HBIC Award 2022 Winners


The Health and Behavior International Collaborative (HBIC) Award committee and the HBIC’s six sponsoring organisations are pleased to announce the 2022 award winners.

  • Ama Ampofo and Sophie Green (sponsored by the International Behavioural Trials Network in collaboration with the IBTN’s CIHR-SPOR Chair)
  • Dorothy Chan (sponsored by the International Society of Behavioral Medicine)
  • Melissa Flores (sponsored by the American Psychosomatic Society)
  • Hana Sediva (sponsored by the Society of Behavioral Medicine)
  • KayLoni Olson (sponsored by the Society for Health Psychology)
  • Jessica Grub (sponsored by the German Society for Behavioral Medicine – DGVM)

The purpose of the award is to facilitate mentorship collaborations with international laboratories or research groups under the guidance of an international mentor. Selected mentorship collaborations are based on pursuing specific research or program development projects in the areas of health research, clinical behavioral health, behavioral medicine, or health promotion. Winners are each awarded USD$1,000 to offset the costs of their virtual activities in building their mentor partnerships.

The quality of the 2022 applications was excellent, and applicants included individuals at various career stages including graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early career faculty members. The applicant pool spanned four continents and selected mentors will be working from eight different host countries, highlighting the international reach of the award.
Details about each winner, their home institution, mentor institution, and project are provided below. Winner photos are available upon request.

More information:



Ama Gyamfua Ampofo – Ghana

Winner – Sponsored by the International Behavioural Trials Network and its CIHR-SPOR Chair

Home institution: Health Behaviour Research Collaborative at the Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Australia.
Mentor and host institution:
Dr Mahati Chittem, IIT Hyderabad, India
Email: Ama.Ampofo@uon.edu.au

Project: Improving cervical cancer prevention among students in Ghana: A multimodal intervention

Project outline: Ama is a registered nurse. Her research focuses on cervical cancer prevention among female high school students in Ghana. With this award, Ama will collaborate with Dr Mahati Chittem (IIT Hyderabad, India) to support the design and implementation of a novel Senior High School Nurse-led Educational (SHINE) toolkit that is culturally appropriate for female high school students in Ghana and easily adaptable to similar low- and middle-income country settings. This project builds on Ama’s PhD project, which used a cross-sectional approach to identify knowledge gaps about cervical cancer and the high prevalence of cervical cancer risk behaviors among female high school students in Ghana and a systematic review of school-based cervical cancer education strategies. Ama hopes that this evidence-informed school-based intervention will improve knowledge about and attitudes towards cervical cancer, HPV vaccination, and cervical screening and reduce the prevalence of modifiable risk factors for cervical cancer among Ghanaian students.

Sophie Green – UK

Winner – Sponsored by the International Behavioural Trials Network and its CIHR-SPOR Chair

Home institution: University of Leeds, UK
Mentor and host institution:
Prof. Linda Collins, New York University (USA)
Email: S.M.C.Green@leeds.ac.uk

Project: Using the Multiphase Optimisation Strategy to optimise interventions based on multiple outcomes

Project outline: Sophie is a PhD student. Her research focuses on the development, optimisation and evaluation of a complex behavioral intervention to support medication adherence in women with early-stage breast cancer. Sophie’s research is guided by the Multiphase Optimisation Strategy (MOST), a framework designed to optimise and evaluate interventions. This award will facilitate an international collaboration between Sophie and Professor Linda Collins from New York University, one of the original developers of the MOST framework. The proposed project will involve secondary analysis of a dataset from a factorial experiment aimed at optimising the content of an information leaflet designed to increase necessity beliefs and reduce concerns about adjuvant endocrine therapy in women with breast cancer. Within this analysis Sophie will apply methods developed by Professor Collins and her colleagues to explore how to optimise this information leaflet based on multiple outcomes of interest (rather than a singular outcome).

