Kaori Kubo Germano, a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Developmental Psychology, has been awarded a $25,000 grant by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Summer Institute for NeuroAIDS Disparities Research (MSINAD) to pursue work towards her dissertation project and also to prepare an F31 application for submission next Spring.
Funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, MSINAD is a collaborative program of the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank and the Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The mission of MSINAD is to stimulate research into NeuroAIDS disorders in minority populations, to provide multidisciplinary education to young scientists interested in pursuing NeuroAIDS research, and to encourage entry of scientists from under-represented groups into the Field. To achieve its mission, MSINAD has two primary activities: The MSINAD Summer Institute, a 6-week summer program with combined didactic and research training, focused on generating trans-disciplinary competence in NeuroAIDS disorders, particularly as they apply to US minority populations, and professional development of trainees; and MSINAD Scholar Grants, 4 grants of up to $25,000 annually awarded to investigators interested in NeuroAIDS disparities research. Applicants may be at the pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, or junior faculty level. The application process is competitive, and only four scholars are chosen each year.
Ms. Kubo Germano was one of four recipients of the MSINAD summer institute fellowship and grant this year. Her project, "Bilingualism and HIV-related Neuropsychological Impairment," is being mentored by Dr. Monica Rivera Mindt, Assistant Professor at Fordham University and Clinical Neuropsychologist. The study aims are to examine whether bilingualism is associated with neuropsychological function among HIV+ Hispanic adults, and whether bilingualism serves as a protective factor against normative HIV-related cognitive decline in a sample if HIV+ Hispanic adults. Ms. Kubo Germano received a 2008 GSAS Summer Fellowship to conduct pilot research on her project, the results of which she recently presented at a poster session at the American Psychological Association 116th Annual Meeting in Boston, MA. Data will be collected for this project under the supervision of Dr. Rivera Mindt in her lab located in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, with the help of Alyssa Arentoft, PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology, and Erica D'Aquila, a senior in the Psychology/Pre-Med program at Fordham University.