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12.10.2018

Miller School Public Health Student Awarded AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

Samuel Longworth Swift, a Ph.D. candidate in epidemiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences, was recently awarded the American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship will help support Swift’s research in income volatility and its risk of causing cardiovascular disease.

Swift co-authored a paper with Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Ph.D., and Tali Elfassy, Ph.D., assistant professors of epidemiology at the Miller School, which identified that income volatility leads to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in black and white adults. Thanks to the support of the AHA Predoctoral Fellowship, Swift will be able to continue his research on the topic.

“We did an analysis on income volatility and CVD risk, which is currently in press at the journal Circulation and will be released soon,” Swift said. “The success of that paper led us to want to continue the work, which is what my grant is all about.”

The fellowship will support Dr. Swift’s research for the upcoming spring semester, as well as for two additional years. Dr. Zeki Al Hazzouri and Tatjana Rundek, Ph.D., professor of neurology and public health and the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair for Learning and Memory in Aging, sponsored Swift during the AHA Predoctoral Fellowship application process and will continue to do so for the remainder of his research. Dr. Rundek is also executive vice chair of research and faculty affairs, director of the Clinical Translational Research Division in Neurology and director of the Master of Science degree program in clinical translational investigations.

Swift’s goal is to investigate the risk factors linked with CVD and how they are associated with income volatility. According to Swift, this will help in reducing the burden of disease by identifying the pathways through which the association is operating.

“I hope that my research will help assuage health disparities that exist with CVD and other diseases that are caused by social inequities,” Swift said. “By identifying how and why this happens, we have the power to make changes.”

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