At the broadest level, the goals for this cluster are to improve population health in the community, state, region, nation, and world by identifying, understanding, and addressing health needs and health disparities. A special focus of the cluster is on the disadvantaged segments of these populations, which are often underserved by existing health care systems due to historically unequal treatment or injustice.
To accomplish these goals, research scientists within the Health Disparities cluster form multidisciplinary collaborative research teams and partnerships to devise highly competitive research proposals aimed at identifying, understanding, and remediating health disparities in the general population of Alabama, the larger Southeastern Region, the Nation, and ultimately the world beyond national boundaries. Membership in this cluster is diverse and research interests of faculty scientists in the cluster range from areas of biomedicine, including obesity, diabetes, dementia, developmental disabilities, and cancer to socio-ecological factors that influence health and health-related behavioral decisions, including environmental toxins, dietary and exercise choices, income levels and accessibility to available services related to somatic and mental health, and attitudes concerning preferred body sizes and satisfaction with body size. The health disparities cluster also is committed to dissemination and translation of research discoveries to the widest range of potential audiences. These audiences include the relevant scientific communities, clinical professionals who act directly to maintain and promote public health, policy makers, the participants in research studies, and the public at large. Through dissemination and translation, the cluster members affect science, policy, and practices related to health and health disparities.
Members of the cluster are also committed to interdisciplinary education and training of undergraduate and graduate students that crosses traditional academic boundaries of colleges, schools, and departments, in order to train a new generation of health disparities scholars and practitioners. This commitment is realized through inclusion of both undergraduate and graduate students in ongoing research, serving as guest lecturers in courses currently being taught at Auburn (e.g., within the public health minor offered through the College of Veterinary Medicine), and development of seminars and courses not currently offered at Auburn University.
Department of Human Development and Family Studies: https://aufacultypositions.peopleadmin.com/postings/1251
Harrison School of Pharmacy: https://aufacultypositions.peopleadmin.com/postings/1298
Department of Psychology: https://aufacultypositions.peopleadmin.com/postings/1324
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management: https://aufacultypositions.peopleadmin.com/postings/1349
School of Nursing: https://aufacultypositions.peopleadmin.com/postings/1355
The Health Disparities cluster includes members from 10 colleges and schools at Auburn University:
College of Agriculture
College of Education
College of Architecture, Design and Construction
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
College of Human Sciences
College of Liberal Arts
School of Nursing
Harrison School of Pharmacy
College of Science and Mathematics
College of Veterinary Medicine
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
For this initiative the College of Human Sciences, the Harrison School of Pharmacy, the School of Nursing, and the College of Liberal Arts served as cluster sponsors by identifying open positions within the unit that would be designated as having a primary research focus on health disparities.
Brian E. Vaughn, Ph.D.
Health Disparities Cluster Leader
Department of Human Development & Family Studies
203 Spidle Hall Auburn University, AL 36849
Last Updated: November 4, 2015