Pankaj Arora MD
Pankaj Arora, MD (Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Disease) has received a pilot grant from the UAB Obesity Health Disparities Research Center to study the effects of a new medicine on cardiometabolic health in African-Americans. They will use metabolic carts to determine whether sacubritril/valsartan will improve the insulin resistance and energy expenditure for these patients. 

Laura Dreer
Laura E. Dreer, PhD, (Associate Professor, Ophthalmology) will be Addressing the Obesity Health Disparity Among Adults with Vision Impairments. With a team of interdisciplinary experts, the project will identify the unique challenges related to weight management and modify evidence-based lifestyle programs adapted for people with vision impairments or blindness.

Pamela G. Bowen
Pamela G. Bowen, PhD,
(Assistant Professor, Nursing) is investigating TOSS Feasibility + Fitbit Community = Reduced Obesity in Older Black Women. This 12-week feasibility study will test an obesity-reduction intervention— Texting Older Sisters to Step (TOSS) PA– to determine its acceptability and impact among older, overweight or obese Black women.


Previous Pilot Awardees
Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith, MD, PhD (Associate Professor, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center), is investigating the Liver Surface Nodularity Score as a Non-Invasive Biomarker for Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Zechen Chong
Zechen Chong, PhD, (Assistant Professor, Genetics), is researching The Genomic Landscape of Obese Cancer Patients in Minority Groups.


Tiffany Carson
Tiffany Carson, PhD, (Assistant Professor in Preventive Medicine), is studying Modifying Diet and the Gut Microbiota to Reduce Obesity and Health Disparities.

Ariel Salas
Ariel Salas, MD, MSPH, Assistant Professor, Neonatology, is studying Serial Assessments of Body Fat Accrual in Very Preterm Infants.