Welcome To The Center On Health Disparities

As you navigate our site, we hope you gain a better understanding of health disparities and how the initiatives developed by the Center are helping to eliminate inequities in health care.

We appreciate your interest, and we urge you to take an active role alongside us in eliminating health disparities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Click here to participate in our community engagement survey, and/or click here to join our MATCH volunteer program. 


Center News

NIH Recognizes Award-Winning Safety Training videos developed by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Health Disparities

Congratulations Dr. Rita Shiang, subject-expert Larry Mendoza and team for developing a top tier training series designed to educate and prepare future scholars in laboratory safety practices. Click the link to view the full article.



2023 Summer Immersion Scholars Program

VCU's newly formed School of Population Health (SPH), led by Interim Dean Vanessa B. Sheppard in partnership with the VCU Center on Health Disparities (CoHD) held its inaugural Summer Immersion Scholars Program Week July 24 - 28, 2023. During this week-long event the scholars, who included undergraduates from Virginia Tech, the Pennsylvania State University, and Virginia Commonwealth University, were introduced to the exciting world of population health through lectures, experiential learning and hands-on activities. The purpose of this program is to provide students interested in population health with interactions designed to develop an understanding of the role population health plays in ensuring all people have equitable capacity for health. Dr. Vanessa B. Sheppard (SPH), Dr. Marcie S. Wright (CoHD) and Ms. Alisa Brewer (CoHD; not pictured) lead the charge for the week. Our scholars had a fun and impactful experience learning about the various departments of the School of Population Health as well as how they can effect change in the world of population health. 



"A budding scientist goes to Washington" 

VCU PREP Alumni Stanley Cheatham recently gave an excellent interview with VCU News. Cheatham is 1 of 10 graduate students nationwide to be named a 2023 Washington Fellow by the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). Click the link to read in full https://medschool.vcu.edu/news/stories/a-budding-scientist-goes-to-washington/ Congratulations Stanley!  

Changing the Face of Science 

The future of biomedical research depends on a diverse pool of well-trained scientists. Yet there is a clear disparity in the number of underrepresented individuals who become biomedical researchers. 

Through our programs and community partnerships, the VCU Center on Health Disparities (CoHD) addresses this issue by identifying, preparing and nurturing underrepresented scholars for highly competitive doctoral programs and research careers in the biomedical sciences. Click on the link to see how we are Changing the Face of Science


Congratulations VCU CoHD Scholars and Alumni


Congratulations to VCU PREP Alumni Yolander Valentine on her successful defense! Dr. Valentine will begin her postdoctoral position in September 2023 a the University of Kentucky. Well done Dr. Valentine! 

Congratulations to VCU IRACDA postdoctoral fellow Dr. Trevin Glasgow on starting a new position as an Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences a the University of Virginia in July 2023. Congratulations Dr. Glasgow! 

Congratulation to VCU IRACDA postdoctoral fellow Dr. Eva Lancaster! Dr. Lancaster is moving on to an AAAS Science and Technology Fellowship at NIH in August 2023. Dr. Lancaster will be working on the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity. 


Congratulations to our graduates!

Dr. Kennedy Goldsborough (VCU PREP Alumni/ VCU IMSD PhD Affiliate
Dr. Edna Santos-Mayen (VCU IMSD PhD)
Dr. Elsamani Abdelfadiel (VCU IMSD PhD)


Congratulations to IMSD PhD Alumni Bryan McKiver for winning first place in the VCU Graduate Research Symposium.

IMSD Undergraduate scholar Gabriella Daire received the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship in March 2023. VCU IMSD Undergraduate Scholars and alumni receive prestigious NSF Award. Click here to learn more. Congratulations to Santiago Lopez on receiving the NSF award. Read about her experience here . IMSD Undergraduate Alumni Ariana De Castro successfully defended her dissertation in March 2023. Congratulations Dr. De Castro! 

Nana Twumasi-Ankrah (IMSD UG Alumni), Vidal Bejar-Padilla (IMSD UG Alumni) and Santiago Lopez (IMSD UG Scholar) received NSF-GRFP funding in March 2023. Nana is currently studying Bioinformatics at Harvard University. Vidal is currently studying Cellular and Molecular Biology at University of Texas Austin. Santiago will be studying Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. Congratulations to all of our scholars current and past! 


Four standouts in research training program for underrepresented students earn their doctorates

 Click here to learn more.