2022 Stetten Lecture

Biomedical Research in Rural America: Much Accomplished, Much To Do

Sally L. Hodder, M.D.

Director, West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Associate Vice President, Clinical and Translational Research
Professor of Medicine
West Virginia University

NIH Videocast
Start Date:
11/30/2022 Time: 3:00 PM ET
End Date:
11/30/2022 Time: 4:00 PM ET

Videocast Link

Research Summary

Public health crises often disproportionately impact rural America. Sally L. Hodder, M.D.​, professor of medicine at West Virginia University (WVU), works to alleviate these disparities, especially regarding the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the 2022 Stetten Lecture, Hodder will discuss how the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) established a statewide health research program and engaged rural communities in the research process. She will share insight on the program’s specific research agendas and results regarding innovative treatment of refractory substance use disorder using deep brain stimulation. She will also discuss results relating to the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—and treatment of the disease.

Hodder’s work is focused in West Virginia, but her results are valuable assets to researchers across the country. Not only does treating chronic diseases in rural populations contribute to the overall understanding of those diseases, but engaging with and involving people in those communities in research makes science more accessible to them. Hodder says, “When folks participate in the science, when there is good community discussion about the trial designs and the results, then I think those populations may be more trusting of the results.”

Hodder is an infectious disease physician and has extensive experience running clinical trials. She’s headed large clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry as vice president of virology medical affairs at Bristol-Meyers-Squibb, and she built an HIV clinical trial and prevention program during her time at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey. She’s now the director of the WVCTSI, the associate vice president of clinical and translational research, and as of this past August, the WVU School of Medicine’s inaugural Chancellor’s Preeminent Scholar Chair, for which she was named in recognition of her outstanding achievements.

NIGMS began supporting the WVCTSI in 2012 and continues its support through NIGMS grant U54GM104942.

Headshot of Dr. Sally Hodder
Credit: Courtesy of WVCTSI.​