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Psychology Professor Wins Hogg Foundation Grant to Study Mental Health

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posted: Monday June 24, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas – Andreana Haley, assistant professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, has received a grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health for her research on the cognitive effects of the herpes simplex 1 virus.

Haley was awarded a grant of $19,250 to investigate whether stress, depression and anxiety may worsen cognitive vulnerability for people who are carriers of the herpes simplex 1 virus. This study is particularly relevant to minority communities, where the virus is acquired earlier in life and prevalence rates are higher: 50 percent for non-Hispanic whites, 68 percent for African Americans and 81 percent for Mexican Americans.

Haley was among 10 researchers selected from a pool of 38 applicants from 17 universities across Texas. The foundation awarded the two-year grants, totaling $192,130, to tenure-track assistant professors exploring different aspects of mental health in Texas.

The goals of the Hogg grants are to increase the pool of junior faculty doing quality mental health research and to encourage the disbursement of research findings through presentations at state and national conferences and meetings.

“These projects directly address the need for ethnically and racially appropriate mental health care and the importance of integrated health care, a key priority for the foundation,” says Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation.

The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.

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