Five Black UC doctors receive National Institutes of Health research grants

Posted at 5:48 AM, Sep 01, 2020

CINCINNATI — A group of five Black medical doctors at the University of Cincinnati have received grants from the National Institutes of Health for their research in various medical areas.

The names of the doctors and the areas of study they received their grants for are:

  • Dr. Senu Apewokin - C. difficile and how it develops in patient populations
  • Dr. Holly Jones - How stress relates to health outcomes
  • Dr. Donald Lynch - Patients who have blockages of the aortic valve
  • Dr. Latrice Montgomery - Marijuana and tobacco use
  • Dr. Laura Ngwenya - Neorotrauma.

“There are roughly between 14-15 grants of this kind here at the University of Cincinnati," Apewokin, assistant professor of infectious diseases in the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health physician, said. "And five of them went to African Americans.”

On average, only 2.4-3.6% of doctors across the country who receive K awards are Black, and one doctor thinks that's because of the support offered at UC.

"There’s the support here and the mentorship from other faculty, and there’s the infrastructure and the support of the university..." Ngwenya, associate professor of neurosurgery in the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health physician, said.

No matter how they got the awards though, each doctor hopes to make a difference in their field and their community.

"When you have African Americans in particular who are studying those issues I think it adds to the value," Montgomery, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the UC College of Medicine, said. "Especially when you’re talking about connecting with the community.”