Edna Acosta-Pérez
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico

Dr. Acosta-Pérez received a Ph.D. in psychology (2005) and a post-doctoral in clinical research (2009) at the UPR. She was certified as a Community Based Participatory Researcher by the University of New México. Dr. Acosta-Pérez holds a role as a Social and Community Researcher engaged in collaborations with esteemed research institutes and centers, including the Hispanic Alliance for Clinical and Translational Research (Alliance), the Behavioral Sciences Research Institute, and the Puerto Rico Alliance for the Advancement of Biomedical Research Excellence (PR-INBRE), as well as the FDI Clinical Center Foundations and Nexos Group, Inc.

Dr. Acosta-Pérez is the Leader of the Community and Engagement Core of the Alliance and Coordinator of the Community Research Initiative of PR-INBRE where she promotes community-academic partnerships and collaborations as models for promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and translational research. Dr Acosta-Pérez focuses on community engagement, community action research, and implementation science research across human life development in topics such as health promotion & prevention, mental health, asthma, sexuality, violence, disaster, and obesity. Currently, she is directing initiatives as MPI in maternal-paternal-infant-child health, teenage pregnancy prevention, COVID-19 awareness, testing and vaccination in elderly and rural communities, adversity and mental health, and inclusion of minorities and vulnerable communities in research.

Dr. Edna Acosta Pérez is a Social Community Psychologist and Scientist by training, and social change constitutes the principal goal of her discipline and professional endeavors. Her aspiration is to persist in the advancement of collaborative and community engagement research endeavors, enlisting a diverse array of community partners. With a specific focus, her objective involves expanding ongoing projects to intensively examine how individual factors intersect and influence the social and health well-being of marginalized communities, particularly those enduring vulnerable experiences. This approach underscores her commitment to incorporating intersectionality, inclusion, and health equity into her research methodology. She holds a particular interest in formulating innovative approaches for conducting comprehensive analyses of these matters, especially within the Puerto Rican Hispanic population.

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The NIH Build UP Trust Challenge will award as many as ten Finalists up to $45,000 each and the opportunity to win one of four $200,000 prizes for promising strategies that increase research participation and the adoption of medical care by building trust and improving engagement with historically underserved communities.
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