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Tye Brown

September 05, 2014

Describe your research interests and how you chose this area of research.

My research interests focus on understanding the impact of sleep disturbance on developmental trajectories of health outcomes particularly in inner city populations.  My current research projects examine the relationship between sleep and posttraumatic stress disorder in both adolescents and young adults residing in stressful urban environments.
I chose this line of research because sleep is an essential part of our overall health and disturbances of sleep have been found to be associated with a host of physical and mental adverse outcomes.  Although we have established a strong knowledge base in adults there is very little research that focuses on adolescent populations and recent evidence suggests that exposure to trauma early in life can increase the burden of health risks in adulthood including the occurrence of sleep disorders. 

How does GHUCCTS help you to achieve your research goals and advance your career in clinical and translational research? How will the CTSA program help to advance knowledge and treatments for patients with the disease(s) you study?

Through the GHUCCTS - Pilot and Collaborative Studies Program I have been able to pursue an independent line of research with the support of a structured research collaborative that provides expertise in all facets of project implementation.  As a junior faculty member access to internal funds through GHUCCTS is a crucial component to furthering my research career as it allows me to gather critical pilot data that will show proof of concept, which is a requirement for the submission of most external proposals.

Why is it important to have both disciplinary and ethnic/cultural diversity in medical research? How does diversity contribute to your research? How does diversity enhance scientific discovery? (examples from your own career would be particularly useful)

Both disciplinary and ethnic/cultural diversity is important to medical research to allow for the most comprehensive mode of care/knowledge base.  In an era where individualized care is prized having evidenced based treatments/services that represent the varied ethnicities/cultures that exist and that run the scope of conditions that burden patients in the healthcare system is important.  So including a diverse portfolio in research that captures a wide range of disciplines and includes as many race/ethnicities as possible allows for better translation from bench to bedside.  In my own research I strive to collaborate with leaders in other disciplines to bring their expertise to my areas of interest.  I also strive to include minority populations in my sampling strategies, which may require flexible recruitment techniques that are more conducive to building rapport with minorities. 

How does clinical translational research benefit our communities, both directly and indirectly? (examples from your own research program would be particularly useful)

Clinical translational research benefits our communities by tying together evidence-based techniques that are proven to work in laboratory settings with practices that can be useful in clinical settings or other venues.  In the past, some techniques that have been proven to work in sterile research settings have not had much efficacy out in the “real world”, however by striving to make our research translational in nature we are able to design studies that are more applicable to “real world” settings and that take into account factors that an individual may face in the “real world” so that the likelihood of those strategies working outside the laboratory is increased.  This method of research allows us to get quality treatment and prevention strategies out to the public faster and provides more confidence in their ability to work.