Congratulations to Dr. Melissa Anderson

UMCCTS KL2 Clinical Scholars Continue to Excel

By: Sally Gore, MS, MS LIS, Research Evaluation Analyst, UMCCTS

Melissa Anderson, PhDMelissa Anderson, PhD, Postdoctural Fellow, Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry, and a UMCCTS KL2 Scholar received an R21 grant entitled “Deaf ACCESS: Adapting Consent through Community Engagement and State-of-the-Art Simulation.”

From Dr. Anderson’s narrative:

The U.S. Deaf community – a minority group of 500,000 people who use American Sign Language – is one of the most understudied groups in biomedical research. One reason is the frequent use of research techniques that are not accessible to Deaf people. In response to these issues, we will lead Deaf ACCESS: Adapting Consent through Community Engagement and State-of-the-art Simulation.Collaborating with Deaf community members as part of our research team, we will adapt informed consent procedures to make them more Deaf-friendly, and then use medical simulation to train research assistants how to recruit and enroll Deaf research participants. Our long-term goal is to increase the number of Deaf people who participate in biomedical research studies, and encourage more Deaf people to become actively engaged in the research world.

This project builds on work done in Dr. Anderson’s pilot research, Simulation-based Community-engaged Research Intervention for Informed Consent Protocol Testing and Training.

To learn more about Dr. Anderson’s work, visit the June 2016 issue of “Research in the Works” from the Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center (SPARC) which features the “Signs of Safety in English and American Sign Language: A Deaf-Accessible Toolkit for Trauma and Addiction,” and accompanying video. (

Congratulations to Dr. Anderson for this career milestone and thank you to Drs. Doug Ziedonis and Sherry Pagoto for their mentorship in the process!