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UCLA General Catalog 2017-18

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    Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health

Research Centers


The field of public health addresses a wide range of issues, making it a natural for interdisciplinary collaboration. UCLA faculty members and students reach beyond traditional academic boundaries to promote cooperative exchange across disciplines. The following is a list of interdisciplinary centers sponsored by or associated with the Fielding School of Public Health.

Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health

The Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health was established in 2001 at the Fielding School of Public Health as the result of a generous gift from the Fred H. Bixby Foundation. The center has grown since then with the support of several additional Bixby Foundation gifts and promotes and supports research, training, and applied public health in the areas of population, reproductive health, and family planning. The principal focus is on reproductive health issues in developing countries, where population growth rates remain high and reproductive health services are poor or inaccessible. The center also works in reproductive health-related issues in the U.S.

Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research

The Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research is a joint program of the Fielding School of Public Health and the Geffen School of Medicine’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Since its inception in 1976, the center has been recognized throughout the Los Angeles community, nationally, and internationally. It conducts rigorous peer-reviewed research in two major program areas—the Healthy and At-Risk Populations Program and the Patients and Survivors Program.

The Healthy and At-Risk Populations Program focuses on research in primary prevention and screening/early detection among healthy populations and persons at increased risk for developing cancer. The program’s research portfolio includes cancer epidemiology, gene-environment interaction, tobacco control, nutrition and exercise, and breast, cervix, prostate, and colon cancer screenings, as well as risk counseling and genetic testing of high-risk populations. The Patients and Survivors Program has as its major goal the reduction in avoidable morbidity and mortality among adult and pediatric patients with cancer and long-term survivors of cancer.

Center for Environmental Genomics

The Center for Environmental Genomics was established in May 2003 in partnership with the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The goal of the center is to bring together experts from a variety of fields, including cancer, environmental health, epidemiology, biostatistics, human genetics, pathology, and pharmacology, to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which environmental agents such as air pollutants and radiation interact with genetic predisposing factors to cause disease. A better understanding of these processes paves the way not only for targeted drug therapies, but also for targeted public health efforts to reduce environmental exposures in high-risk populations. Environmental genomics helps prevent diseases rather than waiting to cure them once they have occurred.

Center for Global and Immigrant Health

The UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health was established in 2008 and includes faculty members from all the departments in the School of Public Health, as well as the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing and the California Center for Population Research, all of whom have research or teaching interests in global and/or immigrant health. Participating faculty members have active research collaborations in more than 50 countries throughout the world, and several work both with immigrant communities in California and in the countries of origin of these communities. The center offers a regular seminar series and the Global Health Certificate available to students in any UCLA degree-granting graduate and professional programs.

Center for Global Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are a significant cause of death worldwide and a cause of concern in the U.S. One of the greatest challenges in public health and medicine is to understand the environmental and genetic factors that contribute to the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases and to develop the tools that will enable detecting and monitoring of how diseases spread, so that they can be identified and controlled before they become pandemics.

Driven by its core public health mission, the Center for Global Infectious Diseases is an intellectual collection of individuals who provide a home for sustaining and expanding research evaluating how infectious diseases evolve and how their spread can be forecast and in turn mitigated or prevented. In addition to those involved in infectious disease epidemiology and control from within public health, the center brings together an interdisciplinary group of faculty members from across the campus, including those who study microbiology, virology, immunology, molecular genetics, ecology, and the evolution of infectious diseases.

Center for Health Advancement

The UCLA Center for Health Advancement supplies enhanced analysis and evidence-based information to help policymakers decide which policies and programs can best improve health and reduce health disparities. The center analyzes a wide range of timely health improvement opportunities, identifying those supported by strong evidence. It presents and disseminates the results of these analyses in plain language to those who make and influence public- and private-sector policies and programs, and offers training and technical assistance to facilitate implementation of recommended approaches.

The center brings together faculty from multiple departments of the Fielding School of Public Health and other UCLA schools with a wide range of subject matter and methodological expertise, including expertise in nonhealth sectors, such as education, transportation, housing, environmental protection, community planning, agriculture, public welfare, and economics. It has strong collaborations with governmental public health agencies, foundations, academic institutions, and other not-for-profit organizations. Within the health sector, its work is focused on how alternative investments to wasteful expenditures in healthcare can yield greater returns.

Center for Health Policy Research

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research was established in 1994 to apply the expertise of UCLA faculty members and researchers to meet national, state, and local community needs for health policy-related research and information and to accomplish three missions: to conduct research on national, state, and local health policy issues; to offer public service to policymakers and community leaders; and to offer educational opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Sponsored by the Fielding School of Public Health and the Luskin School of Public Affairs, the center offers a collaborative health policy research environment for the leading professional schools and academic departments of UCLA. One major project is the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), one of the largest health surveys in the nation. The center also sponsors major public service programs supported by extramural grants.

Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities

The Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities (CHCFC) was established at UCLA in 1995 to address some of the most challenging health and social problems facing children and families. The center’s mission is to improve society’s ability to provide children with the best opportunities for health, well-being, and the chance to assume productive roles within families and communities.

Through a unique interdisciplinary partnership—between UCLA departments including Psychology; schools including Education, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Public Affairs, and Public Health; and providers, community agencies, and affiliated institutions—a critical mass of expertise has been assembled. This allows CHCFC to conduct activities in five major areas: child health and social services; applied research; health and social service provider training; public policy research and analysis; and technical assistance and support to community providers, agencies, and policymakers.

Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

The California State Legislature mandated that the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) be formed in 1978, when a group of chemical workers became sterile from exposure to the pesticide DBCP, a known carcinogen and reproductive toxin. With branches in the north and south of the state, COEH trains occupational and environmental health professionals and scientists, conducts research, and offers services through consultation, education, and outreach. The centers constitute the first state-supported institutions to develop new occupational and environmental health leadership in the U.S.

The COEH branch at UCLA is housed in the Center for the Health Sciences and involves the Schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Nursing. Specific COEH programs within the Fielding School of Public Health include environmental chemistry, occupational/environmental epidemiology, occupational/environmental medicine, occupational ergonomics, occupational hygiene, toxicology, gene-environment interactions, psychosocial factors in the work environment, occupational health education, and pollution prevention.

Center for Public Health and Disasters

The Center for Public Health and Disasters was established in 1997 to address the critical issues faced when a disaster impacts a community. The center promotes interdisciplinary efforts to reduce the health impacts of domestic, international, natural, and human-induced disasters. It facilitates dialog between public health and medicine, engineering, physical and social sciences, and emergency management. This unique philosophy is applied to the education and training of practitioners and researchers, collaborative interdisciplinary research, and service to the community. The multidisciplinary center staff and participating faculty members have backgrounds that include emergency medicine, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, gerontology, health services, social work, sociology, urban planning, and public health.

The center is one of 15 Academic Centers for Public Health Preparedness funded by the Centers for Disease Control. The goal of these national centers is to improve competencies of front-line workers in public health to respond to public health threats.

Global Media Center for Social Impact

The Fielding School of Public Health has established an innovative new center to increase awareness of important health issues and improve the well-being of people throughout the world by harnessing the storytelling power of television, film, music, and new media.

By collaborating with the entertainment industry and news media, the Global Media Center for Social Impact (GMI) helps content creators and reporters craft compelling stories that accurately address a full range of public health issues—from the social determinants of health to climate change and early childhood health—with the goal of impacting global health.

The center is ideally poised to engage the entertainment industry in creating storylines by linking filmmakers, writers, and other industry types with the experts and extensive resources of the school. The center also collaborates with media organizations and producers around the globe to promote exceptional storytelling, effective reporting, and interactive new media content that can help move research on population health from evidence to impact.

UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity

Academic studies and current events have converged to highlight the magnitude of potentially preventable health disparities among various population groups, and the urgency of addressing these disparities. The UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity identifies, investigates, and addresses these differences in health status and disease burden. A key feature of the center is its heavy focus on community-based intervention research to mitigate observed disparities.

The center aims to advance understanding of health disparities across the lifespan and to foster multidisciplinary research to improve the health of underserved communities. With focus on Los Angeles County, the center facilitates community and academic partnerships in research, trains new investigators in health disparities research, and assists community partners in implementing effective programs and advocating for effective policies to reduce disparities. The center also endeavors to erode the barriers preventing more effective collaboration with local health departments and other key community partners engaged in the practice of public health. It is a collaborative center without walls that includes associates from academia, government, foundations, and private/nonprofit organizations.

UCLA/RAND Prevention Research Center

The UCLA/RAND Prevention Research Center conducts studies and develops programs to improve the health and well-being of adolescents, with special emphasis on projects that involve parents of adolescents. The center is a partnership of the Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Pediatrics, RAND (a nonpartisan, private, nonprofit research institute that conducts research to improve public policy), and local communities.

The center’s multidisciplinary faculty and staff members represent the fields of public health, medicine, social and clinical psychology, sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, education, sampling, statistics, and survey design. It is innovative in its approach to community service, partnering with ethnically and economically diverse communities in Los Angeles County to identify opportunities for it to offer technical support to community groups for program implementation and assessment. The center also has partnerships with the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and other local groups.

World Policy Analysis Center

The World Policy Analysis Center aims to improve the quantity and quality of comparative data available to policymakers, citizens, civil society, and researchers around the world on policies affecting human health, development, well-being, and equity. To date, the research team has gathered detailed information on public policies in all UN member states, including labor laws, poverty reduction policies, education policies, and constitutional rights, with the goals of increasing access to this data and translating research findings into policies and programs at the global, national, and local levels. The center is committed to enhancing global health and public policy research and policy capacity across universities, governments, and international organizations.

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