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Meet our Researchers
Get to know UC Merced's muliti-disciplinary researchers addressing health disparities
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Opportunities for Students
Find out more about health disparities research opportunities for students
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Professor Jennifer Hahn Holbrook examines differing breastfeeding rates among American women 

Health Disparities Research at UC Merced

As defined by the CDC, health disparities are preventable differences in the burdens of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities. UC Merced researchers across disciplines are addressing health disparities and developing innovative solutions.

There are also opportunties for both undergraduate and graduate students to receive further training in this area of research. 

About Our Region

How are health disparities relevant in the San Joaquin Valley? 

While the 11 counties that comprise the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) and surrounding foothill communities make up the fastest growing region in the state where agriculture, oil and land development generate significant wealth, they also exhibit its highest levels of income disparities and rank poorly on an index of health factors reflecting health/risk behaviors, access to care and physical environment.  

This region reports prevalence rates higher than the national average for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, overweight/obesity, current smoking and psychological distress.  

Across the SJV, differences in disease prevalence and limited or better health disparities in some conditions demonstrate the need to examine both the risks and resilience of individuals, families and communities.  

Our region's racial, ethnic and socio-economic diversity provides an opportunity to examine rural health and health disparities as well as disparities within rural communities. 

 

Featured News

A machine developed in Professor Reza Ehsani's lab improves almond harvests by reducing the amount of dust stirred up as the nuts are gathered from the ground.
July 29, 2021

With a new $20 million federal grant, UC Merced becomes part of a multi-institutional research collaborative to develop artificial intelligence — or AI — solutions to tackle some of agriculture’s...

Professor Colleen Naughton with the 2021 FACTS Summer Bridge Program students.
July 21, 2021

While many are preparing to head off to college after an unprecedented year, a handful of students are already on UC Merced’s campus and working away in research labs. They’re part of the inaugural...

July 15, 2021
Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe explains what causes a dust bowl and that soil loss is such a serious issue because it takes 100 years to create an inch of soil.
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