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Program Directors


Spero M. Manson, PhD (Pembina C​hippewa) 

Dr. Manson is a Distinguished P​rofessor of Public Health and Psychiatry and directs the Ce​nters for American Indian and Alaska Native Health which includes 10 national centers engaging with 250 Native communities. Dr. Manson occupies The Colorado Trust Chair in American Indian Health within the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus​.
 Dr. Manson’s programs include 10 national centers, totaling $63 million in sponsored research, program development, training, and collaboration with 250 Native communities, spanning rural, reservation, urban, and village settings across the country. Dr. Manson has published 200 articles on the assessment, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of physical, alcohol, drug, as well as mental health problems over the developmental life span of Native people.


Dedra Buchwald, MD

Dr. Buchwald is a Professor in the College of Medical Sciences at Washington State University and the director of the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health. Dr. Buchwald founded the Partnerships for Native Health, which encompasses research, education, training, advocacy, and technical activities nationwide with over 160 partners. Partnerships for Native Health has developed a program of culturally appropriate research that spans a wide range of topics, including physical, mental health, addiction, health services, and social issues in Native communities.
Dr. Buchwald is also the Director of the National Institute on Aging-funded Native Investigator Development Program, a 2-year career training program for American Indian and Alaska Native post-doctoral fellows, designed to increase the number of independent Native researchers. She also directs two other career training programs for junior faculty and has received accolades and awards for her mentorship activities.


Robert J. Freishtat, MD, MPH 

Dr. Freishtat is Senior Investigator in the Center for Genetic Medicine of the Children’s Research Institute and is Chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Children’s National. He is also a Professor with Tenure in Pediatrics and Genomics and Precision Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Dr. Freishtat’s research has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 2003. He is the principal investigator for international collaboratives studying injury/repair in the lung and systems biology investigations in obesity. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles and book chapters in the fields of lung injury, asthma, obesity and emergency medicine. In addition, he was a recipient of the 2011 International Klosterfrau Award for Research of Airway Diseases in Childhood. Dr. Freishtat is Past-President of the American Federation for Medical Research and is an active member of the American Thoracic Society and Society for Pediatric Research.


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