Forge AHEAD Center Announces Third Cohort of Scholars


The Forge AHEAD Center (FAC) is pleased to announce the latest recipients of its pilot funding for the third cohort. Four early-stage investigators were selected for their innovative research aimed at improving outcomes for cardiometabolic diseases across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. This new cohort investigate pressing health challenges like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension in communities that are often underrepresented in research. Pilot and feasibility funding is a cornerstone of FAC’s mission to push forward health equity by providing research that makes a real difference in people’s lives.

We celebrate the Cohort 3 Scholars for their commitment to important health issues. Their projects are critical to the Forge AHEAD Center’s mission to reduce health disparities and promote healthier communities through research.

We’re honored to recognize the following awardees:

  • Jennifer Caldwell, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center – Project: “Linking GAINS: Linking Genetics and Improving Nutrition in Scotlandville”
  • Kaylee B. Crockett, Ph.D., assistant professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham – Project: “Adaptation and Initial Feasibility of a Primary Care-based Dyadic Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Intervention: ‘Heart Care Pairs'”
  • Lama Ghazi, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham – Project: “Post-Emergency Department Discharge Clinic Telehealth Program for Patients with Uncontrolled Hypertension”
  • Amber W. Kinsey, Ph.D., assistant professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham – Project: “An integrated cardiometabolic intervention targeting physical and financial health: A pilot study”

To support their research journey, scholars will receive both strategic guidance and mentorship, empowering them to conduct research that’s impactful in their respective domains. This funding underscores Forge AHEAD Center’s dedication to funding projects that have the potential to make a meaningful contribution to reducing health disparities, fostering sustainable, community-focused health initiatives.

We’re eager to see the positive impacts these scholars’ projects will have on advancing health equity and enhancing the well-being of individuals throughout the South.

For more insights into the scholars and their work, please visit the Forge AHEAD Center website.

The next cycle of funding is open for applications. We encourage early-stage investigators who qualify for pilot award funding to apply. Letters of Intent (LOI) are due June 25, 2024. You can find more details about the Pilot Award Program and RFA timeline here.