Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Florida International Researcher Wins Award from Latino Aging Research Resource Center

Dr. Gladys Ibañez, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Florida International University’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, is one of four researchers in the country to receive funding from University of California at Davis’ Latino Aging Research Resource Center (LARRC) for its 2017-2018 pilot program.

[Photo: Dr. Gladys Ibañez]

LARRC’s pilot funding provides $25,000, along with support from mentors, for research on the cognitive functioning of older HIV-positive Latinos and how it affects the quality of care and disease progression.

The Latino population is one of the largest and fastest growing segments of the aging population in the U.S. yet little is known about the comorbidities, including cognitive impairment, that influence those aging with HIV.

Dr. Ibañez’s community-focused work addresses this research gap, and with the help of LARRC’s National Institutes of Health-funded program, she’s equipped to study 100 HIV-positive patients from Borinquen Health Clinic and the Southern HIV and Alcohol Consortium. By administering NIH’s cognitive toolbox measures and linking the results to HIV care engagement and disease progression data, this project will serve as the basis for future explorations into cognitive interventions for older Latinos.

After obtaining her doctorate in psychology from Georgia State University in 2002, Dr. Ibañez completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has more than a decade of experience researching public health issues like HIV and substance abuse, including numerous federally funded research projects for the development of a culturally appropriate HIV prevention intervention for Latino criminal justice clients.