For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Centers and Programs

The research centers and programs of the Dornsife School of Public Health were designed to support carefully targeted faculty research in critical areas of urban and public health, nationally and internationally, while engaging students in key areas of public health practice. Each initiative reflects the School’s commitment to partnering with community members, health professionals, and organizations.


Mural on the side of a building

Urban Health Collaborative

The Urban Health Collaborative works to improve health in cities by increasing scientific knowledge and public awareness of health disparities and methods of improving health for urban residents around the world. Center activities include promoting policies and partnerships that promote health and reduce health inequalities in the United States and Latin America.

Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH, director
Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH, co-director

Women playing with children

A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

The A.J. Drexel Autism Institute is the first organization dedicated to using a public health approach to study autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Institute’s team of leading researchers works across multiple disciplines to generate and translate knowledge about autism's character, causes, and consequences into community-based action to improve the lives of people affected by ASD.

Diana L. Robins, PhD, director

Photo from Witness to Hunger Project

Center for Hunger-Free Communities

The Center for Hunger-Free Communities is a research, advocacy, and policy center that develops science-based solutions to the challenges of hunger and poverty, focusing on the human experience. Center programs include the Building Wealth and Health Network, Children’s HealthWatch, the EAT Café, and Witnesses to Hunger. 

Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH, director

Girl wrapped in blanket

Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication

The Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication (CPHRC) conducts research and provides service and education in the field of public health emergency preparedness. The Center works to increase the public health infrastructure and capacity for disaster response and recovery, and enhance community preparedness and resilience, especially for at-risk individuals.

Esther Chernak, MD, MPH, FACP, director

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. The work is focused in four major areas: Healing Hurt People - A Violence Intervention Program, Training, Research, and Policy.

John Rich, MD, MPH, director

Firefighter talking with another man

Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST)

The FIRST Center supports the U.S. fire and rescue service through objective data collection and analysis. The Center’s work is focused on three major areas: Injury Data Evaluation and Analysis (IDEA), Fire Service Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS), and Stress and Violence in fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER). The Center also sponsors the Fire Service Injury Research, Epidemiology, and Evaluation Fellowship.

Jennifer Taylor, PhD, MPH, CPPS, director


two women excercising

The Council on Black Health

The Council on Black Health (CBH), formerly the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), is a network of scholars and community-based research partners located in more than 20 United States cities. The Council and its partners foster dialogue on Black health issues and generate and disseminate solutions to achieve healthy Black communities.

Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, founder and chair

infant with doctor and mother

Maternal Child Health Program

The MCH Program is one of five MCHB/HRSA-funded MCH Public Health Catalyst Programs in the United States. As a multidisciplinary coalition of academics, clinicians, and students, its mission 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, chair