Research Projects

2018-2019: Patient-provider communication in the digital era

Funded by TAMU T3 Award, $35,000
To understand the trends of how patients communicate with their healthcare providers in the past 15 years, we’ll analyze three datasets: 1) HINTS, 2) CAHPS, and 3) patients’ online review. We’ll examine the patterns of patient-provider communication over time and how they affect health outcomes.
My role: PI

2018-2020: A randomized controlled trial of an innovative and integrated patient-centered mHealth intervention to improve mental health of people living with HIV/AIDS

Funded by China Medical Boards (from Rockefeller Foundation) ($100,000)
We use social media (WeChat) to deliver an innovative mHealth intervention to reduce stress and improve mental health outcomes in HIV+. We collect hair samples to measure cortisol as a biomarker of chronic stress.
PI: Yan Guo (Sun Yat-sen University)
My role: Co-PI

2017-2018: The trend of digital divide and health disparities in US: A longitudinal study of eHealth behavior and policy in the past decade

Funded by TAMU PESCA Grant, $25,000
We analyze multiple large datasets of national surveys to investigate the trends of eHealth/mHealth behaviors, examine the relationship of digital divide and health disparities, and to make recommendation of eHealth policy.
My role: PI

2016-2018: Southwest Rural Health Research Center, Digital divide and rural-urban health disparities

Funded by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) ($2,800,000)
The Center is one of seven cooperative research centers in the country to research critical rural health issues. PI: Jane Bolin
I lead the project to examine the eHealth/mHealth behavior of rural population, the relationship between digital divide and rural-urban health disparities, and how to scale up evidence-based mHealth programs in underserved areas.
My role: Project-PI

2016-2018: Integrating Biometric Responses to Human Behavior

Funded by TAMU Research Development Fund ($1,200,000)
We are developing a research hub to integrate biomarker measures in human behavior research. This hubs involves more than 20 researchers from 15 disciplines and promotes multidisciplinary collaboration in clinical trial and behavioral research. PI: Marco Palmer
My role: Co-PI

2016-2020: A RCT of mHealth intervention for people living with HIV/AIDS ($80,000)

Funded by China National Science Foundation ($80,000)
Our international team develops and evaluates a culturally appropriate and personalized intervention program based on smart phones and social media for HIV medication adherence and side effect management. This is one the first mHealth interventions for people living with HIV/AIDS in China. The biomarkers include CD4 counts and cortisol from hair.
PI: Yan Guo (Sun Yat-sen University)
My role: Co-PI

2015-2019: Functions and health outcomes in the older adults living in senior homes

Funded by China National Science Foundation ($80,000)
We longitudinally investigate the functional status, disabilities, chronic conditions, and other health outcomes in more than 5,000 older adults living in different types of senior homes in Fujian Province. The data will inform policy making on elderly care and senior homes. We’ll also investigate the feasibility of using mHealth tools for chronic disease management in this population.
PI: Ya Fang (Xiamen University)
My role: Co-PI

2015-2016: Health-related mobile use among patients living with HIV and Diabetes: A comparative Research

Funded by TAMU-SPH Faculty REDI Grant ($25,000)
We conducted individual interviews with patients with two groups of chronic patients (diabetes and HIV) to examine their current mobile use behaviors and gain in-depth understanding on facilitators and barriers to mobile use for chronic disease self-management.
My role: PI

2014-2016: Center for Healthy Active Living

Funded by Texas A&M Engineering Strategic Seed Grant ($100,000)
We built a university-wide multidisciplinary research center on mobile health focused on healthy living with focuses on interactive apps, health activity recognition and intervention, situational awareness and navigation, and diagnosing diseases through sketching. PI: Tracy Hammond
My role: Co-I

2009-2014: Central Texas Cancer Prevention Center Research Network

Funded by CDC Cancer Research Network ($1,600,000)
We built a cancer prevention and control program in central Texas to accelerate translational research and collaboration between universities and communities. I was responsible for research methodology and mobile tool development.
PI: Marcia Ory
My role: Co-I

2011-2013: Designing and testing mobile application for older cancer survivors to use community resources

