Arden Moscati and Dr. Mezuk

VCU's "Across the Spectrum: Showcasing the scope of research at Virginia Commonwealth University" features Dr. Mezuk and graduate student, Arden Moscati. Their collaborative study examines the role of religious devotion in substance use and abuse. To read the story by Frances Dumenci, click here.

Dr. Mezuk and Dr. Concha will present on Diabetes and Stress at the VCU Community Health Education Center on February 5, 2014, from noon to 1 p.m. The Community Health Education Center is located on the ground floor of the Medical Center Gateway Building. Light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, click here.

The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry Awards review committee for the Barry Lebowitz Early Career Scientist Award has selected Dr. Mezuk's research paper, "Comorbidity between major depression and type 2 diabetes in mid-life: Exploring causal effects using a twin design," as the best original work submitted by an early career scientist.

Dr. Mezuk will be presented with the award at the Opening Plenary and Awards Session at the AAGP 2014 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida on March 14th. Dr. Mezuk has also been asked to present her paper at the Research Awards Session at the Annual Meeting.

Congratulations, Dr. Mezuk!

Newswise — The American Journal of Public Health, for the first time, will explore the link between social sciences and genetics in its October supplemental issue. Through new research, editorials and commentaries, the issue highlights the impact of investigating this field in public health. Dr. Mezuk's twin research is featured. To read the announcement, click here. Credentialed members of APHA will have access to the full article, published in the journal.


Dr. Concha is a public health researcher with a specific interest in psychological well being and diabetes prevention in ethnic minority and marginalized populations. She received her PhD in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an MPH from the University of Texas Health Science Center, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Concha’s research interest in psychological well being and diabetes first began after hearing several people with diabetes share similar stories about their struggle with stress and diabetes management. It is because of these stories that Dr. Concha has worked toward studying the impact of psychological distress on diabetes outcomes and the cultural meaning of stress and diabetes in Hispanic and Latino populations. Her previous work experience includes academic quantitative and qualitative research, managing non-profit community oriented diabetes education and prevention efforts, and conducting diabetes community resource and needs assessments.

Dr. Concha proudly joins Dr. Mezuk’s research team in investigating the socio-cultural, psychological, and behavioral pathways that effectively reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes and promote the integration of mental health services in diabetes prevention and health care.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is featuring the work of Dr. Briana Mezuk on their Human Capital web page. The article is based on her recent papers, published respectively in Health & Place and The Diabetes Educator. For more information and to read the feature, go to

Dr. Mezuk spent two years as a Health & Society Scholar (2007-2009) with the Foundation. To read more about RWJF click here.

lohmanCongratulations to PhD Candidate Matt Lohman, who received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award fellowship. The title of Matt's research is "Frailty and depression: A latent trait analysis". Matt's award, from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, will support his research for the next two years. The study focuses on the evidence that suggests that geriatric conditions such as frailty may signal elevated vulnerability to adverse health outcomes like falls and hospitalization. Matt will look at achieving a better understanding of frailty and how it is related to depression. His project aims to guide clinicians and researchers toward a more accurate definition and identification of frailty, and timely intervention to prevent adverse health events among older adults. Click here to read the VCU news feature.

Dr. Moon Choi, Ph.D. from Lexington, Kentucky credits her mentors with making all the difference in the world for her career. She had three key mentors who have walked with her throughout her journey, including Dr. Briana Mezuk of the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health. Click here to read her member spotlight from the Gerontological Society of America.