Neal (HDFS), OIBR Fellow, received a USDA NIFA grant in the amount of $454,545 for her project “Air Force Personal Financial Readiness Program Evaluation Development: A Proposal Submitted by the University of Georgia.” Project period is 9/1/18-8/30/19.  Involves Co-I and OIBR Fellow, Dr. Jay Mancini (HDFS), and others from FACS and Extension.

Dr. Katie Ehrlich (Psychology), former GDP, now OIBR Fellow, received a NIH DP2 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in the amount of $2,222,879 for her project titled, “Innovative Approaches to the Study of Social Determinants of Health in Children.” 9/30/18-9/29/23.

Dr. Paula Lemons (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), Director of SEER Center and OIBR Fellow, received a $3M NSF grant for her project, “STEM Education at a Research 1 University through Multi-Level Action Teams.”  This project is truly exemplary of interdisciplinary research with four Co-PIs including OIBR Fellow Dr. Erin Dolan (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), OIBR Affiliate Dr. Tessa Andrews (Genetics), OIBR Affiliate Dr. Peggy Brickman (Plant Biology), Dr. Sarah Covert (Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs) and 8 additional Co-Is from Chemistry, Mathematics, Mathematics and Science Education, Physics and Astronomy, Statistics and Entomology. 10/1/18-9/30/23.

Dr. David Okech (Social Work), former GDP, received a $4M award from the U.S. Dept. of State Program to End Modern Slavery for his project “Ending Slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Collective Impact Approach.”  This interdisciplinary project includes Violence Work Group Director and OIBR Fellow Jody Clay-Warner (Sociology) as a Co-PI as well as two faculty members from the College of Public Health as co-investigators.  10/1/18-9/30/23.

Dr. Joon Choi (Social Work), former GDP, with Co-Investigator and OIBR Fellow, Pamela Orpinas (Health Promotion & Behavior) received an award from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women in the amount of $439,542 for her project “Promoting Victim Safety in Immigrant Communities: Virtual Case Simulation Training for Religious Leaders.” 11/1/18-10/31/20.

Dr. Greg Strauss (Psychology), OIBR Fellow, received a 2018 NARSAD Young Investigator Award in the amount of $70,000 from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation for his proposed project, “Neurocomputational Models of Psychosis Risk.”  1/15/19-1/14/21.

Dr. Katie Ehrlich (Psychology), former GDP, now OIBR Fellow, received a 2018 NARSAD Young Investigator Award in the amount of $70,000 from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation for her proposed project, “Skin Deep Resilience, Proinflammatory Phenotypes, and Depression Risk in Youth.” 1/15/19-1/14/21.

Upcoming Events

2018 OIBR Annual Meeting and State of the Institute presentation
Thursday, November 29, 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Georgian Hall, 247 E. Washington St., Athens

Early Life Stress and Adversity (ELSA) Workgroup Lecture
Dr. Chris Wekerle, Pediatrics, McMaster University
January 24th at Noon (Location to be announced)

Early Life Stress and Adversity (ELSA) Workgroup Lecture
Dr. Jelena Obradovic, Stanford University
February 14th at Noon (Location to be announced)

2019 Gene Brody Lecture – Save the Date
March 29, 2019 (Time and location to be announced)

Violence Work Group Guest Lecture
Sharyn Potter, NIJ-funded sexual violence bystander intervention program
Date/Time TBA

As part of the mission for OIBR, we strive to provide beneficial networking opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and we hope that you enjoy these events. We realize it is sometimes hard to take time from your busy day to attend an event, but we do our best to ensure our events are well worth your time. Check our website www.oibr.uga.edu for more exciting things planned in the future. If you have any event ideas, please feel free to share them with us.

Have something to share? If you have any questions or newsworthy items to share, please email them to Andrea Horsman, ahorsman@uga.edu. Visit our website and follow us on Twitter @OIBR_UGA.