June 18, 2019

Chu receives $430K research award from NIH

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Daniel ChuThe National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health recently awarded Daniel Chu, M.D., associate professor in the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery, a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award for his research project, “Enhancing Health Literacy in Surgery to Eliminate Surgical Disparities for African-Americans with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.”

The K23 award transitions Chu from his internal K12 award from UAB. Chu will receive $434,137 over three years as a result of the new award to support his research and career development in surgical disparities and health literacy.

“I consider myself fortunate and forever indebted to have received a K12 from UAB to support my initial research into surgical disparities and health literacy. It set me up to apply for the K23,” Chu said. “We are excited that the NIH and NIMHD recognize this work as important, and are eager to continue making more discoveries to benefit our patients and families.”

Chu’s proposed research focuses on eliminating surgical disparities for African-Americans with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by developing a surgical care program crafted using best practices in health literacy. Successful development of a health-literate surgical care program could positively affect the African-American IBD population and offer a patient-centered approach to addressing surgical disparities in other vulnerable surgical populations.

“To me, receiving the K23 reflects the national recognition that UAB is uniquely positioned in the Deep South to advance research in health disparities,” Chu said. “I’m delighted and grateful that the NIH and NIMHD have funded this work. I’m also thankful for my mentors, colleagues, staff and trainees at UAB who made this possible.”

Chu’s mentor team includes Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, who serves as his primary mentor and is the director of the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center; Selwyn Vickers, M.D., FACS, senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine; Isabel Scarinci, Ph.D., MPH, from the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center; Larry Hearld, Ph.D., from the Department of Health Services Administration in the UAB School of Health Professions; and Terry Davis, Ph.D., from the Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport.

Bennett Page contributed to this article