The National Institutes of Health has announced the awarding of 10 new Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities. The centers are designed to advance understanding of and address inequities associated with cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death in the US. The program is supported by the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI); the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). NCI and NHLBI will each contribute $10 million per year in grant funding over the next 5 years, for total funding of $100 million. OBSSR will provide support for annual meetings.
The 10 centers will support transdisciplinary collaborations among biological, medical, behavioral, social, and public health scientists. Each center will play a key role in the training of transdisciplinary researchers in collaborative team science. The goal is to increase the rigor and impact of science that addresses factors associated with health disparities.
Awarded institutions with projects specific to cancer populations include: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle (improving the understanding of breast cancer in the Latina population); Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston (addressing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities as related to lung cancer); Ohio State University, Columbus (reducing cervical cancer incidence in Appalachia); University of Illinois at Chicago (addressing how community health clinics can more effectively identify and monitor patients at risk for aggressive breast cancer, and determining how biological factors, such as DNA methylation, may promote aggressive breast cancer disproportionately among women of color); and University of Washington (with research projects on lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer in American Indian/Alaska Native populations).