The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards New Connections Grant to Milken Institute SPH Assistant Professor Uriyoán Colón-Ramos

Media Contact: Kathy Fackelmann,, 202-994-8354

WASHINGTON, DC (September 28, 2016)—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care, has awarded Uriyoán Colón-Ramos, assistant professor in the Department of Global Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, a 12-month grant through the New Connections program. Colón-Ramos is among a select group of Junior Investigators to receive one of the New Connections grants. The grant will allow Colón-Ramos to analyze a unique data set that includes behaviors and sociocultural characteristics to determine how the family environment impacts diet quality among Hispanic/Latino adult and youth. 

New Connections is a national program designed to introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the foundation’s programming. The program seeks early- to mid-career scholars from backgrounds that are historically disadvantaged or underrepresented in research disciplines, such as individuals from ethnic or racial groups historically underrepresented in research disciplines, first-generation college graduates, and people from lower-income communities.

“We are so excited to welcome Dr. Colón-Ramos into the tenth cohort of New Connections grantees. The program connects first-time grantees to the Foundation, and the new perspectives they bring are essential to solving the critical, complex issues affecting our nation’s health,” says Catherine Malone, DBA, MBA, and Program Officer at RWJF.     

“This cohort joins the larger New Connections network of more than 850 scholars—a network that provides opportunities for scholarly support and collaboration for academics from underrepresented groups,” says Malone.

“I am extremely proud to be among the junior investigators honored with this prestigious grant," says Colón-Ramos. "This award will connect me to a network of established experts in public health research, while providing me with an opportunity to understand the role of the family environment in various social contexts.  These findings can have far-reaching implications for programs that aim to improve the social, political, and environmental conditions in which vulnerable populations live."