Funded by Baylor Scott & White Healthcare ($50,000)
We use user-centered approach and mixed methods to develop a mobile-enabled web application iCanFit® for cancer survivors.
My role: PI

2012-2013: Disseminating iCanFit®: a mobile application to promote physical activity and access to health information for seniors in rural central Texas

Funded by National Library of Medicine South Central Regional Network ($100,000)
We applied community-based participatory research (CBPR) to reach out older adults for their use of mobile application to promote healthy living.
My Role: PI

2010-2011: Acculturation and sexual health in new immigrants of Latinos in Brazos Valley

Funded by Mexican American Latino Research Center ($10,000)
We used ethnographic methods to study the interaction of acculturation and sexual risks among new Latino immigrants in central Texas, particularly how the new social environment and their new identities affects their sexual behaviors.
PI: Nancy Plankey Videla
My role: Co-PI

2009-2010: Women & HIV in China—Research round-table in 4th China-US relations conference in Beijing

Funded by George Bush Foundation Research Fund ($100,000)
We organized a symposium on women and HIV in China; after the symposium, and published a special issue on the same topic on AIDS Care.
My role: PI

2010-2011: Bridging the digital divide and health literacy: develop an Internet- and community- based intervention

Funded by Texas A&M Prevention Research Center Health Disparities Seed Grant ($10,000)
This project explored digital divide and how it accelerated health disparities.
My role: PI

2008-2013: Venue-based HIV and alcohol use risk reduction among female sex workers in China

Funded by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01AA018090, $2,629,000)
We developed and evaluated a venue-based multi-level behavioral intervention to reduce HIV risks and alcohol abuse among female sex workers in China. My subcontract was focused on how intimate partner violence affects women’s mental health, substance abuse and sexual behaviors. I also led research synthesis and manuscript development.
PI: Xiaoming Li (Wayne State University)
My role: Subcontract PI

2007-2012: Culture, behavioral change and HIV-risk reduction among young migrants

Funded by National Institute of Nursing Research (R01NR010498, $1,600,000)
We developed and evaluated a theory-based multi-level behavioral intervention to reduce HIV risks in young migrant workers in China. My role was to use mixed-methods to develop culturally appropriate intervention protocol.
PI: Xiaoming Li (Wayne State University)
My role: Subcontract PI

2008-2009: Development of gatekeeper intervention program for high risk women

Funded by TAMHSC-Research Development Fund ($15,000)
This project used qualitative and quantitative methods to develop an intervention program targeting gatekeepers to prevent HIV/STI among female sex workers.
My role: PI

2005-2010: Bereavement and psychosocial needs of AIDS orphans: A longitudinal assessment

Funded by National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH076488-01, $1,300,000)
We conducted longitudinal assessments on mental health, living environment and care arrangement of children orphaned by AIDS and their caregivers. My subcontract is focused on cultural validation of psychosocial instruments and the relationship between care arrangement and psychosocial wellbeing.
PI: Xiaoming Li (Wayne State University)
My role: Subcontract PI

2006-2007: HIV Risks and Psychosocial wellbeing of Female Sex Workers in China

Funded by JHU Global Field Experience Fund ($10,000)
This project of part of my doctoral thesis, it examined the interaction of mental health and HIV risks among female sex workers.
My role: PI

2002-2007: Network HIV Prevention Intervention for Drug Users

Funded by National Institute of Mental Heath (R01MH066810-01, $2,000,000)
We applied social network theories to develop and evaluate a behavioral intervention to reduce HIV risks among drug users in Baltimore. I was responsible for using ethnographic method for program evaluation.
PI: Carl Latkin (Johns Hopkins University)
My role: Research associate

2002-2007: A Network & Dyad HIV Prevention Intervention for IDUs

Funded by National Institute of Drug Abuse (R01DA016555-01, $2,500,000)
We used social network and social influence theories to develop and evaluate a behavioral intervention to reduce drug abuse and HIV risks among drug users. My role was to develop and test ethnographic process evaluation.
PI: Carl Latkin (Johns Hopkins University)
My role: Research associate