Health Literacy and Communication in Crisis: Gender-based Violence and Syrian Refugees

I am the principal investigator of a workshop grant by British Council, Newton Fund Researcher Links, which has awarded our team £37,500 to organise a research workshop in Turkey on the topic of gender-based violence among Syrian refugees.  The workshop will occur in July 2017 and will gather early-career researchers from the UK and Turkey to discuss the topic, build connections, and establish plans for future collaborations. I am the organiser on the UK side (our senior team includes leading researchers from Strathclyde and Mental Health Foundation), while on the Turkish side, professor Nezih Orhon from Anadolu University will lead the team.

Body Image and Social Media: Research and Practice in a Changing Environment

I am the principal investigator on an internal grant from Strathclyde (£3,510), which aims to intensify the impact of my research on body image and social media. As part of this project, I am coordinating various activities which popularise my research, such as the voxpop video about social media, a project website which introduces our research team (coming soon!), and others.

Exploring Access to Mental Health Care Services for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Patients

I was programme team member and leader of the Strathclyde group in a project sponsored by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute (£13,335) which ran during Oct. 2014 – May 2015. The grant provided seed money for exploration of ideas for further research and grant proposals on the topic through three seminars with stakeholders and international scholars. The project gathered researchers from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde, St John’s Hospital, Livingston, and the Mental Welfare Commission.

Putting Babies First

I was a co-investigator on a grant about newborn screening, which ran between January and August 2012 and was sponsored by the nonprofit health advocacy organization Genetic Alliance ($14,936).  This was a joint project between the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the University of Iowa State Hygienic Lab. The project was about creating, distributing and promoting a 10-minute training video for phlebotomists and neonatal nurses nationwide about completing successful heel-prick tests and collecting blood samples from newborns. Newborn babies are tested for a variety of genetic diseases in their first day of life, but sometimes the blood collection is not done properly, which can potentially delay diagnosis with some very serious illnesses, which in turn can complicate follow-up with the baby and parents and may even put the baby’s life in danger. Watch me talk about the project in this video.


Campus-Community Alliances for Smoke-Free Environments

I was a research assistant for three years (2007 – 2010) on a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health ($5.7 million), which worked towards making the state of Missouri smoke-free. The goal was to influence communities’ health agendas to reduce tobacco use and increase tobacco control across the state. My role was to support the execution of a health communication campaign aimed at promoting smoking prevention and cessation, and tobacco control, and to study how the news media covered the issue. The project was extended for three more years and was successful in introducing smoke-free laws in many communities across the state.



I was a research assistant for four years (2004 – 2008) during stage one of the Ozioma project, which was run by the Health Communication Research Center at the University of Missouri and was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute ($580,811). The goal of the grant was to reduce cancer incidence and mortality among African-Americans by sending positive messages about cancer prevention out to African American newspapers around the country via the Ozioma News Service. My role was to conduct a content analysis of cancer stories in mainstream and African-American newspapers during stage one of the project.



I was a health writer for a year and a half for the Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, which ran a five-year project sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research ($4 million). The goal was to become a national leader in the area of disability management, improve the quality of life and promote independent living among people with arthritis. My role was to write evidence-based stories on arthritis and distribute them to local, regional and national media to increase coverage of the disease.