Georgia Southern University

Professors Selected for NIH Training on Translational Health Disparities

Two professors from Georgia Southern University are on campus at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  in Bethesda, Md., for two weeks at the NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Translational Health Disparities course. Simone Charles, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences and John Luque, Ph.D., professor of community health from the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health were accepted as scholars for the research program. Only 20 percent of national applicants were invited to attend the NIH course.

Simone Charles

Simone Charles

The course will provide specialized instruction on the concepts, principles, methods and applications of health disparities science, evidence-based practice, community-engagement and policy. “To participate in this prestigious course and be recognized as a researcher with the potential and deep commitment to addressing health disparities is indeed an honor,” explained Charles. “The course offers fresh perspectives and opportunities for collaborations around championing public health as an issue of social justice.”

Charles and Luque believe the experience will help their efforts to reduce health disparities and improve the health of rural, underserved and minority communities of southeast Georgia. “I am honored to be selected for this unique training opportunity at NIH,” said Luque. “Having attended past NIH sponsored trainings on other topics, I know the top experts in the field of health disparities research will be brought in to lead a very productive short course.”

John Luque

John Luque

Luque’s research covers Latino immigrant and migrant health, cancer prevention and control and use of social marketing in health disparities work. Charles’ research includes elimination of environmental health disparities in pediatric chronic disease prevention and management (e.g., asthma and obesity), healthy housing and engaging youth in promoting healthy communities through behavioral and social change.

“The knowledge I will gain and networks I’ll establish over the next two weeks will undoubtedly prove invaluable to promoting my own scholarship and continued commitment to addressing environmental health disparities through my work to positively impact the lives of the families in rural communities for whom we seek health equity,” said Charles.

The program is offered through joint sponsorship between NIH/NIMHD and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Charles and Luque return to campus after the conference ends on Aug. 16.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:

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