Population health, health disparities, and outcomes effectiveness research all have one ideal in common—they aim for better health for the greater community. At UAB, we are known for being both in the community and of the community. As such, it is our responsibility to work with our partners to create knowledge and solutions.

One of these solutions is the UAB Grand Challenge Program, which is designed to energize the outstanding talent on and around our campus to participate in identifying and solving complex societal problems. The UAB Grand Challenge, part of the UAB strategic plan “Forging the Future”, serves to unite university activities along with the capabilities of partner organizations to make life better for people in Birmingham and across the state.

Live HealthSmart Alabama is the winning project selected for the inaugural UAB Grand Challenge. Its goal is to make Alabama a model of healthy living by lifting our state out of the bottom 10 in national health rankings by the year 2030.

If a health outcome is seen to a greater or lesser extent between populations, there is disparity. Factors like race or ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location can all contribute to a person’s ability to achieve good health. Health disparities research investigates the impact that social determinants have on health outcomes of specific populations. .

The UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) generates and disseminates research knowledge from biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences to reduce the health disparities experienced by vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities locally, regionally, and nationally. With over 200 researchers engaged throughout our campus, the center is maintained as a University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Center, as well as a Center of Excellence (U54) funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship (ICOS) was founded in 2015 and aims to reduce the burden of cancer and its long-term effects across all segments of the population, through interdisciplinary research, health promotion and education, envisioning a world where cancer survivors live long and healthy lives.

ICOS members include epidemiologists, biostatisticians, physician scientists, behavioral scientists, nurse scientists, and molecular biologists. They are engaged in examining health outcomes in cancer survivors across all cancer diagnoses, all ages, and across the entire trajectory of disease (diagnosis to end-of-life).

The unifying and overarching goal for all ICOS members is to understand the underlying causes of health issues faced by cancer survivors through the conduct of cutting-edge research. ICOS members use research results to inform interventions to improve the health and well-being of cancer survivors across all walks of life.