Research by Department/Institute and Centers
The Department of Behavioral and Community Health(BCH) studies the cultural and behavioral factors that influence health in order to develop innovative methods for prevention and treatment. We aim to train and cultivate behavioral and community health professionals who understand the theory and practice of public health and are committed to applying this knowledge to tackle current and emerging public health issues.
Current research initiatives include developing cancer prevention programs in faith-based communities, preventing and controlling smoking and tobacco use, addressing minority health and health disparities, and promoting oral health literacy.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics provides rigorous training in the fundamental sciences underlying public health practice. Our mission is to improve health and reduce health disparities in local communities, the state of Maryland, and the nation.
Current epidemiology projects include developing cancer prevention and survivorship programs in Asian-American communities, using a social network approach to study risky behaviors for HIV/STIs, and examining the impact of racial minority stress on accelerated biological aging, mortality, and other health outcomes.
Current Biostatistics projects include testing the theory that monthly loss of iron through menses protects against atherosclerosis, and analyzing brain networks to identify biomarkers of mental health disorders using fMRI data.
The Department of Family Science advances the concept of family well-being as the foundation for a healthy society by exploring issues such as parenting and couple relationships; poverty, domestic violence, and family finance; mental health, maternal and child health, and disparities; and family and health policy.
Recent research and service projects include a state-funded program supporting the mental health needs of Maryland veterans and their families, a school-based effort to improve nutrition and reduce obesity among low-income children, and investigations of how children’s time spent watching or playing with media, studying and participating in sports impacts health.
Department of Health Services Administration
The Department of Health Services Administration focuses on eliminating disparities in access to health care, improving its delivery and management, creating effective health services policy and financing public health services delivery, and providing services where they are needed most.
Recent research studies have focused on documenting the impact of recession on the health care spending of different socio-economic groups, increasing support services for caregivers of veterans and military families, and examining the link between postpartum depression and health care costs. The departmetn additionally leads the university’s interdisciplinary Center on Aging, dedicated to healthy and productive aging and the creation of age-friendly communities.
The department of Kinesiology focuses on the interdisciplinary study of physical activity and its complex role in human health. Kinesiology spans from molecular and physiological studies to the examination of sport and societal approaches to physical activity and health throughout the lifespan.
Recent research projects include measuring the impact of exercise on brain health and memory in those at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, designing a movement training device to rehabilitate those with balance disorders, and examining how people from different socio-cultural backgrounds experience health and physical activity.
Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
The Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health (MIAEH) conducts groundbreaking research to better understand the role of environmental factors on human health and to inform public health interventions through both policy changes and community engagement.
The Institute focuses not only on the impacts of air, water, food, and soil quality on human health, but also on the critical contributions of built, natural, social, economic, and work environments. Recent projects include studying farming practice’s influence on the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, air pollution’s impact on asthma, community engagement to assess health risks on the Anacostia watershed, and mechanisms of flu transmission.