Current Scholars in Alphabetical Order
Amanda Fallin-Bennett, PhD., RNAssistant Research ProfessorTobacco Policy Research ProgramCollege of Nursing
BIRCWH Appointment: January 1, 2015 to July 31, 2017
Project Title: Smoking Among Women in Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities: A Community Engaged Approach
Research Area(s): tobacco control, vulnerable populations
Dr. Amanda Fallin-Bennett is an active early-career tobacco control scientist with a focus on tobacco policy and disparate populations. As a faculty associate in the Tobacco Policy Research Program, she is currently developing a program of research focused on tobacco use and tobacco-related policies in mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities.
In June 2014, she completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Stanton Glantz at the University of California San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. While there she led projects related to tobacco use, policy and prevention for vulnerable populations: in tobacco growing states; and among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults, college students, and bar-going young adults. Fallin has led two multi-site capacity-building projects funded by California’s Tobacco Related Disease Research Program to evaluate smoke and tobacco-free college campus policies in California as an extension of her dissertation research. Her article, "To quarterback behind the scenes, third party efforts’: The tobacco industry and the Tea Party,” was the most downloaded article in Tobacco Control in 2013.
As a predoctoral student, she served as a community advisor on an NHLBI-funded project to promote smoke-free policies in rural Kentucky communities. Dr. Fallin earned her BSN, MSN and PhD from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.
Mairead Moloney, PhD.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of SociologyCollege of Arts & Sciences
BIRCWH Appointment: January 1, 2017-July 31, 2018
Project Title: Medicalization of Sleeplessness: Linkages between Gendered Social Stressors and Sleep
Research Areas: Medical Sociology, Medicalization, Patient-Physician Interaction, Gender, Mixed Methods, Sleep, Aging and Life Course
Dr. Moloney received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. Subsequently, she has held postdoctoral fellowships in both research (2009-2011, Program on Integrative Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and teaching (2011-2013, Department of Sociology at North Carolina State University).
In 2014, Dr. Moloney joined the University of Kentucky as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Dr. Moloney also serves as faculty for the Health, Society, and Populations major in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Moloney’s beliefs are that the most impactful sociological research occurs when social problems are viewed through multiple lenses. It is her intention to seek to gain greater insight into social issues at the macro and micro levels using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodological approaches to produce theoretically-grounded work that has real-life impacts. Dr. Moloney’s research on the medicalization of sleeplessness focuses on the creation of medical problems from life issues, via the patient-physician interaction. The quantitative results of her study were published in the American Journal of Public Health, and a qualitative companion piece was recently published in Sociology of Health and Illness.
In January 2017, Dr. Moloney became a BIRCWH scholar. Supported by the BIRCWH program and her mentors, Dr. Moloney aims to build and expand upon her sleeplessness research by examining the linkages between gendered social stressors and sleep. Her goal is to adapt an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral insomnia intervention for Appalachian women ages 45+ in order to reduce health disparities resulting from insomnia and/or sedative hypnotic use (e.g. obesity, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, etc.). This project also requires collaboration with local health institutions and community health workers, and will build on Dr. Moloney's previous experiences in creating and sustaining these vital partnerships. Dr. Moloney will also utilize her experiences in constructing culturally-consonant research questions for populations with varying levels of health literacy.
Dr. Moloney is also interested in how various forms of gender socialization impact mental and physical health. She has studied sexualization, a particularly negative form of gender socialization, and created a relevant pedagogical module for undergraduates. An article on this module was published in Teaching Sociology. This work has both theoretical and practical applications for social scientists, educators, and community leaders, and led to an interview on Kentucky Educational Television. Dr. Moloney continues to explore the sexualization and opression of women in the context of online social spaces. Along with her colleague Dr. Tony Love, Dr. Moloney analyzed publicly available data from Twitter to track real-time reactions to the widely publicized celebrity nude photo hacking scandal of 2014. Findings from nearly 10,000 tweets revealed that male-identified tweeters commonly sexualized and degraded both celebrity and non-celebrity women. The results of this study are forthcoming in Men and Masculinities and a piece on their unique methodology is forthcoming in SAGE Research Methods Cases.
Christal Badour, PhD.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of PsychologyCollege of Arts and Sciences
BIRCWH Appointment: September 2016-July 31, 2017
Project Title: Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Examine Sex Differences in the Relation between Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Non-Medical Prescription Opioid Use
Research Areas: Psychological trauma, Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Substance abuse, Trauma related emotion
Dr. Badour is a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the department of psychology. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Arkansas and completed a clinical internship in the Traumatic Stress Track of the Charleston Consortium internship program at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Prior to joining the faculty at UK, Dr. Badour completed a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded postdoctoral fellowship in Traumatic Stress Research at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.
