The Research Core provides leadership and oversight as well as offering novel methodological services and innovative uses of data. Coordinates methodological support across 3 research projects that explore the determinants of health disparities across multiple levels of organization from genetic determinants through behaviors and the social environment. Combines spatial data from a newly developed OurSpace Neighborhood Database with individual-level data from CHARM research sub-projects to better serve those investigators. Synthesizes results of the 3 CHARM projects in order to develop models (complex system etiological models and intervention models). Illustrates relationships and the likely impact events in adolescence and young adulthood have on disparities in later life. Extend an existing model for understanding policy implementations of interventions in California.

These models allow for a conceptualization of the intersecting factors that place minority adolescents and young adults at risk for disease and for projection of the impact of interventions to mitigate chronic disease risk in these populations. Such models also allow for the identification of additional research question and are also useful tools to convey the impact of research project findings to the public and to policy makers.

The Research Core is led by Dr. Robert Hiatt.


Research Projects:


Genetics of Asthma and Obesity in Latino youth

Asthma and obesity are leading public health concerns that disproportionately affect low income and minority children. Epidemiological studies have consistently shown an association between asthma and obesity, although the causal relationship of this association remains unclear. Among all U.S. populations, asthma prevalence is highest in Puerto Ricans and lowest in Mexican Americans.  Obesity is high in both populations.  Obese asthma may be a unique phenotype of asthma, with a more difficult clinical course and altered response to asthma control therapy.  read more...



Preventing type 2 diabetes in high risk young adult women using automated telephone support

Women with prior gestational diabetes (GDM) represent the single most identifiable risk group for subsequent rapid onset of Type 2 diabetes (DM), with estimates that women with prior GDM have 7 times the risk of developing diabetes relative to women with normal-glycemic pregnancies.

Latina and Asian women are at high risk of GDM and subsequent diabetes and are likely to face additional language and literacy barriers that may reduce the impact of available behavior change interventions for reducing diabetes risk.  read more...



Social interventions to address disparities in young adult tobacco use

This project develops and pilot tests novel tobacco control interventions to address disparities and reduce smoking among young adults (age 18-25) attending bars and nightclubs in the SF Bay Area.  Almost all tobacco prevention efforts concentrate on preventing children and adolescents from experimenting with cigarettes despite the fact that the transition from experimentation to regular smoking and addiction often occurs during young adulthood. The tobacco industry has invested millions of dollars in sophisticated marketing research on young adults, and has a long history of campaigns targeting minority and other vulnerable populations.  read more...



Created by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in NYC, on display for two years and available to all public high schools in the U.S., the Genes and Health--Moving Beyond Race video features CHARM investigator Esteban Burchard's lab.