Andrea Cherrington etal win Research Awards to Study Social Determinants of Obesity and Related Chronic Diseases

Andrea Cherrington and three other researchers won pilot project awards to study the social determinants of obesity and related chronic diseases in the South. The funds, $100,000 per project, are provided by the Mid-South Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research (Mid-South TCC).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Four researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Louisiana State University (LSU) won pilot project awards to study the social determinants of obesity and related chronic diseases in the South. The funds, $100,000 per project, are provided by the Mid-South Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research (Mid-South TCC). The winning investigators are:
  1. Andrea Cherrington, MD, MPH, Associate Professor at UAB, for her project “Assessing Social Determinants of Obesity for Latino immigrants in tan Emerging Community”
  2. Amanda Willig, PhD, RD, Assistant Professor at UAB, for her project “Behavioral and Social Factors Impact Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Obesity in HIV-infected Women”
  3. Douglas Moellering, PhD, Assistant Professor at UAB, for his project “Adverse Effects of Life Stress on Obesity and Disease Risk Are Mediated by Diet Quality and Oxidative Stress”
  4. James Hempe, PhD, Associate Professor at LSU, for his project “Metabolic Determinants of Racial Disparity in Hemoglobin Glycation”
The Mid-South TCC, one of only two such regional centers in the nation, investigates social determinants – social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors – that drive and sustain health disparities in obesity and chronic diseases across the human lifespan. The center’s mission is to develop interventions to relieve such disparities. The research specifically targets six Mid-South states (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky) that include some of the most impoverished rural counties and inner-city communities in the nation, carrying exceptionally high burden of obesity, chronic diseases, and high mortality rates from these conditions.

“As a regional center we can deepen our research effort to study the social and economic factors that cause obesity and chronic illnesses,” states the Center’s Director, Dr. Mona Fouad. “We are now able to work in a larger geographic area, support innovative studies by scientists from academic institutions across the Mid-South region, and reach more people in need. We congratulate our winners and applaud the important work they are doing to improve the health of underserved men, women, and children across the South.”

The Mid-South TCC was competitively awarded by the National Institutes of Health to the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) in the fall of 2012.

Over the past ten years, MHRC has been extraordinarily successful in securing major grants focused on health disparities. These successes have propelled UAB to the forefront of scientific discovery and have garnered it the stature of national leader in health disparities research.

About the MHRC The UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) is a comprehensive research, training, outreach center focused on eliminating health disparities of racial/ethnic minorities and underserved populations locally, regionally, and nationally.  The MHRC is a University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Center, approved by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System, and a designated Center of Excellence in Health Disparities Research by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at NIH. For more information, visit www.UABMHRC.org.