University of Nebraska Medical Center

COPH Aims to Make an Impact with Innovative Research in Four Strategic Areas

Spotlight on Research at COPH –  In 2014, the COPH launched a collaborative strategic planning process with participation and input from faculty, professional staff, students, alumni, and community partners. Through this process four priority areas were identified, for which the College will be recognized as world leaders and which support the College’s overarching goal to make Nebraska the healthiest and most equitable state by 2020.

To help achieve goals in each of the priority areas, Dean Ali Khan provided Innovation Funds for competitive research projects proposed by COPH faculty, staff and partners. A total of 11 research projects have been awarded. The list of priority areas and the corresponding research awards are listed below. If you would like to learn more about any of these projects, please contact Mohammad Siahpush, PhD, Associate Dean for Research (msiahpush@unmc.edu).

  1. Cancer prevention and control

Project title: Identification of biomarkers for type 2 diabetes-associated hepatocellular carcinoma

Principle investigator: Paraskevi Farazi, PhD


  1. Community based health transformation

Project title: Developing and Implementing a Public Health Approach to Youth Violence Prevention and Control in Omaha, Nebraska

Principle investigator: Dejun Su, PhD

Project title: Trainings in equity, diversity, inclusion, and collective impact

Principle investigator: Renaisa Anthony, MD, MPH

Project title: A Multi-State Comparative Analysis of Medicaid Expansion on Preventable Emergency Department and Inpatient Utilization and Costs

Principle investigator: Fernando Wilson, PhD


  1. Health system transformation

Project title: Examining Super-Utilizers in the Health System for Managing Chronic Care Patients

Principle investigator: Jungyoon Kim, PhD

Project title: Examination of County-Level Behavioral Risk Factors and Neighborhood Factors on Readmission Rates among Patients Diagnosed with Cardiovascular Disease in Nebraska

Principle investigator: Jungyoon Kim, PhD

Project title: Integrating Public Health with Primary Care to Improve Population Health Outcomes

Principle investigator: David Palm, PhD

Project title: Health System Transformation: Assessing Perceptions of Roles of Nurse Practitioner/Community Health Worker Teams in Health Promotion Activities Targeting Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Reduction in urban American Indians and Alaska Natives & rural Spanish speaking Latinos in Nebraska

Principle investigator: Patrik Johansson, MD, MPH


  1. Student experience

Project title: Creating a contextual overview of resources for healthy active lifestyles in Omaha to support Community engagement on actionable strategies for promoting equity in built environments.

Principle investigator: Jennie Hill, PhD

Project title: Strategic Recruitment of Underrepresented and Disadvantaged Students through the SMDEP Program

Principle investigator: Ali Khan, MD, MPH

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