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.

WBUR, Boston's NPR news station published an article entitle "Urban Debate Teams Motivate At-Risk Students to Succeed" highlighting the research of Dr. Briana Mezuk on the impact of participating in a policy debate program on academic achievement in the Greater Chicago area.

Click here to read the article. Click here to read the research paper.