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Centers and Institutes

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The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is home to several research-funded and interprofessional centers, whose members engage in public health research, service and teaching:

Applied Health Policy Institute

The Applied Health Policy Institute is a training ground for the next generation of health policy leaders and a catalyst for policies that improve public health. Experts, such as professors, epidemiologists, and healthcare providers, are often the people most qualified to contribute to effective policy formation. However, academic work is typically segregated from on-the-ground policy and politics. Decisions are instead driven by people and organizations who may not always have the content expertise or perspective to drive efficacious policies that serve the community as a whole. Therefore, we aim to translate public health expertise into policy and train public health students with skills they can use to engage in policy activities both during school and when they become professionals.
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Arizona Prevention Research Center (AzPRC)

The mission of the Arizona Prevention Research Center (AzPRC) is to partner with communities to improve the health and well-being of people living in the U.S.-Mexico Border states through research, training, advocacy and policy change. The AzPRC houses diverse programs and activities that use community-based participatory action research to focus on the prevention of chronic disease in the border region. The philosophy of the AzPRC is that improving health outcomes requires a collaborative partnership between universities and communities. Visit the website:

Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center

The Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center is an interdisciplinary Center of Excellence at the University of Arizona dedicated to research, clinical care, medical education, and community service in the areas of adult and pediatric pulmonary medicine. Lynn Gerald, PhD, MSPH, professor of health promotion sciences at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is associate director for clinical research at the Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center.

Center for Firefighter Health Collaborative Research (CFHCR)

The Center for Firefighter Health Collaborative Research works with firefighters and fire departments to study the occupational health risks that firefighters face. Our research gathers data that will inform decisions, practices, and policies to keep firefighters safer and healthier.

The Center builds on years of firefighter health research conducted by Zuckerman College of Public Health faculty in close collaboration with fire departments, research that has already had a lasting positive impact on firefighter health.

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Center for Health Disparities Research (CHDR)

The mission of the University of Arizona Center for Health Disparities Research (CHDR) is to conduct high quality, multidisciplinary research to better understand and alleviate health inequities faced by underserved and vulnerable populations in the American Southwest. Our focus is on communities at greatest risk where the unequal burden of disease is due to race, ethnicity, gender, education, socioeconomic status, disability, phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, geographic location, sexual orientation, or cultural and religious beliefs. Our vision is to promote health equity through the advancement of empirically guided, sustainable programs and interventions that promote health through community engagement.

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Center for Indigenous Environmental Health Research (CIEHR)

The Center for Indigenous Environmental Health Research (CIEHR) is a Center of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research supported by the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The overall goal of CIEHR is to partner with rural and urban indigenous communities to build capacity to measure and determine the contribution of environmental exposures to health inequities and support efforts to address these threats, including research translation and policy development. CIEHR employs a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach in its research and outreach projects. Visit the website:

Center for Rural Health (CRH)

The mission of the Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH) is to improve the health and wellness of Arizona’s rural and vulnerable populations. Established in 1982 as the Rural Health Office, it was renamed the Arizona Center for Rural Health in 2011 and moved to it's new home within the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. The Center is a hub for collaboration with rural and underserved communities in Arizona, the southwest, and the border. In 1990, congressional legislation authorized establishing the Arizona State Office of Rural Health (AzSORH) with federal funding matching 1:3 ongoing state appropriations. AzSORH is a core Center program providing technical assistance, disseminating information, and coordinating rural health partnerships and activities, in conjunction with other programs and activities to positively impact rural and border health outcomes. The AzCRH houses five state and federally funded programs: The Arizona Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Health Resources and Services Administration-HRSA), the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (HRSA), the AzCRH Navigator Consortium (CMS/CCIIO), the Arizona Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative (CDC-Arizona Department of Health Services Interagency Services Agreement (ISA), and the First Responders Opioid Training Initiative (SAMHSA-ADHS-ISA). The AzCRH faculty and staff provide data, synthesis, analysis, reports, and education to inform state, federal, and border legislative, regulatory, and program evaluation processes. Visit the website:

Global Health Institute (GHI)

The Global Health Institute's goal is to provide a comprehensive and integrated focal point for innovative public health education, scholarship, research, advocacy, and leadership training for the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health, UA and GHI' s partners. The GHI is dedicated to finding evidence-based solutions to global health problems through the education and training of tomorrow's global health leaders. The overall mission of GHI is to promote the health of individuals and communities in Arizona, the Southwest and globally through excellence in education, research & service. Visit the website:

Healthy Aging Lab

The Healthy Aging Lab, directed by Dr. Zhao Chen, is an epidemiological research laboratory investigating causes, consequences, and effective interventions for common health conditions in older people. Ongoing studies in the lab focus on similarities and differences in etiologies and health effects of osteoporosis (low bone mass and high fracture risk), sarcopenia (low skeletal muscle mass and strength), and anemia (low hemoglobin level) across different racial/ethnic groups of older women. Learn more...

