Shantrel Canidate Awarded NIH Diversity Supplement

Published: September 30th, 2014

Category: Student News

image1BSCH Doctoral student Shantrel Canidate was recently awarded a 2-year Diversity Supplement from NIH.

The diversity supplement will support mentoring and supervised research experience. Per the NIAAA website : “Diversity Supplements are administrative supplements sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), intended to help increase the numbers of underrepresented scientists in biomedical and behavioral research. Funding is provided to existing NIH research grants to support an underrepresented minority, disabled or disadvantaged student or investigator, who wants to pursue a career in the biomedical or behavioral research sciences. The program supports individuals at the high school, undergraduate, predoctoral (graduate), postdoctoral and investigator levels. This information applies to applications requesting research supplements to active National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism grants only.”

The diversity supplement will support mentoring and supervised research experience. Shantrel’s mentoring team consists of a primary mentor (Robert Cook, MD, MPH), and two co-mentors (Christa Cook, PhD, and Giselle Carnaby, PhD). Her research plan includes both a qualitative and a quantitative component.

The qualitative project will involve individual interviews with women completing the parent clinical trial, to better understand the motivations of women to participate in the research, and to understand how the study did or did not help them reduce their drinking. The goal of this portion of the study is to facilitate translation of the findings of the naltrexone RCT into practice by understanding the salient factors that led to drinking behavior change in HIV-infected women with hazardous drinking behaviors. The quantitative work will address a measure of social networks and drinking, which is included in the parent grant as one of the baseline measures in the study questionnaire.

Shantrel’s long-term goal is to implement culturally relevant and acceptable alcohol interventions in prevention and care at the individual, provider, and policy levels that reduce the burden of HIV in women.

The existing NIH research grant (parent grant) entitled “WHAT-IF? A randomized clinical trial of naltrexone in women with HIV and heavy alcohol consumption” is an RCT led by Robert Cook M.D, M.P.H., at the University of Florida and is a collaborative effort between UF, FIU, and UM. The clinical trial and the Diversity Supplement (2 years) are both funded by the NIAAA. The main goal of the what-if study is to see if we can help women who drink too much to cut down on their drinking.

Shantrel obtained an AA degree from Daytona State College, a BS degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida, and an MPH degree from the University of Florida. She is a Graduate Assistant as well as a first generation doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Shantrel’s research interests pertain to alcohol and HIV/AIDS research.

When asked what receiving the supplement means to her, Shantrel responded:

“Receiving the diversity supplement in itself is truly a blessing! I’m forever thankful to my mentors (Drs. Robert and Christa Cook and Giselle Carnaby), not only for providing me with this wonderful opportunity but for also believing in me and guiding me throughout this whole entire process. Under this diversity supplement, I will be able to use the strengths that I have gained through my adversities in life and as a minority woman to serve as a mentor to other minority students who are underrepresented in the field of behavioral research. I truly believe that my personal, educational, and work experiences will provide me with the solid foundation needed in order to embark on the rigorous road of HIV/AIDS and alcohol research.”

Congratulations to Shantrel and the entire “WHAT-IF?” research team!

For more information about the disability supplement, visit the NIAAA website: