More investigators are exploring ways to improve the health of minority and underserved populations. Since 2005, the MHRC has provided over $4.1 million in seed money to 88 investigators through pilot research awards. This investment has resulted in a return of $118.5 million in extramural funding.Research Funding Infographic 1

Apply for Funding

Request for Applications: Projects on Obesity- and Health Disparities- Related Pilot Feasibility Studies (RFA-OHDRC-22-001)

The Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC) led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in partnership with Jackson State University (JSU), University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), and Louisiana State University (LSU), invites applications for pilot feasibility studies to support new research initiatives in any area related to obesity and health disparities. Pilot funding will be up to $50,000 for 1-year. Funding is conditional on available funding from the NIMHD. Pilot feasibility funding is intended to provide initial project support for new investigators, allow exploration of possible innovative new directions for established investigators in obesity research that represent a significant departure from ongoing funded research, and stimulate investigators from other areas to use their expertise for obesity and health disparities research. 

Investigators who meet one of the following criteria are eligible to apply: 

        • NIH-defined New and Early Stage Investigators at the time of funding without current or past NIH research project support, or
        • Senior investigators who are new to obesity and/or health disparities research 

To learn more, view the full Request for Applications here.

Call for Research Concepts: Secondary Data Analysis on Obesity and Health Disparities

The UAB Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC) (U54MD000502) invites research proposals for secondary data analysis in any area of research related to obesity and health disparities. Funding is conditional on available funding from the NIMHD. 

Number of Awards: Up to two projects will be funded. 

Award Budget: Up to $10,000 

Award Period: July 2022-December 2022 

Eligibility: Secondary data analysis funding is to support full-time faculty members at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Jackson State University, Louisiana State University, or University of Mississippi Medical Center. Faculty members are eligible if they are 1) NIH-defined New and Early Stage Investigators at the time of funding without current or past NIH research project support or 2) senior investigators new to obesity and health disparities research. Instructor, Assistant, and Associate Professors are eligible to apply. A publication submitted to a peer-reviewed journal within six months of project completion is a required outcome of this project. 

Concept Due Date: June 25, 2022. Learn more here.

Past Pilot Project Winners

Please select one of the years below to view winners, their organization, and project title. 

  • 2016

    Gabriela Oates, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Bikeshare for Low-Income Urban Communities: A Mixed Methods Feasibility Study

    Caroline Compretta, PhD
    University of Mississippi Medical Center
    Kid Koders for Health: Promoting Physical Activity among Underserved Youth

    Ariane Rung, PhD
    Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
    Mobile Mindfulness Training to Reduce Chronic Health Disparities in Louisiana Women

    Bisakha Sen, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Social-Ecologocial Stressors, Obesity-Risk & Racial Disparities in Obesity: A Longitudinal Study

    Olivio Clay, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Examining Associations between Social Determinants of Health, Obesity and Comorbid Conditions, and Longitudinal Outcomes among Older African American and Caucasian Medicare Beneficiaries

    Arnita Norwood, PhD
    University of Mississippi Medical Center
    The Association Between Job-Related Factors and Ideal Cardiovascular Health Among African Americans with and without Diabetes

    Adam Wende, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    100 Black Men of America, Inc. Novel Expression of Cardiac Gene Expression in African American Men in Heart Failure

    Mirjam-Colette Kempf, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    100 Black Men of America, Inc.
    Universal Screening for HIV, Hepatitis C and Colorectal Cancer among African American Men: A Collaboration between UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and 100 Black Men of America


    Rhonda Jones-Webb, PhD
    University of Minnesota
    100 Black Men of America, Inc. Violence and Related Injuring among African American Male Youth: Pathways to Prevention Articulated by Community Members and Police Officers

    Sunil Sudarshan, MD
    University of Minnesota
    100 Black Men of America, Inc.
    DNA 5-hydroxymethylcytosine(5hmc): Guarding the Prostate Epigenome from Malignant Progression in African American Men


    Jayanth Panyam, PhD
    University of Minnesota
    100 Black Men of America, Inc.
    Fibrinolytics for Improving Lung Cancer Outcomes in African American Men


    Susan Mayfield-Johnson, PhD
    Daniel Le

    University of Southern Mississippi & Boat People SOS
    Measuring Vulnerability and Developing Resiliency with the Vietnamese Gulf Coast

    Frederick Green, PhD
    Deborah Martin

    University of Southern Mississippi & Hattiesburg Public School District
    Access to Extracurricular Athletic Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

  • 2015
    Patrick Packer
    Black People Run, Bike and Swim

    Yu-Mei Schoenberger, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Walk to Smartphone Application

    Henry Nuss, PhD
    Louisiana State University Health Science Center
    Growing Healthy Roots: A social marketing campaign to increase the amount of fruit and vegetable purchases in the Hollygrove neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

    Gareth Dutton, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Stop Obesity Now (SONNY): A Family-Based Intervention to Reduce Obesity in the Black Belt

    Elizabeth Baker, PhD
    Irena Stepanikova, PhD

    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Investigating the Relationship between Perceived Discrimination and Obesity among African Americans in Mississippi

    Jonathan Daw, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    The Role of Behavioral, Family, and Community Effects on Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Comorbidity in Obesity, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension, and All-Cause Mortality

    Irena Stepanikova, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Exploring Social and Lifestyle Factors in Minority Aging: Obesity, Perceived Discrimination, and Chronic Systemic Inflammation

    William C. Cockerham, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    A Comparison of Black and White Racial Differences in Health Lifestyles and Cardiovascular Disease

    Meifang Chen, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Association of Food Environment and Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Obesity in the US: A Geographic Information System (GIS) Analysis

    Robert Collins, PhD
    Dillard University
    Segregation and the Disparities in the Built Environment

    Anne Zinski, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Characterizing Healthcare Utilization in Black Males to Improve HCV Outcomes

    Kylee Funk, PharmD
    University of Minnesota
    Improving Diabetes Medication Management through Face to Face and Social Media Support Among African American Men

    Ruth A. Lindquist, PhD
    University of Minnesota
    Developing and Testing a New Model to Reduce Risks for Heart Disease and Stroke

    Mohammad Saleem Bhat, PhD
    University of Minnesota
    Novel Biomarker that Discriminates Indolent from Aggressive Phenotype in AA Men

    Voinea-Griffin Andreea, DDS, MBA, MSHA
    Sonia White

    Texas A&M University & Community Council of Greater Dallas
    Compliance Barriers and Initial Outcomes of the Medicaid First Dental Home Policy in Dallas County

    Amanda Staiano, PhD
    Andrew Allen

    Louisiana State University Pennington
    Physical Activity and Screen-Time Regulations in Child Care Centers: Influence on Young Children's Health Behaviors

    Roma Hanks, PhD
    Barbara Estes

    University of South Alabama & Via Health
    Policies on Intergenerational Relationships in Livable Communities and Their Impact on Health Outcomes

    Maureen Lichtveld, MD
    Thao Yu

    Tulane University & Mississippi Coalition for Vietnamese-American Fisher Folks and Families
    Making Environmental Policy Work for Communities: A Culturally Competent CBPR Approach to Advancing the Health of Gulf Coast Vietnamese-Americans
  • 2014

    Richard Scribner, MD, MPH
    Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
    Monitoring Social Determinants of Obesity Outcomes in a Community Clinic

    Abigail Gamble, PhD
    University of Mississippi Medical Center
    Connecting Health with Education in a Rural Setting with Health Councils

    Nicole Redmond, MD, PhD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine, Preventive Medicine
    Understanding Hypertension among Black Men in a Faith-Based Setting

    Larrell Wilkinson, PhD, MSPH
    UAB School of Education, Human Studies
    Healthy Eating, Activitity, and Resting Together (HEART) Matters

    Christopher Warlick, MD, PhD
    University of Minnesota
    Evaluation of the CCP Score Risk-Stratification Tool in African-American Men

    Jerome Kolbo, PhD
    University of Southern Mississippi
    Community-Based Participatory Research of Policies and Practices Affecting Adolescent Sexual Health in Mississippi

    Mirjam-Colette Kempf, PhD
    UAB School of Public Health
    Opt-Out HIV Testing Guidelines and Barriers to Implementation in Alabama

  • 2013

    Elizabeth Baker, PhD
    UAB College of Arts and Sciences, Sociology
    Child Obesity and Mother's Ratings of Health: Variation by Maternal Nativity

    Adrienne Milner, PhD
    UAB College of Arts and Sciences, Sociology
    Walking Buses for Adults

    Andrea Cherrington, MD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine, Preventive Medicine
    Assessing Social Determinants of Health of Obesity for Latino Immigrants in an Emerging Community

    Amanda Willig, PhD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Behavioral and Social Factors Impact Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Obesity in HIV-Infected Women

    Douglas Moellering, PhD
    UAB School of Health Professions
    Adverse Effect of Life Stress on Obesity and Disease Risk Are Mediated by Diet Quality and Oxidative Stress

    James Hempe, PhD
    Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
    Metabolic Determinants of Racial Disparity in Hemoglobin Glycation

  • 2012

    April Carson, PhD, MSPH
    UAB School of Public Health
    Racial Differences in Glycemic Markers, Diabetes, and Albuminuria

    Peter Jezewski, DMD, PhD
    UAB School of Dentistry
    Epidemiology of Tooth Loss in an Underserved African American Population

