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Effective fall 2017 Antwi Akom, PhD, will be promoted to Professor of Africana Studies, and will become affiliate faculty in the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University (SF State), while retaining his affiliate faculty status in the Center for Vulnerable Populations at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Akom is the Director of the Social Innovations and Urban Opportunities (SOUL) Lab within SF BUILD. As Director of SOUL, Dr. Akom aims to bridge population-level research on the social determinants of health between SF State and UCSF in partnership with communities of color. In service of this aim, SOUL is the first joint research facility between these two academic institutions, and its focus on communities of color has already led to NIH funding success. Dr. Akom learned recently that his NIH grant proposal entitled, “HEART & SOUL: Enabling full representation in biomedical Big Data science” will be funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. This grant application builds on the Signaling Affirmation for Equity (SAFE) model that grounds SF BUILD and its Director, Leticia Márquez-Magaña, is another PI of the soon to be funded grant. The work funded by this grant will transform teaching and training efforts at SF State on the tools used by Big Data scientists. This will be accomplished by working with faculty who are already working with communities of color on health equity issues. They will gain skills for mitigating the stereotype threat elicited by Big Data science in their teaching and training of underrepresented students interested in this field of investigation.
The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.