Colorado State Ethnic Studies Professor Appointed to Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council

Colorado State University Ethnic Studies Professor and Chair Irene Vernon was recently selected to serve on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. She will offer her varied HIV/AIDS research and expertise to the council through 2012.

The Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council is an entity of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health. Members advise on matters relating to the cause, prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS on both national and international levels. The council issues recommendations on AIDS research policies and priorities, the coordination of treatment and prevention efforts by the NIH, and develops annual plans for HIV-related research.

Vernon holds a joint appointment at CSU under the Departments of English and Ethnic Studies, serves as chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies and is assistant to the dean in the College of Liberal Arts. Her research focuses on Native American health and healing issues, particularly regarding HIV/AIDS, and minority health disparities.

In 2009, Vernon helped win a $1.9 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to develop an HIV prevention program at CSU’s newly established National Center for Community Readiness. The center provides HIV testing and prevention methods to underserved communities around the United States.

Members of the council report to the secretary of Health and Human Services, the assistant secretary for Health, the director of NIH and the director of Office of Aids Research. Eighteen individuals are nominated to serve on the committee representing the health and scientific fields along with public policy, law, health policy, economics and management areas.