Our work

Collaborating and engaging with young people, stakeholders, communities, and organizations through four areas of work

Youth Participatory Action Research and Implementation Science

I-TEST: Innovative Tools to Expand Youth-friendly HIV self-testing Services

Locally known as 4YouthByYouth (4YBY)

4YouthByYouth uses crowdsourcing to develop innovative, new HIV self-testing (HIVST) services designed for Nigerian youth. Crowdsourcing has a group of people solve part of a problem and then share the solution with the public. Many expert-driven, adult-focused health services fail to reach youth. In response, we organized three related activities to build youth-focused HIVST services as well as preventive services for sexually transmitted infection (STI) – a crowdsourcing contest, a designathon, and an apprenticeship training, informed by a youth participatory action research framework. The youth-friendly HIVST services will further be evaluated in a full-powered type I hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial to test the effectiveness in increasing uptake and sustainability of HIVST led by and for Nigerian youth.


Youth As STAR (Stimulating Training And Access To Research)

STAR brings together an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students to build D&I collaborative research, education, and capacity. Our work in implementation science focuses on the use of implementation designs and outcomes to identify, tailor, improve, and sustain evidence-based interventions, programs, and practices. STAR offers students and early-stage investigators opportunities to build critical research and analytical skills, as well as effective communication skills, through contributions to meetings, literature reviews, data analysis, manuscript preparations, conference presentations, and grant proposals. 

More specifically, STAR:

  • Identifies and evaluates implementation science strategies needed to enhance reach, adoption, and sustainability
  • Applies implementation science theories, models, and frameworks to guide intervention implementation and evaluation
  • Collaborates with investigators across SLU and beyond, bringing what works to real-world settings
  • Stimulates innovation in implementation science

Youth As LIGHT (Leaders Igniting Generational Healing and Transformation)

LIGHT fosters youth involvement and creativity as leaders and innovators of today’s society and digital world. LIGHT believes that art, letters, poems, and stories are great avenues through which society can become more responsive to and representative of people’s daily realities with health. LIGHT is a space that records personal experiences and stories through literary works. It is a logbook of illustrations and photographs, a digital and print commonplace that the public can use to creatively express themselves through narratives of their own health. LIGHT is also an anti-racism, anti-establishment, and decolonial response to public health that recognizes that we live in a society full of racial inequities that keep people unhealthy, one that includes policies and practices that we see or do not see. LIGHT seeks to identify and challenge these practices, to create policies and practices that advance equity for all people. LIGHT is here to listen, engage and learn as we bridge the divide together between the public and public health experts through creativity.

Global Health and Equity

C-RISE facilitates the expansion and coordination of global health research, technical assistance, and training initiatives at Saint Louis University and reflects the institution’s commitment to transform our world into a healthier and more just one for all. We strive to implement sustainable interventions, programs, and practices across low-resource settings through innovative approaches rooted in well-grounded theories, frameworks, or models that are culturally responsive to local settings. Developing global health research partnerships are at the heart of our mission as it fosters reciprocal learning and innovation. C-RISE includes extramurally funded research and peer-review publications in the following research priority areas:

  • HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STI)

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer

  • Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD).