I am an implementation-outcome research scientist. My ultimate goal is to reduce health disparities related to chronic diseases in general and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in particular in ethnic/racial minorities, through research, capacity building, and education. I am an NIH funded researcher and I develop and implement efficacy-proven behavioral lifestyle in community settings using community based participatory and community engaged research approaches.
My contributions towards understanding the causes of excess coronary artery diseases (CAD) in South Asian immigrants have revolutionized research in the area of investigating novel markers of CAD such as HDL function.
Dr. Sunita Dodani is a Professor of Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and the Founding Director of the EVMS-Sentara Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science Institute (HADSI). She is a physician with training in Cardiology. She earned her medical degree from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan. Later, she completed her Masters in Epidemiology at the Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada followed by a PhD in chronic diseases (majoring in cardiovascular diseases) from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Dodani has been in executive-level leadership for over 18 years and has vast experience in research management and expertise in creating innovative models of health promotion. Before coming to EVMS, she was at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville campus, where she trained many physicians as clinician researchers.
Dr. Dodani is an NIH funded researcher. Her research expertise is on health disparities related to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. She is an implementation/outcome researcher who has implemented many programs that are used nationwide. For e.g., Fit, Body and Soul is a diabetes prevention program for African Americans and HEALS- a hypertension control program well tested in African Americans and now will be promoted in other minority populations. Similarly, for over 20 years, Dr. Dodani was the first to implement the first national health survey on ambulatory Pakistani’s to understand the cardiovascular risk factors. In the U.S. she received NIH-NHLBI grants to further explore the presence of dysfunctional HDL (Dys-HDL) in South Asian immigrants and how Dys-HDL increases the risk of coronary artery diseases in high-risk groups.
Since 2020, she has been actively involved in COVID research and started a statewide COVID registry to understand the impact of COVID on mental health and understand its related health disparities.
Dr. Dodani, is nationally and internationally known for her exceptional mentorship skills and has mentored over 80 physicians and other healthcare professionals as well as scientists.
2018- Community Service Award- National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Washington, DC 2015- Fellow, American Heart Association (FAHA) 2008- Mark Bieber Award Finalist- Epidemiology Council, American Heart Association (AHA) 2008- Community Service Award- International Society on Hypertension in Blacks (ISHIB) for diabetes prevention program "Fit Body and Soul" in African American community churches 2007-present- Fellow- American Heart Association (FAHA) 2006- Who's Who in Health Sciences Education Award - (WWHSE) presented by Who's Who 2005- Honors Student Award- at the Honors Convocation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 2004- Dean's Rosenkranz Award for Best Presentation at Research Day, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 2003-2006- Fulbright Scholarship on NIH R01 (Mentor: Dr. Ronald LaPorte) University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 2001- National Gold Medal - The Youngest Researcher of Pakistan, Pakistan Academy of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan. 2000-2002- Merit Fulbright Scholarship Award- Aga Khan Foundation, Ottawa, Canada - Merit Award for two-year Masters in Clinical Epidemiology at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Recent publications and grants in Researchers@EVMS