Jennifer Kawi

My program of research focuses on chronic pain, opioids, and biobehavioral factors affecting pain including self-management, self-management support, pain care disparities, and biomarkers. I recently completed an R56 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research entitled “Pilot Testing A Theory-Driven Self-Management Intervention for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain” in interdisciplinary collaboration with Johns Hopkins and UTHealth Houston. She has published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at regional, national, and international conferences. She received several awards for her nursing contributions.

Brenna Renn

Dr. Renn is a clinical geropsychologist and mental health services researcher. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at UNLV and the Director/Principal Invesigator of the TREATment Lab (Translational Research on Effectiveness and Accessibility of Treatment in Mental and Behavioral Health). Our team is passionate about overcoming obstacles that prevent effective behavioral health treatments from reaching underserved communities. We specialize in the behavioral health of older adults and work across adult populations broadly. Areas of clinical research tend to focus on common mental health conditions (depression and anxiety) as well as cooccurring disorder. Our work engages patients, providers, and community stakeholders to focus on:

• Translational research, which moves scientific discoveries more quickly into practice to produce meaningful, applicable results to directly benefit mental and behavioral health.

• Effectiveness research, which identifies which clinical and public health interventions work best for improving behavioral health. We focus on evidence-based interventions for depression and health promotion.

• Accessibility of treatment, in order to overcome barriers to care and improve the receipt and utilization of evidence-based interventions. We focus on improving access through primary care behavioral health integration and leveraging digital tools, like apps.

Our lab develops future scientist-practitioners through mentored training of doctoral students in clinical psychology, as well as select opportunities for undergraduate or post-baccalaureate research assistants.

Dr. Renn has over 45 peer-reviewed publications and has written 10 book chapters spanning topics in depression, geriatric mental health, mental health services, and other topics related to behavioral aspects of health. She collaborates with colleagues across UNLV as well as at the University of Washington and the Southern Nevada VA Medical Center.

Jason Flatt

I have experience conducting research with diverse Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM) or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and another identity (LGBTQIA+) persons living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) and their caregivers. My research involving SGM older adults and caregivers has helped to enhance understanding of ADRD risk and disparities, long-term care and related healthcare needs, workforce challenges, and potential solutions. I am currently Co-PI (Anderson, Flatt, Wharton; NIA R24AG066599 ) on The RISE (Research Inclusion Supports Equity) Registry. This registry is the first effort to recruit, engage, and retain SGM older adults with ADRD and SGM ADRD caregivers. I am also lead PI of a new 5-year grant to develop more inclusive measures of caregiving for SGM older adults living with ADRD. I am also in the final year of my Career Award (NIA K01AG056669), “The Epidemiology of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Sexual and Gender Minority Older Adults: Identifying Risk and Protective Factors.” I also received the 2020 Early-Stage Investigator Award from the NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office for this research. My research research has also been funded by American Federation for Aging Research, the Alzheimer’s Association, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Manoj Sharma

Manoj Sharma, MBBS, Ph.D., MCHES® is a public health physician and educator with a medical degree from the University of Delhi and a doctorate in Preventive Medicine (Public Health) from The Ohio State University. He is also a Master Certified Health Education Specialist certified by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing. He is currently a tenured Full Professor & Chair of the Social & Behavioral Health Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the School of Public Health. He is a prolific researcher and as of June 2023 had published 15 books, over 375 peer-reviewed research articles, and over 500 other publications (h-index 51, i-10 index over 200, and over 13,000 citations) and secured funding for over $10 million. He is ranked in the top one percentile of global scientists from 176 subfields by Elsevier.His research interests are in developing and evaluating theory-based health behavior change interventions, obesity prevention, stress-coping, community-based participatory research/evaluation, and integrative mind-body-spirit interventions.