Welcome to the RCHDR!

Paul B. Tchounwou, ScD, FABI, IOM, DFIETI, FASI
Principal Investigator & Center Director

Welcome to the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Center for Health Disparities Research (RCHDR) at Jackson State University (JSU). Through this site, you will find relevant information on strategic activities implemented by the Center.

The RCHDR at JSU is a specialized research center funded by a grant (U54MD015929) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). RCHDR’s mission is to develop an efficient and robust biomedical infrastructure that will allow JSU investigators to conduct innovative biomedical, behavioral, and or clinical research aimed at improving minority health and reducing or eliminating health disparities.

Health statistics indicate that Mississippi leads the nation in cardiovascular disease mortality rate, has the second highest diabetes mortality rate in the nation, and ranks third nationally in cancer mortality rate and premature death and disability from various chronic illnesses. Health disparity diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and most recently COVID-19 are the most prevalent, costly, and preventable causes of death. Such disparities have been attributed to a multitude of risk factors such as inadequate access to care, poor quality of care, poor environmental conditions, socio-economic determinants, and personal behaviors.

Our strategic plan focuses on three main goals which are to: 1) Provide an excellent biomedical research environment that fosters team science and promotes the development and implementation of innovative research on important health issues of concern to minorities and underserved communities; 2) Provide career enhancement opportunities to develop the biomedical research skills of our early stage investigators and facilitate their transition to research independence; and 3) Establish strong community-academic partnerships to foster community participatory research and translate the research findings to improve minority health and reduce health disparities.

Serving as a catalyst for scientific discoveries on the underlying causes and mechanisms that result in health disparities, the RCHDR is comprised of seven major components that include an Administrative Core that provides administrative and managerial oversight of all program activities, a Research Infrastructure Core that provides laboratory resources and technical expertise in new biomedical research technologies, an Investigator Development Core that provides funding for innovative Pilot projects conducted by promising early-stage investigators, a Community Engagement Core that fosters community engagement and research participation and facilitates the translation of research findings, and three Research projects. The PIs of the three Research projects, as well as PIs of anticipated Pilot projects, conduct high impact research that will lead to novel discoveries in the science of health disparities.

Through our dedication to the RCHDR’s mission, I am confident that this monumental development and success will be sustained. Again, welcome to the Jackson State University‚Äôs RCMI-Center for Health Disparities Research web site. I hope that you will find it informative and useful.

With best wishes,

Paul B. Tchounwou, ScD, FABI, IOM, DFIETI, FASI

Principal Investigator & Center Director