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Cynthia Pearson

Research Assistant Professor
Associate Director of Research, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute
PhD, University of Washington

Research Assistant Professor Cynthia R Pearson directs the Research Methods and Policy Core at the Interdisciplinary Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) where she collaborates with indigenous scholars in the development of research policies and directs iterative data analysis on historical and cultural determinants of physical and mental health among American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Dr. Pearson has recently been awarded a fellowship with Fordham University Ethics Center HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute and is a member of the Advancing Indigenous Research Ethics in Practice and Policy Committee at the University of Washington. Her expertise is in designing tribally-based health studies from an ecological perspective that emphasize social, economic, political, environmental, and historical determinants of health.

Specifically, Dr. Pearson’s research focuses on the intersecting risk of substance use, historical and lifetime trauma, and HIV risk and how culture, place and community serve as protective factors. Dr. Pearson meets community members where they are and identifies community ways of knowing and resources to create innovative sustainable interventions. She is involved in several CBPR health and wellness projects with Pacific Northwest tribal communities identifying strengths and protective factors that support women’s wellness.

Professional Interests:

  • Designing and implementing interventions
  • Collaboration with Native American communities
  • Community based participatory research
  • Women's health and wellness
  • Mental health, PTSD
  • Substance use
  • HIV prevention