MASALA-2G: Multi-level Assessment of the South Asian Life-course of Atherosclerosis (2nd Generation Offspring Study)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This career development award will provide Dr. Nilay Shah the opportunity to develop as an independent investigator of community and clinical cardiovascular disease prevention in the South Asian American population and build on his experience in population epidemiology and clinical cardiovascular disease. South Asians experience a disproportionately higher burden of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) at younger ages compared to other race/ethnic groups, but little is known about antecedent cardiovascular health in 2nd generation young adult South Asian Americans to inform early life prevention strategies in this risk-enhanced group. The proposed application aims to pilot MASALA-2G, the Multi-level Assessment of the South Asian Life-course of Atherosclerosis (2nd Generation Offspring Study), an offspring study to the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) cohort who are predominantly 1st generation immigrant South Asians. MASALA-2G represents a foundational investigation in the cardiovascular health of the South Asian American population and aligns directly with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute mission and objective to promote the prevention of heart diseases in diverse populations. Under the mentorship of Drs. Namratha Kandula and Mark Huffman, who are leading researchers with combined expertise in South Asian health, prevention intervention trials, community engaged research, and implementation science, Dr. Shah proposes a comprehensive research and multidisciplinary career development plan composed of formal coursework, intensive mentorship, and experiential training in cohort management and community engagement in health disparity populations, advanced statistical methods for multi-level associations, genomics, and implementation science. The MASALA-2G pilot will recruit 150 South Asians age 21-40 years old who are offspring of MASALA parent study participants. The Specific Aims are to: (1) characterize baseline cardiovascular risk factors in 2nd generation young South Asian adults; (2) investigate multi-level environmental, socioeconomic, sociocultural, interpersonal, and individual genomic contributors to cardiovascular health in this population; and (3) contextualize a cardiovascular health promotion intervention for this population based on quantitative findings, following an implementation science-informed framework. The proposed research and training will occur at Northwestern University, which provides Dr. Shah with: (1) access to unparalleled infrastructure and partnerships for research in the South Asian community, (2) a multidisciplinary team of mentors and collaborators with comprehensive relevant expertise, (3) strong institutional support from the Division of Cardiology and Department of Preventive Medicine, and (4) training opportunities including in Northwestern’s Center for Community Health, Center for Global Cardiovascular Health, and Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Ultimately, this research and career development will enable Dr. Shah’s transition to independent research for cardiovascular prevention in South Asian populations.
Effective start/end date7/1/216/30/26


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (5K23HL157766-02)