I established the Center for Clinical Research and Health Promotion (CCRHP) after moving to UPR from Harvard University, while continuing as Adjunct Faculty at Harvard. The CCRHP was created to develop a research team geared towards finding novel modifiable factors and approaches that could be translated into interventions, programs and policies to improve health. The research focus of CCRHP is on identifying novel modifiable nutritional, microbial and local and systemic inflammatory risk factors for cardiometabolic conditions including hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, Type 2 Diabetes and its complications including cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease. The two major ongoing NIH funded research projects are a cohort study titled “San Juan Overweight Adults Longitudinal Study” (SOALS) and a randomized clinical trial “Pregnancy and Early Lifestyle Intervention Study” (PEARLS). SOALS was designed primarily to evaluate the bi-directional association between periodontitis and pre-clinical stages of diabetes; several additional ancillary aims are being pursued. PEARLS focuses on improving maternal and infant nutrition and physical activity, to improve health and prevent cardio metabolic conditions. Additional areas of ongoing research interests include salivary diagnostics for type 2 diabetes, and complementary medicine interventions. The CCRHP is also partly funded by an endowment from National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). My goal as the endowed Chair has been to develop research and researchers in Puerto Rico and to reduce disparities through research, health promotion and mentoring of junior investigators. The goals for health promotion focus on discovering, evaluating and promoting preventive measures that are cost-saving, free or low-cost, and can be disseminated through digital means or mass communication and adopted by the poorest segments of society globally. To this end, I launched a movement “VMove” with the goal of changing norms to promote physical activity in public globally without needing special attire or resources to help people meet physical activity recommendations including exercise and interrupting sedentary time. VMove has drawn a large diverse group of adopters and leaders, and invites you to join and help lead the movement.
Dr. K. Joshipura