Current Projects

Dr. Thakur is the UCSF Principal Investigator in the Bay Area Research Consortium on Toxic Stress. This is an Academic-Community partnership began in 2014 and is between the Center for Youth Wellness (founder Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, now California Surgeon General), Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (Dr. Dayna Long), and UCSF to understand the short and intermediate effect of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) during childhood and the best methods to screen and intervene for adversities in pediatric practice. Through this partnership, we started the Pediatric ACEs and Resilience Study (PEARLS), establishing research infrastructure at Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and the Adversity BioCore (ABC) Laboratory, a fully functioning lab and biospecimen repository. Through PEARLS, we have successfully recruited 555 children from Oakland, CA to examine the negative health effects of ACEs, the first study aimed to comprehensively examine these effects in a predominantly disadvantaged population. Through this study we developed and validated the Pediatric ACEs and Related Life Event Screener (PEARLS) Tool to screen for adversity in pediatric primary care. This tool was recommended by the CA Department of Health Care Services and the only tool to reimbursed by Medicaid with funds from Prop 56 (Tobacco tax funds for the state). We have also established that ACEs are associated with several important childhood outcomes, including asthma. 

We have linked multiple data types (biologic, individual, and environmental) to demonstrate that social risk factors are geo-spatially distributed, disproportionately burden communities of color, and are associated with specific allergen-sensitization patterns seen in children with more symptomatic asthma, Through a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) K23 career development award and funding from the Koret Foundation (PI Dr. Cohen), we have established cross-bay research infrastructure and cross-institute and community collaborations. In collaboration with investigators from UC Berkeley in the Schools of Public Health (Drs. Morello-Frosch, Hammond, and Noth) and Atmospheric Chemistry (Dr. Cohen), she established the Richmond Environment Asthma Community Health (REACH) study, a pilot study designed to determine the feasibility of collecting rich social, environmental, and biologic data in patients from high-risk communities. This study, including where study visits and biological samples are collected, is completely community-based, made possible by our community partnerships. We have established community partnerships with Lifelong Medical Care, a community health center that provides care through over 15 centers in the East Bay, and the Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) program, an advocacy and patient-centered group focused on improving asthma health outcomes by focusing on health equity. Under REACH, we have also launched our Youth Engagement Programs.