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REACH U2- Sleep Health Disparities: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes

Summer 2024

Project Background

About 1/3 of the population does not achieve the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night. There are many causes of short sleep duration and poor sleep quality, including age, health status, stress, employment and housing conditions. The consequences of insufficient sleep and sleep disorders are wide-reaching, including increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Students who join our lab will participate with our group for a variety of ongoing project, including a study of sleep and eating behaviors, an intervention to improve sleep among adults with high blood pressure, a study adapting a sleep apnea intervention for Hispanic couples in which one partner is recently diagnosed with starting treatment, and a study of older couples’ sleep and memory in daily life.

Student Role

  • For the first 2 weeks, the student will observe the lab activities and choose a project based on interest and study availability.
  • Students will participate in study operations meetings
  • Assist with ongoing study activities including recruitment (in person, telephone, posting flyers, mailing letters), conducting telephone memory assessments
  • Assist with sleep assessments, such as setting up or downloading sleep data collection, entering data.
  • Assist with online focus groups, coding focus group data

Student Learning Outcomes and Benefits

  • Experience working with a team to complete research with human participants
  • Learning about memory screening
  • Experience collecting sleep measurements
  • Working with me and the team to develop a summer project based on our current data and the student’s interest
  • Completion of a poster of the results and presenting at the research day in August.

Kelly Baron

Associate Professor
Family & Preventive Medicine

Mentoring involves a commitment to guiding the student in learning what our lab does, why we do it and guiding them to learn basic skills that will translate to many different areas of science and careers. The student will meet with Dr. Baron weekly in 1:1 meetings and other staff and graduate students more frequently throughout the week. They will be involved in operations meetings, data collection, data entry and analysis. The student will be made part of the team and asked to provide input into our meetings. Another role of this summer program will be the exposure to different career paths in medicine, psychology and public health research.


To learn more about REACH U2, please visit here!