    Jayme Locke, MD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Educational Campaign to Increase Organ Donation among African Americans

    Jesus Salazar-Gonzalez, PhD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Retrotransposon Element Profiling in Colorectal Cancer Racial Disparities

    Kari White, PhD
    UAB School of Public Health
    Unintended Pregnancy and Contraceptive Use among Recent Latina Immigrants

  • 2011

    Olivio Clay, PhD
    UAB College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology
    Racial Differences in Diabetes Distress: Factors Related to Health Disparities

    Gareth Dutton, PhD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine, Preventive Medicine
    Obesity Prevention Program for African American Female High-School Students

    Teri Magruder, MD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Effects of Exercise on Asthmatic Responses in Obese Pediatric Asthmatics: A Multi-Investigator Study

    Shantel Hebert-Magee, MD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Prognostic and Therapeutic Significance of P53 Codon 72 Polymorphism in Triple Negative Breast Cancer in African American Women

    Dorothy Pekmezi, PhD
    UAB School of Public Health
    Feasibility and Acceptability of Using Interactive Internet Technology to Promote Physical Activity in Latinas

  • 2010

    Leona Council, MD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Molecular Basis for Chronic Hepatitis C–related Liver Disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma in African Americans

    Ambika Ashraf, MD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine, Pediatrics
    Influence of Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D on Glycemic Control in Children with Type 2 Diabetes

    Comfort Enah, PhD, RN
    UAB School of Nursing
    Developing and Evaluating an Electronic HIV Game for HIV Prevention with African American Rural Adolescents

    Sonya Heath, MD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Acute HIV Infection: A Missed Diagnostic Opportunity Driving the HIV Epidemic

  • 2009

    Keshia Sims Elder, OD
    UAB School of Optometry
    Ocular Inflammation in African American and European American Patients with SLE

    Derek DuBay, MD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Development of an African American Salon-Based Intervention to Increase Organ Donation

    Laura Kelly Vaughan, PhD
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Bad Genes or Genes Behaving Badly: Are Hispanic-American Children Predisposed to “Thriftiness” Resulting in Increased Fat Accumulation at the Expense of Bone Mass?

  • 2008

    Nefertiti Durant, MD, MPH
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Self-Efficacy and Social Support of Exercise in Young African Women: Tools for Success?

    Elizabeth Brown, PhD, MPH
    UAB School of Public Health
    Functional Genomics and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in a High-Risk Minority Population

    Marcela Frazier, OD
    UAB School of Optometry
    Development and Pilot-Testing of an Intervention to Improve Access to Eye Care for Hispanic Children

    Anthony Roberson, PhD, MPH
    UAB School of Nursing
    Assessing the Mental Health Needs of Impoverished African American Adolescents Residing in High-Poverty Neighborhoods in Alabama

  • 2007

    Raegan Durant, MD, MPH
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine, Preventive Medicine
    A Pilot Study of Social Support and Hospital Use for Heart Failure

    Olivia Thomas - Affuso, PhD
    UAB School of Public Health, Epidemiology
    Effect of Exercise on Energy Balance in Overweight African American Youth

    Andrea Cherrington, MD, MPH
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine, Internal Medicine
    Culturally Adapting a Proven Weight-Loss Intervention to Reduce Diabetes Risk in Latina Immigrants

  • 2006

    Mirjam-Colette Kempf, PhD, MPH
    UAB School of Public Health
    Antiretroviral Therapy Exposure in HIV-Positive Pregnant Women and Their Infants in the South

    Myriam Peralta-Carcelen, MD, MPH
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Mejorando La Salud de Los Niños Prematuros (Improving the Health of Premature Children)

    Tina Simpson, MD, MPH
    UAB Heersink School of Medicine
    Improving Partner Communication Regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections

  • 2005

    Jamy Ard, MD
    UAB School of Health Professions
    Enhancing Weight-Loss Outcomes in African Americans Using a Modified EatRight Approach

    Lucy Annang, PhD
    UAB School of Public Health
    Peer Education to Promote STI Prevention among Young Adult African American Women

    Monica Baskin, PhD UAB Heersink School of Medicine Childhood Obesity Intervention at the Chris McNair Health Department

  • HDRTP Pilot Awards
    Kesha Buster, MD UAB School of Medicine
    Shadi Martin, PhD University of Alabama
    JoAnn Oliver, PhD University of Alabama
    Angela Jukkala, PhD UAB School of Nursing
    Jamie Cannon, MD UAB Department of Medicine
    Giyeon Kim, PhD University of Alabama
    Allison Litton, DrPH UAB School of Medicine
    Shannon Morrison, PhD UAB School of Nursing