Dorothy Chan – Hong Kong, China

Winner – Sponsored by the International Society of Behavioral Medicine

Home institution: Nethersole School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Mentor and host institution:
Dr. Cannas Kwok, Western Sydney University
Email: dorothycns@cuhk.edu.hk

Project: Beliefs and perceptions about breast cancer and screening practices amongst South Asian women in HK

Project outline: Dr. Dorothy Chan is an Assistant Professor at the Nethersole School of Nursing. Her research focuses on cancer prevention and screening among ethnic minority groups. Dorothy will be collaborating with Dr. Cannas Kwok at the Western Sydney University to explore beliefs and perceptions about breast cancer and screening practices among South Asian women in Hong Kong using qualitative approach. The findings of their study will inform the development of culturally sensitive interventions to improve breast cancer screening awareness and practices among South Asian women.

Melissa Flores – USA

Winner – Sponsored by the American Psychosomatic Society

Home institution: University of Arizona
Mentor and host institution:
Dr. Nadia Corral-Frias, Universidad de Sonora, Mexico

Project: Toward a sociocultural model of Latinx health

Project outline: Melissa is an NIH K99 Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) fellow at the University of Arizona. Broadly, she aims to understand both social and structural factors associated with the persistence of health disparities using an advanced quantitative toolkit and a resilience-focused lens. Latinx populations endure high structural stress burdens across their lifespan. Emerging research suggests that Latinx cultural values may be a robust resilience factor against stress in that they shape protective social behavior among this group. With guidance from her international mentor, Dr. Nadia Corral-Frias, Dr. Flores will use data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study to understand whether parent cultural values are associated with child neurological profiles linked to prosocial behavior.

Hana Sediva – UK

Winner – Sponsored by the Society for Behavioral Medicine

Home institution: School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster
Mentor and host institution:
Dr. Danielle Arigo, Rowan University
Email: hana.sediva@my.westminster.ac.uk

Project: The feasibility and acceptability of a digital health lifestyle intervention with midlife women

Project outline: Hana is a PhD candidate. She holds an MBA in Technology Management and an MSc in Sports and Exercise Nutrition. Her three-part PhD project is focused on designing and evaluating a digital health lifestyle intervention intended to improve health-enhancing behaviors (specifically, healthy eating and regular physical activity) in midlife women. Her project includes a systematic review, a systematically designed, co-produced, theory- and evidence-based, user-centred lifestyle health-enhancing digital intervention targeting midlife women, and a pilot RCT to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention with midlife women. Hana will be collaborating with Dr. Danielle Arigo who has extensive expertise in improving lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity) in midlife women using digital technology, including an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) and wearable devices.

KayLoni Olson – USA

Winner – Sponsored by the Society for Health Psychology

Home institution: Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, Miriam Hospital and Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University Medical School
Mentor and host institution:
Dr. Christopher Eccleston, Center for Pain Research at the University of Bath, UK

Project: Pain and obesity: Review of the literature and opportunities for further research

Project outline: Dr. KayLoni Olson is a clinical health psychologist and Assistant Professor (Research). Her research is focused on identifying factors that contribute to variability in weight loss treatment outcomes and in the health benefits of weight loss. Individuals with higher body weight are disproportionately impacted by pain, the leading cause of disability worldwide yet the overlap of these clinical factors remains understudied. This award will support a new international distance collaboration and mentoring relationship with Dr. Christopher Eccleston, a leading expert in pain science, with the goal of collaboratively reviewing the pain and obesity literatures and identifying strategic gaps to guide future research.

Jessica Grub – Switzerland

Winner – Sponsored by the German Society for Behavioral Medicine (DGVM)

Home institution: University of Zurich
Mentor and host institution:
Dr. Jennifer Gordon, University of Regina, Canada
Email: j.grub@psychologie.uzh.ch

Project: Sex steroid fluctuation, sleep, and depressive mood during perimenopause

Project outline: 

Jessica Grub is a PhD candidate. She will be collaborating with Dr. Jennifer Gordon from the University of Regina, Canada, to investigate sex steroid fluctuation, sleep, and depressive mood during perimenopause. Jessica will conduct a longitudinal study assessing diurnal sex steroid profiles, sleep quality, and depressive symptoms. Her goal is to investigate a potential mechanism of perimenopausal depression, namely the influence of perimenopausal hormone changes on circadian rhythmicity and, in turn, depressive symptoms. If successful, the findings from this project will lay the foundation and rationale for the development of behavioral interventions for perimenopausal depression.