At UK, Dr. Badour conducts research focused on identifying and understanding mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of psychopathology following traumatic experiences. Much of this work involves examining the role of affective expression and regulation in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a particular emphasis on moral emotions such as disgust, shame, and guilt. Dr. Badour is also interested in identifying unique and shared processes underlying symptoms of PTSD and commonly comorbid concerns including substance abuse, sexual dysfunction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and chronic pain. Her work is increasingly focused on identifying specific mediators and moderators of treatment change in order to enhance existing interventions and to guide development of new targeted interventions aimed at improving outcomes for patients with trauma-related psychopathology. Although she is interested in trauma broadly, much of her research has been conducted among women with histories of interpersonal trauma (i.e., sexual and physical assault and abuse) and US military veterans with a history of combat exposure.
Current Associates in Alphabetical Order
Niraj Chavan, MDFellowDepartment of Obstetrics and GynecologyDivision of Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Dr. Chavan’s current research interests focus on evaluating the role of environmental and metabolic exposures in affecting offspring health through mechanisms involved in fetal programming. The field of developmental programming evaluates how in-utero maternal influences or fetal exposures affect neonatal outcomes and potentially long term offspring health. Some of his other ongoing research projects include evaluating the impact of opioid maintenance / substitution therapy using buprenorphine affecting maternal and neonatal outcomes as well as in altering the course of neonatal abstinence syndrome in patients with substance (opioid) abuse disorders. As a fellow in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Chavan has also been exploring the changes in the bio-inflammatory markers in pregnancy as a potential causal mechanism explaining adverse pregnancy outcomes. As a part of this project Dr. Chavan has evaluated how maternal behavioral characteristics such as smoking cessation as well increased weight gain and sleep disturbances in pregnancy alter the bio-inflammatory state.
In addition to his clinical background with the Medical Doctorate and specialization in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dr. Chavan also underwent training in public health during the course of completing the Masters in Public Health (MPH) program from the Harvard School of Public Health, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. His capstone research focused on health disparities, evaluating strategies for recruitment and retention of ethnic minorities in community based participatory research. Some of the other clinical / outcomes based research projects that he has previously completed include evaluating the differential impact of glucose testing profiles and fetal ultrasound in affecting perinatal outcomes in gestational diabetes, socio-demographic and clinical predictors of response to induction of labor, clinical outcomes in labor augmentation, and optimizing perioperative outcomes in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.
Kristen Mark, PhD, MPHAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Kinesiology & Health Promotion
Dr. Kristen Mark is a behavioral health scientist with an interdisciplinary training background in psychology, gender studies, biostatistics, and public health, and a research interest in women’s sexual health in the context of romantic relationships. In an attempt to improve the sexual health of individuals and couples, her research agenda centers around sexual desire and desire discrepancies, women’s sexual functioning, sexual satisfaction, sexual health of sexual minority women, and sexual well-being. In addition to her role as faculty in Health Promotion, she is the Founder and Director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab, Secondary Faculty in the Department of Health Behavior, and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. Dr. Mark is also Affiliate Faculty at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University, where she earned her PhD in Health Behavior with a minor in Human Sexuality and her MPH in Biostatistics.
Amy Meadows, MD, MHSDirector, Pediatric Psychiatry Consult-Liaison Service at Kentucky Children's HospitalAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Psychiatry and PediatricsCollege of Medicine
Jennifer Scarduzio, PhD.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of CommunicationCollege of Communication and Information
Dr. Jennifer Scarduzio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. Her research examines the intersections of health, interpersonal, and organizational communication. She focuses on experiences of violence, identity, and wellness, specifically centered on experiences of young adult intimate partner violence (IPV) victims. Her BIRCWH project is a collaborative pilot study with University Health Services (UHS) at the University of Kentucky. The study involves a needs assessment with various types of UHS employees including, but not limited to, doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse technicians, residents, psychiatrists, and resident psychiatrists. The study also involves interviews with young adulta (i.e., 18-25 years old) IPV victims to understand communication barriers and preferences for patient/provided communication. Her short term goals are to create: 1. Standardized screening procedures across UHS types of care (i.e., primary care, psychiatry), 2. A risk assessment for IPV victims of physical, psychological, and sexual violence, and 3. A health communication intervention for employees of UHS to help them identify, screen for, and communicate with IPV victims. Her long term goal is to create a health intervention for young adult IPV victims who are dealing with multiple health disparities including sexual minority IPV victims.
She is also working on other IPV research with the Sheriff of Fayette County involving the training of police officers and 911 dispatchers, the provision of service at Amanda's Center (a domestic violence intake center embedded within the Fayette County Sheriff's Office), and she studies the perpetration of sexual harassment on Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat, and Instagram. Ultimately, her research is community-based and designed to effectively intervene and prevent various forms of violence against women. Her research appears in journals such as Communication Monographs, Management Communication Quarterly, The Handbook of Health Communication, The Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Violence and Victims, Violence Against Women, and Health Communication, among others.