Current Research Projects (2021)

These research projects are focused on Indigenous health. The scientific Principal Investigator is Dr. Crystal Lee, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico. 


Examining Socio-Cultural Influences, Knowledge, and Acceptability of Biomedical HIV Prevention Methods: Native American College Students

The primary objective of this study is to examine sociocultural barriers and facilitators that impact HIV biomedical prevention strategies by collecting quantitative survey data (n=300) among Native American/Alaska Native college students nationwide. 


Examining Health and Social Indicators Among Native American Cisgender and Transgender Women who Engage in Sex Work in an Urban Environment

This project will work with Community Impact Partners to identify health and social indicators among cisgender and transgender Native American women tohelp them develop their own strategies for positive change around engagement of sex work to formulate a plan with the community for projects, programs and policies moving forward to address inequities of social determinants of health. 


Outcomes of Mental Health and Substance Use Interventions for Native Americans with Co-occurring Disorders

This study will measure participants at 3-month, 6-month, 9-month and 12-month for the effectiveness of the interventions by measuring outcomes of substance use, mental health and trauma-related issues. 


Global Profile on Indigenous Youth Health

The overarching goal of this project is to analyze U.S. Native American/Alaska Native youth data to conjoin as a comparative analysis of understanding commonalities across high-income nations globllly. A Global Indigenous led research team from high income countries, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, U.S. and the Arctic was formed in 2019 to collate data in our own respective countries. This project is focused on conducting a secondary data analysis from the New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency (NMYRSS), a biennial state-based public health surveillance system that is part of the CDC sponsored Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System (YRBSS).Working in collaboration with the Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center (AASTEC) and drawing from a decolonized indigenous theoretical model, this project proposes to analyze the health risk and resilience factors associated with NA/AN middle school and high school students among tribes in New Mexico.

Native Researchers

Bonnie Duran, DrPH


Karina Walters, PhD


Maria Braveheart Yellowhorse


John Lowe, PhD, RN, FAAN

Daniel Dickerson, DO, MPH