FAMU CoPPS, IPH Receives $700,000 Grant to Increase Awareness and Participation of Minorities in COVID-19 Variant Clinical Research Trials

March 30, 2022
Jocelyn D. Spates, PharmD
Jocelyn D. Spates, PharmD

Florida A&M College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (CoPPS, IPH) has received a $707,000 research project cooperative agreement grant (U01) from the Food and Drug Administration. A U01 grant supports discrete, specified, circumscribed projects performed by investigators in an area representing their specific interests and competencies.

The title of this 1-year grant is the COVID-19 and Health Equity Clinical Trials. This grant will focus on identifying the significant gaps in local communities that contribute to the low enrollment of racial and ethnic minority populations in COVID-19 clinical trials by developing and evaluating a community-based targeted strategy to improve enrollment. The grant will also provide Clinical Research training for 30 minority healthcare providers and workers in Jacksonville, Tampa, and Tallahassee, Florida.

The College will have five consulting organizations to aid in conducting focus groups, implementing training and clinical trial strategies that focus on and address the needs of each unique racial and ethnic minority community to improve clinical trial participation. The consultants on this project include Kim Barbel-Johnson, MD, Rebecca Golfaden, PharmD of East Coast Research Institute, Northeast Florida Medical Society, William Gunns Medical Society, Turner Alliance Consulting, and other community health educators.

This grant award marks the first time a pharmacy practice faculty has led as the principal investigator (PI) on a U01 grant in the College. The CoPPS, IPH Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs, Jocelyn D. Spates, PharmD, is the PI. There are also ten co-investigators from the other three divisions of the College (Pharmaceutical Sciences, Economic, Social and Administrative Pharmacy (ESAP), and the Institute of Public Health) are represented including Selina Darling-Reed, Ph.D., Sandra Suther, Ph.D., and Cynthia Harris, Ph.D.

 “In this historic moment, I am extremely proud to lead this team of researchers on this important initiative,” says Jocelyn D. Spates. “Our major goal is to develop a workable model to increase awareness and participation of minorities in COVID-19 variant clinical research trials.”

The program will begin on April 1, 2022.