Southwest Center on Resilience for Climate Change and Health

The Southwest Center on Resilience for Climate Change and Health (SCORCH) is dedicated to research and programs that will empower communities in dry regions, both locally and globally, to adapt to the health risks of climate change and to build health equity as heat, drought, wildfires, and other climate crises threaten population health. Visit the SCORCH website

Skin Cancer Institute

The Skin Cancer Institute (SCI) is a unique partnership focused on patient care, community outreach, research and education as strategies to prevent and cure skin cancer. The Institute’s vision is to serve as the model for community-based skin cancer research and care in the United States. The partnership includes faculty from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Optical Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and the Arizona Cancer Center. Robin Harris, PhD, professor and epidemiologist at the College of Public Health, is co-director of the Skin Cancer Institute. The SCI unifies many skin cancer related activities at the University of Arizona into one coordinated entity, bringing together innovative research, visionary clinical care, and life-changing education and outreach “under one roof.” Visit the website:

The Environmental, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center (ESRAC)

UA researchers excel at interdisciplinary collaboration across a broad range of topics related to environmental hazard identification and human health effects. The Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, integrates public health impact assessment across existing environmental research disciplines. Visit the website:

Western Mining Safety and Health Training Resource Center

The University of Arizona created the Western Mining Safety and Health Resource Training Center under the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Western Training Grant to support the occupational health needs of the mining community. This interdisciplinary collaborative program spans the Departments of Mining and Geological Engineering; Teaching, Learning, and SocioCultural Studies in the College of Education; and the Department of Community, Environment and Policy at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

The Training Resource Center provides timely and relevant mining community-specific information, resources, and methods that increases the capacity and efficacy of exposure measurement, safety training, and leadership for miners. The Training Resource Center offers (1) a full range of Mining Safety and Health Administration safety courses on a regular schedule; (2) courses on adult and English language learner education for trainers; (3) mining leadership; (4) industrial hygiene and occupational health support; and (4) technology integration. Visit the website:

WEST Environmental Justice Center

The Western Environmental Science Technical Assistance Center for Environmental Justice (WEST EJ Center), funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, provides community organizations and groups with free hands-on help, training, resources, and support to tackle environmental or energy justice challenges. The Center serves Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawai’i, and the US Affiliated Pacific Islands. Visit the WEST EJ Center website

Western Regional Public Health Training Center (WRPHTC)

The Western Region Public Health Training Center provides free training and continuing education for the public health workforce in Region 9 of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which covers Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. 

We are a consortium of public health professionals that have a mission to develop, provide and monitor need-based trainings for current and future community health workers to strengthen their public health competencies. We also provide additional expertise in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and obesity to the national network of Public Health Training Centers.

The consortium consists of a local performance site at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; University of Nevada, Reno, School of Community Health Sciences; University of Hawai’i, Manoa, Department of Public Health Sciences; Pacific Island Health Officers Association; and University of California, San Francisco, ant the California Area Health Education Center Program.

Our vision is to have a strong collaborative public health network and public health workforce that collectively works towards the development of healthy communities in HRSA Region 9 and the Nation. Visit the website:

Zuckerman Family Center for Prevention and Health Promotion (ZFCPHP)

The Zuckerman Family Center for Prevention and Health Promotion (ZFCPHP) is dedicated to helping people achieve and maintain healthy lives by providing a variety of opportunities that facilitate and support growth toward health and well-being. The ZFCPHP fosters the collaboration of academic, community and public health stakeholders by using research, education, advocacy, awareness, and service delivery to improve the health and well-being of the Tucson community. The ZFCPHP supports practical application of strategies that can assist individuals and communities in adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyles. The center has partnered with local health service providers, other colleges within the university, and faith-based organizations to deliver quality health education in the area of diet, physical activity and obesity prevention. The goal of the ZFCPHP is to promote health and wellness in the greater Tucson area, thus establishing Tucson as the center of wellness for the U.S. Visit the website:

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