SEMPAC >> Training Core

The purpose of the training program is to encourage junior faculty who are members of ethnic minorities to conduct health research of benefit to aging minority populations. Interested junior faculty from the U.M. and Wayne State compete to become one of three Pilot Scholar Investigators chosen each year.

These researchers are intensively mentored to conduct pilot studies, present research findings and publish journal articles. Each summer they attend a conference on research methods and grant writing. Many scholars who completed the program now conduct minority research at universities around the country.


Mark Manning
mark manning
Mark Manning is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University and a Scientist in the Population Studies and Disparities Program at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on predicting health behaviors from cognitive variables (e.g., social norms, attitudes, etc.), with a particular interest in preventive health behaviors (e.g., cancer screening). He has expertise in various statistical methods including structural regression modeling and multi-level modeling.



Rifky Tkatch, Ph.D.
rifky tkatch
Rifky Tkatch is a post- doctoral fellow in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and Karmanos Cancer Institute. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Wayne State University in 2010. Her research interests include psychosocial, cultural, and contextual factors that influence health behaviors, and communication between patients and doctors. She currently serves as the Project Director for Improving Patient Doctor Communication as well as PI on her own funded study.