News Global Health Center Chronic Disease

Global Health Center co-directors, Faculty Scholars awarded Global Incubator Seed Grants

Through the McDonnell International Scholars Academy 2022 Global Incubator Seed Grant program and the provost’s office, Global Health Center co-Directors, Victor Dávila-Román, MD and Mark Huffman, MD, along with other Institute Faculty Scholars have received funding for projects in the public health category.

The program, which awards up to $25,000 to each selected project, is designed “to help kick-start high impact innovative projects, plus deepen connections and partnerships with researchers around the world.” Dávila-Román and Huffman and team are partnering with the University of Abuja in Nigeria for the following project:


Nigeria has among the highest burdens of maternal morbidity and mortality in the world, which is coupled with a rising burden of noncommunicable, chronic diseases due to unhealthy changes in dietary patterns and physical activity, especially during critical life stages. This seed grant will support formative research to adapt a home-based intervention called HEALTH (Healthy Eating Active Living Taught at Home) on intergenerational cardiovascular health among women recruited during the antenatal period and their children in Nigerian primary healthcare centers in collaboration with University of Abuja and Parents as Teachers National Center in St. Louis. Improving maternal health behaviors and subsequent maternal cardiovascular health is a central strategy toward improving family cardiovascular health to blunt and eventually reverse the rising burden of noncommunicable chronic diseases in Nigeria. 

Additional Institute Faculty Scholars receiving funding include: Su-Hsin Chang, Lora Iannotti, Ozge Sensoy Bahar, Proscovia Nabunya, Penina Acayo Laker and Tianyu Zhao.

Read more about the 2022 Global Incubator Seed Grant recipients and their projects.