Seminar Series: Aisha Langford

What does commitment to diversity in clinical research look like in practice: Protocol design, patient, and staffing considerations

Aisha Langford

Assistant Professor
Department of Population Health
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Short Biography:
Aisha Langford, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health, Division of Comparative Effectiveness and Decision Science within NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine. She is also an affiliate faculty member of the Division of Medical Ethics within Population Health. Under NYU Langone Health's Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), she co-directs the Recruitment and Retention Core (RRC). In her role as RRC co-director, Dr. Langford advises study teams across the medical school on recruitment feasibility and ways to maximize participant retention, covering all stages of clinical trial and health research study design. A large proportion of these consultations include ways to enhance inclusion of women, racial/ethnic minorities, and adults aged 65 and older in clinical research. Dr. Langford advocates that researchers should ensure that all eligible patients are invited to participate in clinical trials and that underrepresented populations in research have equitable access to research opportunities, which often means addressing the logistical and communication barriers that may hinder participation.

Dr. Langford earned her BA in English from the University of Virginia, MPH in Behavioral Science from Saint Louis University, and PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan. Prior to transitioning to a career in academic research, Dr. Langford held professional roles in public relations, adult literacy, and community outreach. She is an active member of the Society for Medical Decision Making, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and Academy of Communication in Healthcare. Dr. Langford serves as an associate editor for two journals: (1) Clinical Trials: Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials and (2) Patient Education and Counseling.

For decades, certain populations have been underrepresented in biomedical research (e.g., older adults and people who self-identify as Black and/or Hispanic). The reasons for this underrepresentation in biomedical research are complex, but include lack of knowledge about research, disparities in access to high-quality, reliable, and relevant health information; limited access to high-quality clinical care, and lack of explicit invitations to participate in clinical trials. Another important fact that affects representation in biomedical research is protocol design and diversity of the scientific workforce. This talk will highlight various approaches to building and achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion in medical research. First, I will present a general conceptual model for clinical trial participation that can be applied to various disease and behavioral contexts. Second, we will introduce the ASK (Assume, Seek, Know) approach for enhancing participation in biomedical research. Finally, I will share lessons learned from advising and collaborating on biomedical research projects conducted with racially/ethnically- and age diverse populations.

Keywords: Health communication, medical decision making, clinical trial participation

Date: Friday, November 18th
Time: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: PHFM 3015 (Western Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine)