Working to improve the health as well as the health care of all Americans, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded Dr. Bertha Hidalgo, assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a 24-month grant through the New Connections program, placing her among a select group of junior investigators. New Connections — which seeks early- to mid-career scholars who are historically underrepresented, such as ethnic or racial minorities, first-generation college graduates, or individuals from low-income communities — is a national program designed to expand the diversity of perspectives that inform RWJF’s programming.
[Photo: Dr. Bertha Hidalgo]
The grant will allow Dr. Hidalgo to learn whether genetic and epigenetic differences exist between subgroups of Latinos for cardiometabolic diseases (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes) by first investigating differences in obesity among subgroups of Latino children through an epidemiologic study.
“I am extremely proud to be among the junior investigators and mid-career consultants honored with this prestigious grant,” said Dr. Hidalgo. “This award will connect me to a network of established experts in research and evaluation related to health and health care, while providing me with an opportunity to evaluate a program that has far-reaching implications for the health disparities of cardiometabolic diseases, and specifically for this project, nuances in obesity rates among subgroups of Latino children.”
“We are so excited to welcome Dr. Bertha Hidalgo into the eighth cohort of New Connections grantees. The program connects first-time grantees to the Foundation, and the new perspectives they bring are essential to solving the critical, complex issues affecting our nation’s health,” stated Dr. Catherine Malone, program associate at RWJF.