LaPrincess C. Brewer, M.D., M.P.H.

Why did you choose to study clinical and translational research?

I chose clinical and translational research as a means to achieve my goal of developing behavioral interventions to eliminate gaps in exemplary cardiovascular health outcomes among underserved racial or ethnic minority populations. I also seek to better elucidate the social determinants of cardiovascular health and how they contribute to racial or ethnic disparities in cardiovascular diseases.

What type of research are you doing?

I am a preventive cardiologist with a research focus in developing interventions to reduce — and ultimately eliminate — cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular health disparities in racial and ethnic minority populations and underserved communities, particularly through health promotion and community-based participatory research. I also have a special interest in using mobile health interventions to increase racial and ethnic minority group participation in cardiovascular clinical trials.

I have published on faith-based interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention, racial differences in weight maintenance and psycho-social factors influencing cardiovascular health. While pursuing my Master of Public Health, I created and led a face-to-face health promotion program within African-American churches in Baltimore, Maryland.

I have since expanded this community-based participatory research project into African-American faith communities in Minnesota. This program is among the first community-based behavioral interventions that utilize the American Heart Association Life's Simple 7 framework to examine ideal cardiovascular health among African-Americans.

As a KL2 scholar, I collaborated with community partners in Minnesota to develop a novel digital application for smartphones and tablets (FAITH! App) that is focused on general cardiovascular health and wellness among African-Americans. In the FAITH! App pilot study, the intervention successfully improved several key cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure, diet and physical activity, as well as psycho-social measures including social support and self-regulation for healthy behavior change.

Why Mayo Clinic?

My first Mayo Clinic experience was as a summer research fellow after my first year of medical school. I was amazed at the extraordinary level of excellence, professionalism and sincerity interwoven throughout the organization.

From the moment I stepped foot into the Gonda building, I knew there was something special about Mayo Clinic, and I was honored to have the opportunity receive research training within the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine under the mentorship of cardiologist Iftikhar J. Kullo, M.D.

The positive and inspiring experiences from that summer remained with me as I completed my medical school and residency training and drew me back here for my cardiology fellowship. The excellent clinical fellowship training, collegiality among colleagues, and of course the genuine relationships built with my patients and the community have all made it a privilege to be a part of the Mayo Clinic faculty.

What are you looking forward to as a KL2 scholar?

I am looking forward to taking my research career to new heights with formal research training in clinical trials design and the social and behavioral sciences. I am also excited about my participation in the KL2 seminars, which will afford me a rich forum to learn and network with clinicians, researchers and other scholars all sharing an interest in multidisciplinary learning.

Review Dr. Brewer's publications on PubMed.