Scientist Seminars and Mini Trainings

2021

March 2021 – Mini Training | “Recalibrating” the use of race in health research: Why, when, and how?

Dr. Briana Mezuk led a discussion of the Ioannidis article in JAMA (Ioannidis JPA, Powe NR, Yancy C. Recalibrating the Use of Race in Medical Research. JAMA. 2021;325(7):623–624. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.0003). She summarized two main points from the article; that race is a historical, poorly-specified measure that nevertheless has a great deal of explanatory power when it comes to health, and that race is used both implicitly and explicitly in medical research. She alluded to Dr. James S. Jackson’s keynote address in 2012 at the Association for Psychological Science (APS) entitled, “The Masquerade of Racial Group Differences in Psychological Sciences”. For discussion, she posed the question, How does the construct of race inform or intersect with your research program? Her presentation provided an important segue to the March Scientist Seminar.

AnC Mini Session – Race in Health Research (PDF)

Recalibrating the Use of Race (PDF)

Other references generated in the Chat:
This article (intro to a special issue) by James Jackson and others from 2018 has lots of important things re structural and cultural racism as important to include, etc. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5915332/

This is an interesting pub on within and across group heterogeneities in Hispanics done with HCHS/SOL data: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4716704/

This is the link to the video that Dr. Mezuk included in her presentation – James S. Jackson – The Masquerade Of Racial Group Differences on Vimeo. This keynote is from 2012.

March 2021 – Scientist Seminar| On Racism: A New Standard for Publishing on Racial Health Inequities

Dr. Amanda Woodward led a discussion that was a continuation of the discussion from the Mini Training that Dr. Mezuk conducted during the Program Meeting. Dr. Woodward noted that both the JAMA and Health Affairs articles focused on the use of race as a variable without unpacking what is actually being measuring. To begin the discussion, she asked how the construct of race informs or intersects with the scientists’ research and teaching, and asked for examples where they have seen this done really well or not done well, whether it’s in publishing or research. A lively discussion ensured.

https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20200630.939347/full/

March 2021 – Special REC Training | Should I Write a Book?

Dr. R. Khari Brown’s talk was held March 26, 2021. Dr. Brown is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Wayne State University, and is a leading expert of religion and American politics. In this training workshop, he discussed his thought processes related to the decision to co-author the book, Faith without works is dead: Race and the power of sermons on American politics, with Drs. Ron Brown and James S. Jackson, published by The University of Michigan Press. He explored various reasons for writing a book; utilitarian reasons (for tenure or promotion), to do good, and as a means to tie other published work together. He also gave an overview of the process involved in writing a book.

Special REC Training – Should I Write a Book? (PDF)

Special REC Training – Should I Write a Book? (Video)

February 2021 – Mini Training | Planning for and Responding to Mental Health Issues in Research Participants

Dr. Amanda Woodward presented an updated version of a similar training she conducted last year. She discussed the need to think about potential mental health crises that could occur in research participants, as well as caring for researchers. All of this is even more important during COVID-19. She covered key points related to planning, monitoring, and ending research participation.

Mental Health and Research (PDF)

February 2021 – Scientist Seminar | R Studio: The Sequel

Dr. Wassim Tarraf conducted this Scientist Seminar as a follow-up to training he did in May 2020. The impetus for this session was a request from the MCUAAAR Scientists for a more applied session for how to work in R.  The objective of this session is to show how you can create a project and run that project from top to bottom in a way that is completely reproducible.   Everything Dr. Tarraf demonstrated in this session can be done with software, packages, and datasets that are publicly available.

January 2021 – Mini Training | Reporting on an Innovative Telephone Outreach Program to Older Detroiters

Dr. Tam Perry and Ms. Vanessa Rorai of the Community Liaison and Recruitment Core (CLRC) reported on the incredibly ambitious and innovative outreach to all members of the Participant Research Pool. The impetus of the outreach was to check on the members of the PRP during the COVID-19 pandemic, reduce their social isolation, and provide information to resources for anyone who needed them. The calls were made between April 20, 2020 and January 29, 2021.

