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Research Centers, Programs and Projects

The Dornsife School of Public Health has created a number of research centers, programs and projects, allowing faculty to focus their abilities for targeted research and engage students in specific areas of public health practice. These centers and projects reflect the school’s commitment to working closely with community resources, and partnering with health professionals, locally and nationally.

Centers

Urban Health Collaborative: analyzing neighborhood-level data image

Urban Health Collaborative

The mission of the Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) is to improve health in cities by increasing scientific knowledge and public awareness of health and health variation within cities, and by promoting urban policies and partnerships that promote health and reduce health inequalities. Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH is the Director of the UHC and Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH is Co-Director.

Autism symbol puzzle symbol

A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

The A.J. Drexel Autism Institute is the first research organization dedicated to bringing a public health approach to the challenges presented by autism spectrum disorders. The interdisciplinary team of world class researchers employ various disciplines of public health science to generate and translate knowledge about autism's character, causes, and consequences into community-based action to improve the lives of individuals affected by ASD and their families. Craig Newschaffer, PhD is the Director of this institute.

Photo from Witness to Hunger Project

Center for Hunger-Free Communities

The CPHRC conducts research and provides service and education in the field of public health emergency preparedness. The Center’s mission is to build public health infrastructure and capacity for disaster response and recovery, and enhance community preparedness and resilience, with a particular interest in improving outcomes for individuals who may be at risk for severe consequences after disasters. Esther Chernak, MD, MPH, FACP is the Director of this center.

Pennsylvania Public Health Risk Assessment Tool graphic

Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication

The CPHRC conducts research and provides service and education in the field of public health emergency preparedness. The Center’s mission is to build public health infrastructure and capacity for disaster response and recovery, and enhance community preparedness and resilience, with a particular interest in improving outcomes for individuals who may be at risk for severe consequences after disasters. Esther Chernak, MD, MPH, FACP is the Director of this center.

research center for nonviolence and social justice

Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice

The Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice aims to promote health, nonviolence and social justice through trauma-informed practice, research, professional development, and advocacy for policy change. Their work is focused in four major areas: Healing Hurt People - A Violence Intervention Program, Training, Research, and Policy. John Rich, MD, MPH is the Director of this center.
Firefighters

Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST)

The FIRST Center is a research enterprise organized to support the U.S. fire and rescue service through objective data collection and analysis. Their work is focused on three major areas: Injury Data Evaluation & Analysis (IDEA), Fire Service Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS), and Stress and Violence in fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER). The FIRST Center also sponsors the Fire Service Injury Research, Epidemiology, and Evaluation (FIRE) Fellowship: a paid summer internship that gives students the opportunity to work with real world data, serve community partners with data, and get immersed in the fire service through field experiences. Jennifer Taylor, PhD, MPH, CPPS is the Director of this center.

Programs and Projects

Couple walking in park, Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute/Bill Branson

African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN)

AACORN is a collaboration of U.S. researchers, scholars-in-training, and community-based research partners dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of research to address weight related health issues in African American communities.

Maternal Child Health image

Maternal Child Health Program

The MCH Program is a multidisciplinary coalition of academics, clinicians and students who strive to improve the health of women and children through education and research. The mission of the MCH Program is to promote education and research, inform policy, and train leaders to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and families. Renee Turchi, MD, MPH is the Chair of program.