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New “Pop-Up Institute” Focuses on Health Disparities

New “Pop-Up Institute” Focuses on Health Disparities

Faculty from the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences will participate in a new Pop-Up Institute investigating how discrimination based on race, ethnicity, social class or LGBTQ status impacts health outcomes. The group, a roster of experts from many disciplines and departments across campus, will be led by Stephen Russell, the Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor in Child Development and the incoming chair of the HDFS.

“We want to nurture research that will help understand discrimination – and dismantle how it undermines health,” says Russell of the new working group Discrimination and Population Health Disparities.

The Pop-Up Institute housed in Human Ecology is one of the three interdisciplinary initiatives announced by UT Austin this week. Pop-Up Institutes are a campus-wide research initiative designed to address specific goals. Multidisciplinary teams at UT Austin will spend the upcoming academic year preparing for a burst of activity focused on a specific area of research. These Institutes will then ‘Pop Up’ for one month — longer than an academic conference, but less than a dedicated research center or program.

“This novel approach gives distinguished researchers the time and space to work together outside of traditional disciplines and think about an important problem in a new way,” says Dan Jaffe, vice president for research at UT Austin. “I am confident we will see remarkable results and build new connections across campus.”

The Office of the Vice President for Research will host a Town Hall meeting to introduce the Institutes and their team members on September 15. This event is open to the entire UT community and will provide campus researchers an opportunity to contribute their perspectives to the new Institutes.