Engaging African American men as citizen scientists to validate a prostate cancer biomarker: Work-in-progress

Karriem S. Watson*, Vida Henderson, Marcus Murray, Adam B. Murphy, Josef Ben Levi, Tiffany McDowell, Alfreda Holloway-Beth, Pooja Gogana, Michael A. Dixon, Leandre Moore, Ivanhoe Hall, Alexander Kimbrough, Yamilé Molina, Robert A. Winn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: African American men (AAM) are underrepresented in prostate cancer (PCa) research despite known disparities. Screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has low specificity for high-grade PCa leading to PCa over diagnosis. The Prostate Health Index (PHI) has higher specificity for lethal PCa but needs validation in AAM. Engaging AAM as citizen scientists (CSs) may improve participation of AAM in PCa research. Objectives: Assess feasibility of mobilizing CSs to recruit AAM as controls for PHI PCa validation biomarker study. Methods: We highlight social networks/assets of stakeholders, CSs curriculum development/implementation, and recruitment of healthy controls for PHI validation. Results and Lessons Learned: Eight CSs completed all training modules and 139 AAM were recruited. Challenges included equity in research leadership among multiple principal investigators (PIs) and coordinating CSs trainings. Conclusions: Engaging AAM CSs can support engaging/ recruiting AAM in PCa biomarker validation research. Equity among multiple stakeholders can be challenging, but proves beneficial in engaging AAM in research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
StatePublished - 2019


  • African American men
  • Citizen scientists
  • Community engagement
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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