PRC Research Core

The Research Core is made up of an implementation research project, the CDC funded Special Interest Projects (SIPs) and thematic networks.  

2019 - 2024: Core Research Project: Healthy Divas

UCSF PRC's current research project is an implementation study of the Healthy Divas intervention in West Oakland, California. Healthy Divas was developed to address the unique care needs of transgender women living with HIV by providing relevant information, support, and skills building for the identification and accomplishment of individualized health care goals.

The implementation study is a Hybrid Type III design with a primary emphasis on the implementation process and secondary emphasis on the intervention outcomes. The RE-AIM framework is utilized to understand the implementation process, where reach refers to the individuals in the target population who participate in an intervention or program; effectiveness is the impact of an intervention on specific outcomes; adoption includes the settings, staff, and institutions that adopt and deliver an intervention or program; implementation involves the integration of the intervention into practice; and maintenance is the extent to which the intervention or program becomes a part of routine practice or policy.

Our partner in this effort is the California Prostitutes Education Project (Cal-PEP). Cal-PEP has been serving communities in Oakland for 33 years, with a focus on communities of color and those affected by HIV. Cal-PEP has recently been expanding its services to include transgender women and has successfully obtained funding to implement Healthy Divas over three years. We have collaborated with Cal-PEP on several research projects over the years and they have been represented on our CDC PRC Prevention Forum for 5 years. The PRC’s expertise in implementation science and the Healthy Divas intervention and Cal-PEP’s expertise in serving communities in Oakland, make this a unique, timely, and critical opportunity. This study will investigate the real-world implementation of an urgently needed intervention for a highly vulnerable population and will support the future adoption of Healthy Divas by other organizations in an expeditious manner.

The Healthy Divas Logo


Participants of the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health


2014 - 2019: Core Research Project: STYLE+

UCSF PRC's previous research project addresses a significant health disparity – HIV – among Black and Latino gay men who have sex with men (MSM). The intervention STYLE+ (“Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered”) seeks adapt and replicate STYLE, a model intervention designed to improve linkage of HIV-infected young MSM of color to clinical care. In collaboration with AIDS Project East Bay or APEB, the project was renamed M+ and has the following core elements:

  • Social marketing campaign
  • Community outreach & HIV testing
  • Red carpet HIV services
  • HIV+ support services
Participants of the STYLE Project in Oakland CA


Participants of the STYLE Project in Oakland CA


Special Interest Projects (SIPs)

Special interest projects (SIPs) are funded by CDC and other federal agencies. The funder outlines broad goals for each SIP, which is offered only to the PRCs, and the grantee is selected through competitive peer-review. Each project is funded for at least one year, but many are multiyear projects that receive several million dollars.The following SIPs are currently funded through the UCSF PRC:

2014-2019 Period

SIP14-026 Cognitive Interviews of Executive Directors of Food Banks to Inform Improved Distribution of Healthy Foods

  • Barnidge, E., Stenmark, S., & Seligman, H. (2017). Clinic-to-Community Models to Address Food Insecurity. JAMA Pediatrics, 171(6), 507. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0067
  • Pooler, J. A., Hartline-Grafton, H., Debor, M., Sudore, R. L., & Seligman, H. K. (2018). Food Insecurity: A Key Social Determinant of Health for Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. doi:10.1111/jgs.15736
  • Seligman, H. K., & Berkowitz, S. A. (2018). Aligning Programs and Policies to Support Food Security and Public Health Goals in the United States. Annual Review of Public Health, 40(1). doi:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040218-044132
  • Seligman, H. K., Smith, M., Rosenmoss, S., Marshall, M. B., & Waxman, E. (2018). Comprehensive Diabetes Self-Management Support From Food Banks: A Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Public Health, 108(9), 1227-1234. doi:10.2105/ajph.2018.304528
  • Seligman, H. K. (2017). Food Insecurity and “Unexplained” Weight Loss. JAMA Internal Medicine,177(3), 421. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8697
  • Wetherill, M. S., White, K. C., Rivera, C., & Seligman, H. K. (2018). Challenges and opportunities to increasing fruit and vegetable distribution through the US charitable feeding network: Increasing food systems recovery of edible fresh produce to build healthy food access. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 1-20. doi:10.1080/19320248.2018.1484315

SIP14-013 Understanding barriers to colorectal cancer screening in South Asians

  • Ellis, L., Abrahão, R., Mckinley, M., Yang, J., Somsouk, M., Marchand, L. L., Cheng, I., Gomez, S.L., & Shariff-Marco, S. (2018). Colorectal Cancer Incidence Trends by Age, Stage, and Racial/Ethnic Group in California, 1990–2014. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 27(9), 1011-1018. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.epi-18-0030
  • Ivey, S. L., Mukherjea, A., Patel, A., Kapoor, N., Rau, S., Kazi, E., Bhatia J., Somsouk, & M., Tseng, W. (2018). Colorectal Cancer Screening Among South Asians: Focus Group Findings on Attitudes, Knowledge, Barriers and Facilitators. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 29(4), 1416-1437. doi:10.1353/hpu.2018.0104
  • Mukherjea, A., Ivey, S. L., Shariff-Marco, S., Kapoor, N., & Allen, L. (2017). Overcoming Challenges in Recruitment of South Asians for Health Disparities Research in the USA. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 5(1), 195-208. doi:10.1007/s40615-017-0357-x

SIP14-012 Mailing FIT colorectal screening, partnership with Kaiser

  • Alsayid, M., Singh, M. H., Issaka, R., Laleau, V., Day, L., Lee, J., Allison, J., & Somsouk, M. (2018). Yield of Colonoscopy After a Positive Result From a Fecal Immunochemical Test OC-Light. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 16(10). doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2018.04.014 
  • Issaka, R. B., Avila, P., Whitaker, E., Bent, S., & Somsouk, M. (2019). Population health interventions to improve colorectal cancer screening by fecal immunochemical tests: A systematic review. Preventive Medicine, 118, 113-121. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.10.021
  • Issaka, R. B., Singh, M. H., Rachocki, C., Day, L. W., Horton, C., & Somsouk, M. (2018). Missed Opportunities in Colorectal Cancer Prevention in Patients With Inadequate Bowel Preparations. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 16(9), 1533-1534. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2018.01.004
  • Wang, A., Rachocki, C., Shapiro, J. A., Issaka, R. B., & Somsouk, M. (2018). Low-literacy Level Instructions and Reminder Calls Improve Patient Handling of Fecal Immunochemical Test Samples. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2018.11.050

SIP16-003 Small Media Interventions to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening among Chinese Americans

Thematic Networks

Thematic research networks are a type of special interest project (SIP) that fund several PRCs to work together on a specific health issue. The PRC Program has seven thematic networks around common topics of interest and UCSF PRC coordinates the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN). Seven thematic networks are currently active:

  • Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN)
  • Global and Territorial Health Research Network (GTHRN) – New
  • Healthy Brain Initiative Network (HBIN)
  • Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network
  • Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN)
  • Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN)
  • Workplace Health Research Network (WHRN)