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Nishadi Rajapakse, Ph.D., M.H.S.

Nishadi Deabrew Rajapakse
Health Equity Research, Minority Health, Type 2 Diabetes in Adults, Translation research and Implementation Science

Responsibilities & Activities

I serve as the Program Director for research portfolio that focuses on type 2 diabetes health disparities in adult populations and promoting health equity in type 2 diabetes. This program supports observational studies, pilot, efficacy, effectiveness, and pragmatic trials, as well as natural experiment evaluations at the patient, family, provider, or community level to improve diabetes outcomes and quality of life and other patient-reported outcomes. The research focuses on Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) at the individual level to improve diabetes prevention and care and intervention research that focuses on cultural and linguistic tailoring and program adaptations of lifestyle and self-management interventions to advance health equity [e.g., National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES)], drug interventions focused on health disparities, and diverse engagement approaches.

I am also the program director for the NIDDK Stakeholder Engagement Innovation Center for Advancing Health Equity in Type 2 Diabetes Research (SEIC-T2D). A primary goal of the SEIC-T2D is to accelerate equitable engagement of individuals from and communities of diverse backgrounds and sectors in developing the research priorities and activities that involve them, particularly NIH designated health disparity populations,underserved communities, and those with the highest proportion of diabetes-related morbidity and mortality. The SEIC-T2D provides highly specialized research resources to support field investigators by fully embedding communities, patients, and other stakeholders into the full spectrum of research activities through expert consultations and education in principles and methods of community-engaged research.

Committees & Working Groups

  • Clinical Advancement based on Research Evidence (CARE), Member
  • Growth and Advancement of Researchers in Diabetes & Endocrinology (GARDEN), Member
  • NIDDK Health Disparities and Health Equity Research Implementation Planning Committee, Member
  • NIDDK Obesity Research Working Group, Member
  • Neuro Priorities of Obesity WorkGroup, Member
Last Reviewed March 2024