DREAMS-CDTR grantees are promising early-stage investigators supported by the Center’s Pilot and Feasibility Program, which funds pilot projects in areas diabetes translational research.

Current Pilot Award Investigators

Rana Chehab PhD, MPH, RD

Kaiser Permanente Division of Research

Project: Associations between Glycemic Control Trajectories among Individuals with Gestational Diabetes and Risk of Obesity and Growth Trajectories in the Offspring.

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Project Description: Childhood obesity is the most prevalent childhood disease in the US, and gestational diabetes (GDM) is a major risk factor. We aim to examine racial- and ethnic-specific associations between glycemic control trajectories from GDM diagnosis to delivery and risk of childhood obesity and growth trajectories in the offspring using data from a prospective cohort study of individuals with GDM who delivered between 2007-2019 at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Our findings can potentially support current clinical practice and efforts to achieve glycemic control early following GDM diagnosis and aid in risk stratification and early identification of childhood obesity among the offspring of GDM-complicated pregnancies.

Jenise C. Wong, MD PhD

University of California San Francisco

Project: Perspectives on virtual peer groups for diabetes technology use by Latinx youth with type 1 diabetes

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Project Description: Diabetes technology, such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring devices, can help improve glucose control for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), which keeps them at lower risk for diabetes complications, but many Latinx adolescents, who make up the largest marginalized ethnic group of youth with T1D in California, use these devices less often and have less optimal glycemic outcomes compared to White youth. We hypothesize that virtual peer groups (VPGs) can lead to increased use of diabetes devices and improved clinical and patient-centered outcomes for Latinx youth T1D. The objective of this proposal is to engage stakeholders (patients, families, diabetes clinicians, clinic staff) to inform the design of a VPG intervention to support technology use in Latinx youth.

Sara Haynes, PhD, MPH

UC Davis

Project: Testing a novel intervention to improve pediatric to adult transitions of care for adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes from low-income families

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Project Description: This will be a pilot study of a low-resource, telehealth-based group intervention designed to support adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in transitioning from pediatric to adult care. We will recruit 20 patients from low-income families receiving care at UC Davis Pediatric Endocrinology to receive the 4-session transition intervention, which was developed based on previous evidence and extensive stakeholder input. We will use a mixed methods approach, collecting detailed data on feasibility and implementation outcomes that will allow us to optimize our intervention to meet patient needs.

Wagahta Semere, MD, MHS


Project: Examining Clinical Decision-Making in Secure Messaging Communication among a Cohort of Racially/Ethnically Diverse Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and their Primary Care Physicians

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Project Description: Over the past decade and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, engagement with online patient portals—systems that allow patients secure remote access to their health information and the ability to exchange secure messages (SMs) with providers—has surged across health systems. For patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, that require significant self-management and iterative adjustment of care plans, SM can provide an important means of inter-visit decision-making and has been associated with improved disease outcomes. Yet, little remains know about how communication via SM impacts clinical decision-making and might lead to improved outcomes. Additionally, disparities persist in SM access and engagement for racial and ethnic minoritized populations. Understanding SM communication processes is key to promoting effective engagement and mitigating disparities in use as well as access to potential benefits of this emerging health technology. The project will leverage a longitudinal dataset of SM exchanges involving patients with type 2 diabetes and their primary care physicians (PCPs) to develop a reliable qualitative methodology for characterizing clinical decision-making and to explore characteristics of decision-making by patient race and ethnicity.

Former Awardees

Pilot Investigator Project Period Project Title

Luis Rodriguez


Added Sugar Intake and Cardiometabolic Abnormality Among US Hispanic/Latino Adults

Jennifer Falbe


Impact of Sugar-sweetened Beverage (SSB) Warning Labels Among Low-income Hispanic Populations

Elaine Khoong  (UCSF)

Sarah Nouri (UCSF)


Evaluating Changes to Primary Care Management and Control of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Among Diverse Populations After Wide-scale Telehealth Implementation

Stephanie Hooker (HealthPartners Institute)


Improving Type 2 Diabetes Care Provided Through Telehealth Modalities: Understanding Needs of Patients and Primary Care Providers

 Tainayah Thomas (KPNC)


Engagement, Preferences and Perceptions Related to Diabetes Prevention Among Adults with Prediabetes

Alexander Lee (UCSF)


Investigating Alternative Glycemic Metrics to Predict Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia in Nursing Home Residents with Type 2 Diabetes

Estibaliz Iturralde (KPNC)


Perceptions and Preferences Related to Diabetes Prevention Among Individuals with Severe Mental Illness and Metabolic Risk Factors
Yeyi Zhu (KPNC)


Investigation of Prevalence of and Barriers to Achieving Optimal Glycemic Control among Women with Gestational Diabetes

Ilya Golovaty ( University of

Washington, formerly UCSF)


Implementation and Effectiveness of Community Diabetes Prevention Programs in the United States

Veronica Yank (UCSF)


Pilot Study of eHealth Medication Messages for Latino Patients and Their Families

Courtney Lyles (UCSF)


Tablet Research to Improve Understanding of Medications for People’s Health (TRIUMPH)

Leah Zallman (Harvard Medical School)


Interactive Community Program Guide for Diabetes Prevention in Primary Care

Susan Brown (UC Davis)


A Self-Affirmation Intervention to Enhance Patient Outreach for Health System-based Lifestyle Programs for Diabetes Prevention
Christina Mangurian (UCSF)


Cost-effectiveness of Expanding the Scope of Community Psychiatrists to Include Initial Treatment of Diabetes and Pre-diabetes
Laura Garabedian (HPHC)


Addressing Gaps in Research on Pay Performance to Improve Quality of Diabetes Care: Provider Perspectives

Amy Beck (UCSF)

Sarah Kim  (UCSF)


Group Parent Education, Reinforcing Text Messages and 1:1 Provider Visits for the Treatment of Overweight/obese, Low Income Latino Children

Samantha Ehrlich (University of Tennessee Knoxville, formerly KPNC)


Physical Activity in Pregnancy for Intergenerational Obesity Prevention

 Neda Ratanawongsa  (UCSF)


Medication Non- Adherence and Clinical Inertia Among Diverse Persons with Diabetes in a Government- Managed Care Plan for Medicaid andUninsured Populations

Emma Eggleston (West Virginia University formerly HPHC)


GDM and Progression to Type 2 Diabetes by BMI and Antepartum Testing