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Quick Facts

The Institute for Health Research and Policy is the home and incubator for multidisciplinary health research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The institute was established in 1997 to stimulate and support high-quality campus research aimed at improving health practices and policies through a multidisciplinary perspective.

The institute is UIC's largest research unit, and its mission is approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Administered through the School of Public Health (SPH) on behalf of deans of all UIC colleges, the institute brings together faculty researchers from more than 8 colleges and 30 departments to:

  • Address complex population health issues, including obesity, tobacco use, diabetes, cancer and an aging society;
  • Examine behavioral, policy and socioeconomic influences on health; and
  • Develop and test interventions to resolve health challenges.

In all its work, IHRP research aims to understand and reduce racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the prevalence and burdens of the top causes of death and disability in the United States.

Our researchers partner with leaders and residents throughout Illinois to improve their communities’ health, and collaborate with scientists around the world. We train new investigators and mentor faculty at all stages of their research careers.


The institute has been directed by Robin J. Mermelstein, PhD since August 2008. A UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Mermelstein holds an appointment in the Department of Psychology and the SPH Division of Community Health Sciences. She is the principal investigator of an extensive longitudinal study, the Social and Emotional Contexts of Adolescent Smoking Patterns, or SECASP, study, and other tobacco control studies.

Marian Fitzgibbon, PhD, professor of pediatrics in the UIC College of Medicine and of health policy and administration in the UIC School of Public Health, and David DuBois, PhD, professor of community health sciences in the School of Public Health, are IHRP associate directors.

Organizational Structure

Three centers comprise the Institute for Health Research and Policy:

An executive team, which reports to the director, directs the institute's Communications, Human Resources, Methodology Research Core, Research Administration, and Research Technology.

Cross-Campus Collaboration

Copyright University of Illinois Board of TrusteesThe institute supports the research of faculty members across campus as well as that of nonfaculty, independent investigators whose university appointments are based at the institute. IHRP faculty-scientists come from nine colleges across campus:

These faculty-scientists represent myriad disciplines in 36 departments:

Biobehavioral Health Science; Biopharmaceutical Sciences; Bioengineering; Biopharmaceutical Sciences; Communication; Community Health Sciences; Computer Science; Dermatology; Disability and Human Development; Economics; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Family Medicine; Health Policy and Administration; Health Systems Science; Kinesiology and Nutrition; Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy; Medicine (Divisions of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics; Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism; Hematology and Oncology; Nephrology); Neurology and Rehabilitation; Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences; Pathology; Pediatrics (Divisions of General Pediatrics and Developmental Pediatrics, and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine); Periodontics; Pharmacy Practice; Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy; Physical Therapy; Psychiatry; Psychology; Public Administration; Sociology; Urology.

Learn more about the institute's history.