Cal Poly's Center for Health Research received $5.6 million in National Institute of Health funding to promote and study cardiovascular health among pregnant women and infants, Cal Poly announced Wednesday, August 24.
This is the largest grant the research center has ever received.
The grant will be used in a seven-year-long, multi-phased research project with Brown University to promote and study the heart health of low-income mothers and infants in California and Rhode Island, Cal Poly wrote in the release.
The research would include 500 participants, 275 people in each state. About 60% of the participants in California would be Hispanic women in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Fresno.
The research would include home visits and developing a program that would promote cardiac health and reduce heart disease risk factors in women and children.
“It’s really trying to promote long-term heart health in families who have been historically minoritized, underrepresented and low-resourced in our region,” said Suzanne Phelan, director of the Center for Health Research and a Cal Poly professor of kinesiology and public health. Phelan is the principal investigator leading the research effort.
Phelan estimated that 35 students in Cal Poly will be heavily involved in the seven-year program, roughly five students per year.
Student researchers would be studying statistics, world languages, and cultures to develop and evaluate how participants would respond to their heart health program.
The grant received is one of the seven awarded through the NIH's Early Intervention to Promote Cardiovascular Health of Mothers and Children program. Similar grants were awarded to research teams in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Missouri, Colorado and Illinois.