Academic Core Leadership


Core Team Investigators

The CEHD will provide an internal organizational framework that transcends the traditional boundaries of academic units to promote intramural collaboration, synergy and coordination of MSM's health disparities research portfolio. The leadership team for this CEHD application will be provided by a cadre of senior professors in conjunction with emerging independent junior researchers. The investigative teams have embraced a CBPR approach where community constituents have a vital and equal level of participation at all stages of implementation.

Admin CoreAdministrative Core

The CEHD's Administrative Core is responsible for leadership, fiscal and human resource management and the review and oversight of the center activities. This includes enhancing the centers prevention science research, seminars, trainings, workshops, and community engagement efforts. Facilitation of both ongoing and emerging programs to build MSM’s capacity and research infrastructure for minority health research is a primary goal.This core will provide the organizational framework and supportive mechanisms for providing administrative leadership for the overall CEHD program, towards the fulfillment of the vision and the specific aims of all of the CEHD projects and shared resources.

The Administrative Core works to establish an organizational and management framework that facilitates institution-wide communication and promotes a collaborative, trans-disciplinary approach to community empowerment and health promotion practice. Under the direction of Ronald Braithwaite Ph.D., Director and Sandra Harris-Hooker Ph.D., Deputy Director, the Administrative Core seeks to engage a continuous process of evaluation, regulatory compliance and quality improvement of the CEHD minority health research portfolio. The Administrative Core will abide by and facilitate the principle of including our community partners as respected and active participants in the governance of all activities to ensure that the principals of CBPR are addressed with integrity.


ResearchResearch/Education Core

Core Director: George Rust, M.D., Professor, NCPC, Family Medicine and Community Health and Preventive Medicine


The goal of the Research Training and Education Core is to build diversity in our nation's disparities research community by cultivating a pool of under-represented minority faculty as researchers, scholars and experts, and to nurture their academic, scholarly skills and productivity as independent health disparities researchers to assure diverse voices in the national literature on health disparities.


Workshops on conducting health equity research using existing datasets such as NHANES and National Health Interview Survey will be offered with a focus on minority faculty who are engaging in research to answer health disparities / health equity questions. Research coaching and mentoring will be provided for faculty in conducting population health outcomes research, with an emphasis on health disparities at the community level. Our ARC-GIS workshops are being designed to assist researchers in understanding how to map health data and social determinants, and how to conduct geo-spatial analyses on local-area variation at the community level. We coordinate with the ACTSI-Community Engagement program, which has also developed training on the ethics of community-based research, as well as the UAB-MSM-Tuskegee Resource Center on Minority Aging Research, and the MSM Faculty Development program. Researchers are also referred to the CEHD and R-Center Research and Biostat cores for direct technical assistance.


Community EngagmentCommunity Engagement Outreach

Core Director: Tabia Akintobi, M.P.H., Ph.D. Director Prevention Research Center, Associate Professor, Community Health and Preventive Medicine.


ߣƵ, Prevention Research Center’s (PRC) experience with community based Participatory research (CBPR) predates the popular use of this research terminology. The Community Engagement/Outreach Core, led by PRC Director, Tabia Akintobi Ph.D., M.P.H., will address the problem of health disparities by developing community capacity to participate in health care and to better utilize the health care system. The overriding goal of this core is to build the capacity of partner communities to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities through systematic engagement in the planning, implementation and evaluation of CBPR, health priority assessment, capacity building, and connecting families to medical homes.



The specific aims of the Community Engagement/Outreach Core are to:


  • 1.Expand community-research partnerships through building the capacity of the PRC partner Neighborhood Planning Units to oversee, support and participate in the three CEHD research projects and future research projects.
  • 2. Provide CEHD research projects with timely, evidence-based community health priorities to inform their community-based participatory approaches.
  • 3.Increase community capacity to utilize medical homes and link vulnerable children and families.


  • Research CoreResearch Core
    Core Director: Robert Mayberry, Ph.D., Director Research Centers at Minority Institutions Professor, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine


Study conceptualization and design, biostatistics, and data management are indispensable components of rigorous and meritorious research. The Research Core of the Center of Excellence for Health Disparities will aggregate the research support capacity of theMSM Study Design, Biostatistics, and Data Management to meet the growing needs of the MSM research community through this Center of Excellence as well as further stimulate institutional collaborations in health disparities research with RCMI member institutions.

There are two primary objectives in enhancing research support through the Research Core:

1) to integrate and centralizing ongoing health disparities research which will promote greater interdisciplinary research among biomedical, clinical, health services, prevention and community-based researchers and

2) strengthen mentored research training among junior faculty throughout the MSM campus through this core support.

  • The specific aims of the Research Core are

    • To support the faculty investigators in study conceptualization and design, sampling, sample size and power calculations, statistical analyses planning and methodologies, and epidemiologic principles and methods.
    • To provide technical support and consultation in developing data collection tools, data collection methods, database development, and ensuring data quality.
    • To provide database administration support in creating databases and managing secured data.
    • To provide biostatistical analysis and data analytical support throughout the duration of the each project.
    • To train junior investigators in research methodologies specific to the pilot projects’ needs.


  • The Research Core will be organized into three functional areas: Study Design and Conceptualization, Biostatistics and Analytical Support, and Data Management. The functional areas will be integrated into the Research Development and Support Team(RSDT) to manage the research development and support needs of all Center of Excellence researchers.