While the topics that individual UGA Public Health researchers address range from tuberculosis to mental health, and substance abuse to wastewater epidemiology to dementia, one defining feature of our work is the embrace of team science.

These centers and research cores represent a commitment to excellence in multi-disciplinary funded research.

Center for Applied Pathogen Epidemiology and Outbreak Response (CAPE)

CAPE is one of five CDC-funded national Pathogen Genomics Centers of Excellence. This program aims to link academic units with state public health departments to advance the use of molecular approaches to inform public health responses to infectious disease outbreaks. The goal of the funding opportunity is to more closely link molecular epidemiology studies being conducted in academic institutions with public health practice and prepare the workforce with skills to use multiple data streams and modeling approaches to respond to infectious disease threats more effectively. Some program research highlights include the development of new sequencing approaches (led by Travis Glenn and Magdy Alabady), the development of novel statistical approaches to identify transmission clusters (Leke Lyu – PhD student, Justin Bahl), and the integration of clinical and wastewater sequence data to improve molecular tracking of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance (Gabriella Veytsel PhD candidate, Erin Lipp). The team has contributed to the Mpox outbreak response, and contributions to the national preparedness and public health response to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak in domestic animals.

Contact: Justin Bahl

Cognitive Aging Research and Education (CARE) Center

The CARE Center’s mission is to improve access to diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia for families in need, as well as post-diagnosis support services. The CARE Center provides brain health and dementia prevention education to communities across the state, and it provides accredited continuing education and medical education for healthcare providers to support care for patients living with these diseases. The CARE Center consists of an integrated care memory clinic, with faculty, staff, and student participation from 11 different Colleges at the University of Georgia. The CARE Center also has a rural health hub and innovation space, where the team develops new tools for preventing, diagnosing, and treating Alzheimer’s disease in rural and medically underserved communities. Within the hub, CARE faculty train undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with a passion for understanding and preventing these diseases.

Website: carecenter.uga.edu
Contact: Lisa Renzi-Hammond

Family Matters Georgia

Family Matters Georgia is a multi-site cohort study based in Twin Cities, MN and Athens, GA that examines multiple manifestations of structural racism and discrimination at individual, neighborhood, and societal/policy levels in 1,000 families with children between ages 8-14. The study aims to understand how parent and child lived experiences of these stressors activate disease processes that affect mental, physical, and behavioral health outcomes across the life course. Researchers will use this information to develop new types of interventions at both individual and higher structural levels to help adults and children of diverse race and ethnic backgrounds to thrive from pre-adolescence through adulthood. This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH) and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Contact: Allan Tate

High Obesity Program

The Georgia High Obesity Program (HOP) is a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and implemented by the University of Georgia. The current program funding cycle runs from 2023 to 2028 and focuses on implementing nutrition and physical activity strategies in ten Georgia counties with an adult obesity prevalence of 40% or higher. In its first year, HOP is working to increase community access to healthy foods and physical activity in Clay, Dooly, Stewart, and Rockdale Counties. The College of Public Health, College of Environment + Design, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and UGA Extension are working collaboratively with the CDC and other partners to make Georgia counties healthier for living, working, and play.

Contact: Heather Padilla

Research & Service Groups

In addition to Centers and COREs, the UGA College of Public Health is home to teams that combine expertise in a particular public health area with outreach and research. These include the: