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Addressing Health Disparities

By Greg Borzo

Photo of a group of students
  • Principal Investigator: Julian Solway, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics; Vice Chair of Research; Associate Dean for Translational Medicine; and Chairman, Committee on Molecular Medicine
  • Amount: $857,156
  • Source: National Institutes of Health
  • Goal: To encourage more African American and Hispanic undergraduates to pursue careers in science and research by studying health disparities in underserved populations


Residents of the South Side of Chicago and other minority/disadvantaged communities are not as healthy as the general population. This grant will help train undergraduates from two minority-serving institutions to research and correct health disparities.

"Health disparity is a complex problem that can be better understood and tackled across the country with input from those who have experienced health disparities in their own lives," said Rick Kittles, lead investigator and Associate Professor of Genetic Medicine.

"This work will strengthen the entire biomedical enterprise because these students will bring their experiences and cultural sensitivities to the field," Solway said. "A therapy could be acceptable in one community but not effective or even anathema in another, so this new perspective is extremely important—especially as we develop novel, personalized therapies."

Kittles called the program innovative because it brings outstanding minority student trainees together with some of the nation's most renowned investigators of health disparities: "It will not only increase the number of scientists in this field but also create the opportunity for new ideas to emerge."

This article was originally published by the University of Chicago and written by Greg Borzo. Reposted with permission.

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