NIH Health Disparities Interest Group

The NIH Health Disparities Interest Group (HDIG) fosters connection, dialogue and information exchange to advance biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and population sciences research to further understanding of health disparities and illuminate interventions to reduce and eliminate health disparities. Learn more about the NIH HDIG and health disparities.

NIH HDIG Listserv


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NIH HDIG Inaugural Workshop


With NIMHD DIR, the NIH HDIG invites nationally renowned speakers to present foundational as well as cutting-edge research related to health disparities. The seminars are held three to four times a year.

Dr. Katie Schultz

Tuesday, March 14, 2023
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. ET

Strengths, Community, and Frameworks to Advance American Indian and Alaska Native Health Equity

Katie Schultz, MSW, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Social Work
University of Michigan

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Dr. Katie Schultz (she/her) is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan with a research focus on health equity among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations.

Drawing on community-based participatory research approaches, she focuses primarily on responding to violence and understanding community and cultural connectedness in AI/AN communities. She is interested in innovative conceptual and methodological approaches to research with tribal communities and health promotion rooted in Indigenous knowledges and sustainable solutions by and for Native peoples. Active projects include:

  • A study focused on identifying risk pathways and correlates associated with lowered recidivism among AI/AN individuals with involvement in criminal legal systems in Alaska (NIDA; R21DA050518).
  • Investigating social networks among American Indian adolescents and associations with substance use, violence, and suicide (NIDA; R21DA053789).
  • Collaborating with a statewide coalition to describe the use of culturally-honoring services in tribal advocacy programs in Michigan.

For lecture questions, email Dami Kim.

Individuals who need reasonable accommodation to participate should contact Dami Kim (phone: 301-402-1366) at least five business days before the event.

NIH HDIG/NIMHD DIR Seminar Library

Dr. Claire E. Margerison

Pregnancy: A Window to Address Health Inequities Across the Lifecourse

Tuesday, December 13, 2022
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. ET

Claire E. Margerison, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Michigan State University

Seminar conducted December 13, 2022 (1 hour)

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Dr. Tamarra James-Todd

Environmental Reproductive Justice: a Solution-Based Approach to Women’s Health Disparities

Tamarra James-Todd, Ph.D., MPH
Mark and Catherine Winkler Associate Professor of Environmental Reproductive Epidemiology
Director, Environmental Reproductive Justice Lab
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

Seminar conducted September 13, 2022 (1 hour)

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Janet M. Stovall

Insights on Inclusion: Erase, Engage, Enact

Janet M. Stovall, MPS
Global Head of DEI
NeuroLeadership Institute

Seminar conducted June 14, 2022

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A global speaker, facilitator, writer and consultant, Janet M. Stovall helps business do what she believes only business can: dismantle systemic inequity, especially where it intersects with race.

She works with leaders to uncover the true value of diversity for their organizations, and offers straightforward, objective solutions to unlock that value. Collectively, her three TED talks challenging business to get serious about inclusion have 2.5 million views. Ragan Communications named her one of the Top Women in Communications and a Diversity Champion.

Dr. Margarita Alegría

The Role for Feasible and Sustainable Interventions in Reducing Health Disparities

Margarita Alegría, Ph.D.
Chief, Disparities Research Unit
Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry Harvard Medical School

Virtual seminar conducted October 12, 2021

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Margarita Alegría, Ph.D., has spent most of her career working on how to reduce health disparities for populations of color, immigrants, and linguistic minorities. Her research focuses on the improvement of health care services delivery for diverse racial and ethnic populations, conceptual and methodological issues with multicultural populations, and ways to bring the community’s perspective into the design and implementation of health services.

Dr. Alegría is currently the principal investigator of four NIH-funded research studies and has published more than 300 papers, editorials, intervention training manuals, and several book chapters. Prior to her work at Harvard, she was the director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at Cambridge Health Alliance and was previously the director of the Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research at the University of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Alegría was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine in acknowledgement of her scientific contributions to her field and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. She obtained her B.A. in psychology from Georgetown University and her Ph.D. from Temple University.

Dr. Gilbert Gee

Structural Racism: The Roots & Relations of Inequality

Gilbert Gee, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences
Fielding School of Public Health
University of California, Los Angeles

Virtual seminar conducted July 13, 2021

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Gilbert C. Gee, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. He received his bachelor degree in neuroscience from Oberlin College, his doctorate in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins University, and post-doctoral training in sociology from Indiana University. His research focuses on the social determinants of health inequities of racial, ethnic and immigrant minority populations using a multi-level and life course perspective. A primary line of his research focuses on understanding how racism affects health across multiple levels and across the life course. He has been recognized with distinctions such as a group Merit Award from the National Institutes of Health, Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Delta Omega Award for Innovative Public Health Curriculum, and the Paul Cornely Award from the Health Activist Dinner. Dr. Gee has served on several panels for the National Academy of Sciences and was also the former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Dr. Sherman A. James

To Race with the World: John Henryism and the Health of Black Americans

Sherman A. James, Ph.D.
Duke University

Virtual seminar conducted February 9, 2021

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Sherman A. James, Ph.D., has held professorships in sociology, community and family medicine, and African and African American studies at Duke University. Prior to Duke, he taught in the epidemiology departments at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (1973-89) and at the University of Michigan (1989-03). At Michigan, he was the John P. Kirscht Collegiate Professor of Public Health; the founding director of the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health; chair of the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education; and a senior research scientist in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research. James was elected to the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2000. He is a fellow of the American Epidemiological Society, the American College of Epidemiology, the American Heart Association, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. In 2016, he was inducted into the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences as the Mahatma Gandhi Fellow. In 2007-08, he served as president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER). James received his Ph.D. (psychology) from Washington University in St. Louis (1973).

About the NIH HDIG

The NIH Health Disparities Interest Group (HDIG), founded in 2014, aims to advance biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and population sciences research to further understanding of health disparities and illuminate interventions to reduce and eliminate health disparities. The NIH HDIG:

  • Fosters the exchange of ideas between intramural and extramural health disparities researchers through its joint seminars with the NIMHD Division of Intramural Research.
  • Provides a platform for health disparities scientific dialogue through its mailing list. To subscribe, please visit the NIH HDIG Listserv homepage and click “Subscribe or Unsubscribe” in the right sidebar.
  • Engages with NIH partners to promote health disparities training for trainees.

About Health Disparities

Health disparities are health differences in one or more health outcomes that adversely affect disadvantaged populations. These health outcomes include overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, and survival.

Disadvantaged populations refer to racial/ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities.

Eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity is one of the overarching goals of Healthy People 2030.

Page updated March 7, 2023