AIM-AHEAD Selects NAWSON Faculty for Competitive NIH funded Research Fellowship

Assistant Professor Dr. Samia Valeria Ozorio Dutra, an early-career researcher specializing in the gut-brain axis and mental health promotion, has been selected as a fellow in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD) Research Fellows Program. This esteemed program, dedicated to advancing data science research to address health disparities, provides funding and support to exceptional researchers in implementations of novel and innovative data science and data-focused research problems.

Samia Valeria Ozorio Dutra
Assistant Professor Samia Valeria Ozorio Dutra

Dr. Dutra’s selection reflects her outstanding qualifications and alignment with the program’s goals. With a background in mental health, women’s health, oncology, and gut microbiome research, she brings a wealth of experience to the fellowship. Her previous work on longitudinal studies involving large datasets has prepared her for innovative research using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) approaches.

The fellowship, which includes a $50,000 award, will enable Dr. Dutra to leverage the extensive OCHIN database, comprising over 6 million Electronic Health Records (EHR), including a significant subset focused on Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations. These resources, facilitated by OCHIN, a nonprofit organization specializing in equitable healthcare innovation, will empower Dr. Dutra to conduct groundbreaking research aimed at addressing health disparities. Through collaboration with AIM-AHEAD and OCHIN, she aims to utilize AI/ML models to identify predictive factors for health outcomes, particularly in underserved communities.

In accepting the fellowship, Dr. Dutra joins a nationwide consortium funded by NIH and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to advance her research agenda and collaborate with esteemed mentors:

“This fellowship provides an opportunity to advance my research agenda and career goals. My project aims to improve the risk detection of depression among Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (NH/PI) by considering social determinants of health, cancer type, and obesity. The possibility of developing new partnerships using machine learning and artificial intelligence benefits the growth of research in NAWSON and the impact of nursing research. The fellowship allowed the development of new connections with two experts in the field, Drs. Youping Deng and Sophia Shalhout.”

Dr. Youping Deng is the director of the Bioinformatics Core Facility at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Dr. Sophia Shalhout is affiliated with Massachusetts Eye and Ear. The Mass Eye and Ear is a member of Mass General Brigham and a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Dutra’s ultimate goal is to contribute to precision health initiatives that provide targeted, predictive, and individualized care to improve health outcomes and address disparities.

Dr. Dutra’s selection underscores the importance of fostering diverse talent and leveraging cutting-edge technology to drive impactful research in healthcare.

This work was supported by the AIM-AHEAD Coordinating Center, funded by the NIH.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health Common Fund under award number 1OT2OD032581-01. The work is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of AIM-AHEAD or the National Institutes of Health.

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