NIH scholar and public health scientist Katrina Debnam earns a 2023 Research Achievement Award
Public health scholar Katrina Debnam, who studies teen dating violence, was one of two dozen UVA faculty to earn a 2023 Research Achievement Award from UVA.

Public health scientist and scholar Katrina Debnam, who earned a $431,000 NIH / NIMHD grant in 2022 to study Black girls' romantic relationships to, ultimately, understand how best to prevent teen dating violence, was among two dozen UVA scientists honored at a Feb. 1, 2023, Research Achievement Awards event organized by Provost Ian Baucom, Melur “Ram” Ramasubramanian, UVA’s vice president for research, and colleagues.

The research highlighted at the ceremony reveals the vast scope of work underway at UVA.

Debnam’s work focuses on adolescent health, with an emphasis on reducing and preventing violence and improving educational and health outcomes for Black youth. With training in public health and psychology, her research bridges the fields of human development, education, public health, prevention science, and nursing.

"In my work, I really strive to bring the voice of my participants out so that others can hear," Debnam explained, ". . . and make changes because of what they're saying." 

Debnam leverages community partnerships to address health disparities in youth, and has previously earned grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, and several foundations.

“Dr. Debnam’s scholarship, leadership, and service demonstrate a high level of productivity and impact on research, practice, and the professional organizations with which she engages,” said Elise Pas, associate scientist in the Department of Mental Health in Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“This year’s awardees are an incredibly talented group of faculty who are working every day to advance the frontiers of knowledge and human progress, and it was a pleasure to recognize their achievements in this way,” UVA President Jim Ryan said. “I’m grateful for their efforts and excited about what’s next for research at UVA, across disciplines, schools, and areas of study.”