The primary goal of this K23 award is to provide Dr. Minjin Kim with the structured advanced research training,
protected time, and mentoring necessary for improving health disparities, health promotion, disease prevention,
and innovation using technology to improve health and to reach underserved, under-resourced populations.
Candidate: Dr. Kim is a transcultural nurse scientist dedicated to health disparities research using a narrative or
“storytelling” approach to capture the voices of a diverse range of people and communities. Her long-term goal
is to design and implement sustainable disease prevention programs leveraging technologies that are theory-
based, culturally inclusive, and personally relevant to reduce health disparities and promote health equity,
improve preventive health behaviors and outcomes, and reach underserved, high-need populations. Dr. Kim’s
short-term goal is to employ storytelling interventions leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots that facilitate
timely, effective, and sustained motivation for vaccination to prevent HPV-related infections and cancers.
Research: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a sexually transmitted infection with 3 out of 4 new infections
occurring in individuals aged 15 to 24. Although HPV vaccine is safe and effective at preventing HPV-related
infections and cancers, our preliminary study has shown that only 1 in 5 English-speaking, college-educated
Korean American women aged 18 to 26 in the Northeast U.S. had received the HPV vaccine (19%). Dr. Kim’s
storytelling video-based intervention leveraging AI chatbot technology (K-Talk) delivers a user-centered
experience to promote HPV vaccination behavior among Korean Americans aged 18 to 26. The study aims to 1)
adapt and refine the previously developed K-Talk and 2) conduct a pilot Multiphase Optimization Strategy-based
trial to assess feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of K-Talk. The proposed study assesses the
primary outcome (HPV vaccine uptake) by obtaining photo documentation of an HPV vaccination card. This
study has a substantial opportunity to reach underserved, hard-to-reach Korean Americans and other minorities.
K-Talk is a promising intervention to promote HPV vaccination as a means of cancer prevention.
Mentoring/Training: With the expertise of the transdisciplinary mentoring team and consultants from inside and
outside of Cincinnati, Dr. Kim will achieve her appointed research and career goals in five domains to advance
her program of research through this award. These domains are: designing intervention studies using state-of-
the-art research design, mHealth and chatbot-based technologies to improve health communication and
dissemination of the interventions, conducting and managing clinical trials and pragmatic trials, advanced
statistical methods for clinical trials data as well as communication and leadership skills. The proposed research
and training will enable Dr. Kim to independently conduct a future pragmatic trial (R01) that evaluates efficacy of
the K-Talk intervention piloted in this proposal.