Led by Cindy Ehlers at Scripps Research Institute, sub-award recipient and ARG Senior Scientist Katherine Karriker-Jaffe will provide expertise in neighborhood effects and disparities research for the new project. ARG Biostatistician Libo Li and Research Associate Deidre Patterson along with Assistant Professor and suicide expert Rebecca Bernert at Stanford round out the team.
The grant supports the development of a multilevel bio-psychosocial-ecological model of risk and protective factors for suicide risk and alcohol use disorders among American Indian people in Southern California.
With American Indian/Alaska Natives having the highest rates of suicide as well as elevated rates of alcohol and other drug use disorders associated with significant disability and mortality, this study aims to identify genetic and environmental risks as well as neural mechanisms for suicidal behaviors (including ideation and attempts) and substance use disorders in order to address the substantial health disparities experienced by these groups.
The researchers hope their model will help inform prevention and intervention programs aimed at reducing health disparities in American Indian/Alaska Native people.