Upcoming MHRC Health Disparities Research Symposium examines the science of health disparities

Guest speaker and former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin among many who will see new approaches and successful models of current health-disparities research.

mona fouad 2012 Mona FouadThe UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) will host the 2015 UAB Health Disparities Research Symposium, “The Science of Health Disparities: From Social Causes to Personalized Medicine,” March 17-18 in the DoubleTree by Hilton on 20th Street South in Birmingham. In its 10th year, the symposium highlights work by undergraduate, graduate and faculty researchers in the field of health disparities.

“The symposium showcases the work being done to reduce health inequities in Alabama and our nation. It provides an overview of the latest in health-disparities research. Scientists and scholars look to it as an excellent opportunity to share discoveries, new approaches and successful models,” said Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, director and professor, UAB Division of Preventive Medicine, and director of the UAB MHRC.

Speaking at the dinner Tuesday, March 17, will be Regina Benjamin, M.D., MBA, the 18th surgeon general and professor and endowed chair in the Xavier University of Louisiana Department of Public Health Science.

The 2015 conference is co-sponsored by three national transdisciplinary collaborative centers for health-disparities research: the Mid-South TCC, focused on the social determinants of health and led by Fouad; the Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships (CHAAMPS), led by Selwyn Vickers, M.D., dean of the UAB School of Medicine; and the Gulf States Health Policy Center, led by Benjamin.

The symposium will feature seven plenary sessions:

  • Social Conditions as a Fundamental Cause of Health Disparities – Bruce Link, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and sociomedical sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Challenges and Opportunities in Studying the Multilevel Determinants of Health – Ana Diez Roux, M.D., Ph.D., dean and Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology, Drexel University School of Public Health
  • Social Consequences of Genetic Explanations for Racial Differences in Health – Jo Phelan, Ph.D., professor of sociomedical sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Personalized Medicine: Implications for Disparities in Drug Response – Nita Limdi, Pharm.D., Ph.D., professor UAB School of Medicine; director, UAB Personalized Medicine Institute
  • African-American Men’s Health: Breaking the Silence – Mark Alexander, Ph.D., 100 Black Men of America Inc.
  • Policy Solutions for Health Disparities – Brian Smedley, Ph.D., executive director, National Collaborative for Health Equity
  • Academic-Community Partnerships – Barbara A. Israel, Ph.D., professor of health behavior and health education, University of Michigan; and Zachary Rowe, executive director, Friends of Parkside

In addition, UAB will announce the 2015 Excellence in Mentoring Awards and will present awards for oral presentations and poster presentations.

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