ohdrc mhrc newsletter octThe UAB Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC) has taken its strong history of multidisciplinary collaboration to a new level by collectively expanding the efforts of many centers in the Southeast region. The OHDRC will impact health disparities associated with obesity and related chronic diseases in low-income rural and inner-city communities.

Support comes from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (U54MD000502) and in collaboration with longtime partners Louisiana State University, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Jackson State University.

This regional expansion places the OHDRC in a unique position to build research capacity to address chronic diseases, provide tools to improve health outcomes, and engage communities to conduct evidence-based research. 

Focus Areas:

  • The OHDRC Common Data Elements and Measurement Shared Resource will soon incorporate regional social determinants of health (SDH) measures. This toolkit will be used by investigators and clinicians, in conjunction with patient electronic health records, to develop risk prediction tools for chronic disease incidence, progression, treatment and outcomes. 
  • The OHDRC’s regional research capacity in obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases research will expand across the Southeast. Early stage investigators at LSU, UMMC, and JSU are invited to participate in the OHDRC’s career enhancement and mentored health disparities research training program as well as apply for regional pilot awards and secondary data analysis opportunities. 
  • The OHDRC will examine whether an evidence-based physical activity and nutrition intervention can be locally tailored - for implementation outside an academic research setting - to impact healthy eating and physical activity in African-American women in rural and urban Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Working in partnership with our underserved populations, the OHDRC will be able to exert a sustainable and measurable impact on the significant obesity and related chronic disease health disparities in this region.


PIs (pictured) include: Dr. Marinelle Payton, Jackson State University; Dr. Lucio Miele, LSU Health Sciences Center; Dr. Mario Sims, University of Mississippi Medical Center