HBEC Telephone Outreach (PDF)

MCUAAAR Phone Survey April July 2020 How Getting Through COVID (PDF)

January 2021 – Scientist Seminar | Using Your Research to Change the World: And Getting Credit for it Too

Dr. Amanda Woodward discussed how to use research for change (reviewing two different models for doing this), the costs and benefits to doing activist-engaged scholarship (recognizing the ability to do this work is different at different points in our career), and ways to describe and structure the work to get credit for it. To prepare for the discussion, scientists were asked to read, Nerlinger AL, Shah AN, Beck AF, Beers LS, Wong SL, Chamberlain LJ, Keller D. The Advocacy Portfolio: A Standardized Tool for Documenting Physician Advocacy. Acad Med. 2018 Jun;93(6):860-868. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002122. PMID: 29298182.

The Advocacy Portfolio: A Standardized Tool for Documenting Physician Advocacy (PDF)

Using Your Research to Change the World (PDF)

2020

December 2020 – Mini-Training | Quantile Regression

Dr. Wassim Tarraf is an Associate Professor, at the Institute of Gerontology, Department of Healthcare Sciences, at Wayne State University. His Mini-Training was entitled, “An Alternative Modeling Approach to Uncover Disparities: Quantile Regression”. While researchers typically use ordinary least squares regression, that method has assumptions that are necessarily met, especially when you have bimodal or multimodal distributions, skewed distributions or outliers. Quantile regression is an extension of linear regression and is a modeling technique that can be used when the assumption of least squares regression cannot be met.

November 2020 - News flash! Author Mentions in Science News Reveal Wide-Spread Ethnic Bias

Mini-Training, November 11, 2020

Tips for Talking with Journalists

Dr. Amanda Woodward is the Associate Director for Academic Affairs and Research, MSW Program Director, and Professor at Wayne State University. She is also a Co-Lead of the MCUAAAR REC. Her Mini-Training had tips on one’s message, making sure you have talking points, general communication tips, and more in-depth suggestions for talking with journalists. There was a lively discussion after the presentation with scientists and faculty.

Scientist Seminar, November 18, 2020

News flash! Author Mentions in Science News Reveal Wide-Spread Ethnic Bias

David Jurgens is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Participants were asked to read the article found here https://arxiv.org/abs/2009.01896 prior to the seminar. He presented two studies as examples of how to think about text as data. One was based on the article participants were asked to read, and is reflected in the title of the Seminar. The other study was entitled, “Racial Disparities in Police Language Usage”. The research question was, do officers treat white community members with a greater degree of respect than they afford to black community members? Text from body cameras of officers in the Oakland Police Department was used as data in this study.

October 2020 - Resources and Strategies for Conducting Research During the COVID-Era

Dr. James McNally and Dr. Briana Mezuk facilitated a discussion of data resources and strategies for staying productive during a period of time when a) data collection is either prohibited, limited, or altered to be virtual and b) “working from home” has a new set of challenges. Seminar participants were asked to view the NACDA video before the seminar, and bring their questions/ideas/et to discuss during the AnC seminar.

May 2020 - Reproducible Analytic Workflow: Tips and an Application

Dr. Wassim Tarraf shared tips on how to create a workflow for reproducible research. He presented Scott Long’s concept of research workflow which includes planning, organizing, and documenting scientific process, establishing and fostering collaborations, managing and sharing data, analyzing data, disseminating findings, and archiving the process for replication. Dr. Tarraf also walked participants through an example using Git and GitHub.

Reproducible Analytic Workflow: Tips and an Application (PDF)

April 2020 - Doing All Things: When the World is Going to $#@! Around You

Dr. Amanda Woodward discussed time management and strategies to be productive when there is a global pandemic. She discussed issues such as planning one’s semester, aligning time with priorities, writing tips and overcoming resistance to writing, and dealing with the avalanche of email. Participants also shared their favorite tips and strategies to increase productivity.

Doing all the things – 3-18-2020 mini session  (PDF)

February 2020 – Put Your Suit On, We’re Getting in the Pool: Approaches to Pooling Datasets

Dr. Briana Mezuk discusses what it means to “pool” datasets. The fundamental idea is that you can take information in one study and use it to “fill in the gaps” in another study. There are several variations, or ways of doing this, but they all stem from the idea that the data you have can be used to impute the data you do not. Like all imputation strategies, these approaches can address some sources of bias, but at a cost of precision.

2020 Feb AnC Seminar Notes_Briana Mezuk (Word)

AnC Scholar Seminar PowerPoint_2.19.20 (PDF)

For MCUAAAR training on pooled analysis READ ME (PDF)