NIMHD Quarterly News

Director’s Message

Dr Eliseo Perez Stable

With each new generation, our nation has changed, yet we still have a long road ahead to reach health equity. Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the population of children from racial or ethnic minority groups is currently around 50 percent, pointing to a near future of “minority majority.” Given this reality, promoting equity in the health status of all populations is a priority that our society cannot ignore. At NIMHD, we are charged with funding research that will narrow the health disparities gap in our country. To that end, many exciting things have occurred within the past few months and are helping us come to grips with many long-standing unaddressed factors that contribute to these disparities.

NIMHD has received an increase in the annual budget to $305 million for FY 2018 and funded an increased number of R01s while sustaining our commitment to the RCMI and Centers of Excellence programs. NIMHD is proud to have funded 19 Early Stage Investigators in FY 2017. We are also very engaged in some new areas of research, having recently released FOAs addressing the opioid use disorders epidemic, liver cancer and chronic liver disease, and systems modeling.

Our efforts to improve interventions and achieve better health outcomes remain at the forefront of our activities. Through collaborations with NIH Institutes and Centers and the NIH Office of the Director, we are spearheading the development of the 2018–2022 NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan. We have engaged our stakeholders throughout the process, and this spring we held listening sessions with community-level groups across the country. The plan will be published this fall.

Our Division of Intramural Research is growing under the leadership of Dr. Anna María Nápoles, scientific director. We have plans to begin building research programs on social and behavioral sciences, population health, and genomics. Stay engaged to find out more in the coming months.

In April, we celebrated an eventful National Minority Health Month, which you will read about along with my blog post. Also, in this issue, we recognize Launick Saint-Fort, one of our research fellows, who has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award. Finally, be sure to check out the Director’s Seminar Series videocasts. We have hosted a fantastic variety of speakers since we started this back in December.

I am very pleased with the progress that this Institute is making toward health equity. We are addressing health disparities by using various research approaches and supporting the training efforts of a diverse research workforce. 

Recent Features

PTab: The Future of Evidence-Based Behavioral Intervention Delivery

Dr. Josefina Card

In 2014, the rate of new cases of HIV infection in the United States was 13.8 per 100,000, but among African Americans, that rate was an astonishing 49.4 per 100,000. Between the years 2010 and 2014, 45% of all new HIV infections, 62% of newly infected women, and 64% of newly infected children aged less than 13 years were African American. To make clearer what these numbers mean, only 13.3% of Americans are African American. Similarly, Latinos make up only 17.8% of Americans, yet 23% of new HIV infections occur among Latinos. Read more

De Madre a Madre: Lay Health Educators Reach Out to Help Hispanic Women Successfully Navigate Pregnancy

Dr. Susan Auger

Pregnancy and caring for newborns can be daunting times of life for new mothers, with unanticipated challenges and obstacles. For the 11 million Hispanic women in their childbearing years in the United States this can be overwhelming as they are twice as likely to receive late or no prenatal care as non-Hispanic White women are. Read more

When It Comes to Your Health, Location Matters

Jonathan I. Levy, Sc.D. (l) and Francine Laden, Sc.D. (r)

A study in Massachusetts has found that concentrations of two air pollutants, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, decreased significantly between 2003 and 2010, but African Americans and Hispanics living in the city continued to be exposed to a greater share of the pollutants than other racial and ethnic groups were. While African Americans and Hispanics had the greatest exposure to the pollutants, low-income families, and those with less education were also more likely to live in areas of higher exposure. Read more

Research Spotlight

Launick Saint-Fort

Launick Saint-Fort, an NIMHD Intramural Research Fellow in the Social and Behavioral Group, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Luxembourg from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Ms. Saint-Fort will conduct research at the Luxembourg Institute of Health and Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg as part of a project, “The Impact of Immigration on the State of Tobacco in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.” 

New at NIMHD

Science Day at NIH

Students at Science Day at NIH

Co-sponsored by NIMHD, the National Library of Medicine, Friends of the National Library of Medicine, and Mentoring in Medicine, Science Day at NIH took place on April 25, 2018. The overarching goal of the event was to inspire students to explore careers in health care and science. Nearly 500 students—many of them African American or Latino—participated in hands-on activities and presentations about biomedical research career options from a diverse group of scientists and other NIH staff. 

2018 Health Equity Chat

Hands of various races and ethnicity reaching together

In observance of National Minority Health Month, NIMHD hosted a Twitter #HealthEquityChat on April 18, 2018. Researchers, community organizations, and other public health professionals joined the chat to discuss partnering for health equity. Participants talked about how partnerships enable organizations to reach broader audiences and advance overarching missions, highlighted different types of partnerships, and shared resources for community members. The chat was co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and the FDA Office of Minority Health. Read highlights of the discussion

National Minority Health Month 5K Run/Walk 

Photo from 2018 NIMHD 5K/NICHD “Walk and Roll”

NIMHD, in collaboration with the NIH Office of Research Services and the Recreation and Welfare Association Fitness and Wellbeing Program, hosted a Minority Health 5K Walk/Run on April 11, 2018. The NIH staff walked and ran around the perimeter of the NIH campus. View the video recap

NIMHD Director’s Seminar Series 

Dr. Giselle Corbie-Smith

On April 13, 2018, NIMHD welcomed the second NIMHD Director’s Seminar Series speaker: Giselle Corbie-Smith, M.D., M.Sc. Dr. Corbie-Smith is a Professor of Social Medicine and Medicine and Director of the Center for Health Equity Research at the University of North Carolina. She presented on “Valuing their Voice: Creating an Infrastructure to Support Patient-Centered and Community Engaged Research.” View the videocast

Dr. Tung Nguyen

Tung Nguyen, M.D., Director of the Asian American Research Center on Health (ARCH), presented at the NIMHD Director’s Seminar Series on May 16, 2018. Dr. Nguyen spoke on “Asian American Cancer Health Disparities: Updates and Innovations.” View the videocast

Genomics and Health Disparities Lecture Series 

Dr. José C. Florez

On February 22, 2018, the Genomics and Health Disparities Lecture Series featured José C. Florez, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Diabetes Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Institute Member at the Broad Institute. Dr. Florez spoke on “Leveraging genomics to illuminate race/ethnicity differences in type 2 diabetes.” Watch the lecture video

On the Blog

Partnerships, An Important Factor in Advancing Health Equity

Dr. Eliseo Perez-Stable, NIMHD Director

Each year in April, the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leads our sister HHS agencies in commemorating National Minority Health Month. This year’s theme, “Partnering for Health Equity,” is a sustainable message which we not only recognize this month but also put into practice all year long through our research, training, and outreach programs and activities. Read more

Improving Diversity in Basic Biomedical Research

Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D. Director, NIGMS

Fostering a diverse and inclusive future workforce has long been a key priority for National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The Institute strongly believes that incorporating a full range of perspectives, skills, and experiences will benefit the biomedical research enterprise—and our society as a whole. This standpoint is one of the factors that attracted me to the NIGMS Director’s position. Read more

Funding Opportunities and Notices

  • Addressing Challenges of the Opioid Epidemic in Minority Health and Health Disparities Research in the U.S. (R01/R21)
  • Improving Patient Adherence to Treatment and Prevention Regimens to Promote Health (R01/R21)
  • Research on the Health of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Populations (R01/R21)
  • Administrative Supplements for Research on Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Populations (PO1
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS): Population, Clinical and Applied Prevention Research (R01/R21

Recent Staff Publications