Organized Research Units

Research Units


The Milken Institute School of Public Health is a renowned institution offering many academic and research opportunities. It's known for its excellent standards of research and practice, which are upheld by the various institutes, centers, and programs that operate within it. These institutes and centers are dedicated to carrying out multidisciplinary scholarship that addresses contemporary public health challenges. Some research areas include environmental health, health policy, health disparities, and global health. The institution's cores are also actively engaged in research, training, and service delivery, providing students and faculty with a rich array of resources to advance their knowledge and skills in public health.

The Milken Institute School of Public Health currently hosts the following research units: 


GWSPH Chartered Centers & Institutes


Biostatistics Center

Director: Scott Evans, MS PhD

The Biostatistics Center provides leadership and expertise to collaborative research projects in areas such as diabetes, maternal-fetal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and infectious diseases. Research studies conducted by the Center have been recognized in reports to the United States President and Congress.


BRIGHT Institute

Directors: Douglas W. Evans, PhD and Lorien Abroms, PhD

The BRIGHT Institute supports research on digital health technologies and their application to public health, promoting healthy behaviors, and preventing disease. Digital health technologies include all digital media and devices, such as the internet, mobile phones, social media, apps, SMS. The BRIGHT Institute supports faculty conducting research on the use of these technologies as platforms for interventions, to conduct surveillance (infodemiology), and to evaluate the effectiveness of new digital media as they emerge.


Center for Health and Health Care in Schools

Director: Olga Acosta Price, PhD

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) is a nonpartisan policy, applied research, resource and technical assistance center with a history of developing school-connected strategies for better health and education outcomes for children. CHHCS partners with foundations, government health and education agencies, school districts, and providers across the country to support their school-connected initiatives.


Center for Health Policy Research

Director: Leighton Ku, PhD

The Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR), founded in 1990, is dedicated to providing policymakers, public health officials, health care administrators and advocates with the information and ideas they need to improve access to quality, affordable health care and to improve health. Our faculty and research staff include seasoned health policy and public health researchers, economists, lawyers, clinicians, advocates, and former federal and state policy officials. As a key component of the Department of Health Policy and Management within Milken Institute School of Public Health, CHPR has a research and policy agenda that spans a wide range of timely topics mirroring our areas of study; this provides maximum research-based learning for students.


Center for Social Wellbeing and Development (CSWD)

Director: Mark Edberg, MA PhD

The Center for Social Well-Being and Development is a university-based research center that promotes the understanding and use of a social-ecological approach to support positive health and social outcomes to reduce vulnerability worldwide.


Climate & Health Institute

Directors: Susan Anenberg, MS PhD, Neelu Tummala, MD and Anjeni Keswani, MD

GW’s Climate & Health Institute seeks new solutions to global health and equity challenges associated with climate change, and is addressing those challenges through cross-disciplinary research, training, and action.


Computational Biology Institute

Director: Keith A. Crandall, MA PhD

The George Washington University’s Computational Biology Institute (CBI) brings together leading faculty in biology, medicine and computing to harness this information, opening new doors of discovery that have the potential to benefit millions. CBI is also maximizing the university’s unique relationships in the nation’s capital to form research partnerships and spotlight cutting edge topics that enhance human and environmental health.


The DC Metro Tobacco Research and Instruction Consortium (MeTRIC)

Director: Carla J. Berg, PhD MBA LP

The DC Metro Tobacco Research and Instruction Consortium (MeTRIC) is a partnership of DC-based experts in tobacco control Researchers from three founding institutions, the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Legacy, and Georgetown University, are at the consortium's core. These institutions are joined by a variety of organizational and community partners. Their shared mission is to tackle the tobacco problem in the DC metro area through innovative interdisciplinary research.


Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity (GWMI)

Director: Patricia Pittman, PhD

Health equity is a growing field of research. The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity (Mullan Institute) contributes to this work by focusing specifically on how the health workforce can address health equity.


Food and Health Policy Institute

Director: Barbara Kowalcyk, PhD

Building a base of evidence on policies that improve food security, encourage healthier food choices, and promote sustainable and equitable food systems.


GW Institute for Brain Health and Dementia

Directors: Melinda Power, ScD and Christina Prather, MD

The GW Institute for Brain Health and Dementia was chartered in December 2019 to bring together faculty from across GW with an interest in adult cognitive health. The Institute aims to promote and support research that will meaningfully impact lives, through promotion of brain health, prevention of cognitive loss, addressing disparities in cognitive health, and improvements in the quality of life of persons living with dementia and their caregivers.

GWSPH Non-Chartered Centers & Institutes


Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC)

Directors: Cindy Liu, MD MPH PhD and Lance Price, MSc PhD

The Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC) was created to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by engaging in research, advocacy, and science-based policy. ARAC is comprised of epidemiologists, microbiologists, communications and policy experts focused on finding out-of-the box solutions to combat antibiotic resistance.


Avance Center for the Advancement of Immigrant/Refugee Health

Director: Mark Edberg, MA PhD

The Avance Center for the Advancement of Immigrant/Refugee Health fosters an academic-community collaboration with the Latino immigrant community of Langley Park, MD, to better understand factors contributing to racial/ethnic minority health disparities specific to this and other immigrant/refugee communities. 


Center for Community Resilience

Director:  Wendy Ellis, MPH DrPH

The Center for Community Resilience provides technical assistance, facilitation, analysis and policy guidance to help institutions, organizations and collaboratives create measurable, lasting change. Our work is a solutions-based approach to preventing and mitigating Adverse Childhood Experiences in the context of Adverse Community Environments, what we call the Pair of ACEs. Teams across the country use the Building Community Resilience process and tools to help their communities not only ‘bounce back’ in the face of adversity, but bounce forward to improve outcomes for children and families.


Center for Risk Science and Public Health

Director: George Gray, PhD

The George Washington University Center for Risk Science and Public Health (CRSPH) brings together scholars and practitioners seeking to advance risk science and its application to policy for enhancing public health.


Center on Commercial Determinants of Health (CCDH)

Directors: Adnan Hyder, MD MPH PhD and Nino Paichadze, MD PhD

The Center on Commercial Determinants of Health (CCDH) is one of the first research centers in the world involved in studying and addressing the growing health burden caused by commercial determinants of health (CDoH). The center focuses on researching private sector engagement in public health as it pertains to various vulnerable populations around the world. CCDH brings a multi-disciplinary approach to not only scientific research but also advocacy, policy guidance and strengthening health systems.


DC Center for AIDS Research (D.C. CFAR)

Director: Alan Greenberg, MD MPH

The DC CFAR is a part of a larger network of Centers for AIDS Research (CFARs) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide scientific leadership and institutional infrastructure for HIV/AIDS research.


Gill-Lebovic Center for Community Health in the Caribbean and Latin America

Director: Wolfgang Munar, PhD

The Gill-Lebovic Center for Community Health in the Caribbean and Latin America is a novel research center dedicated to addressing health disparities and improving public health in the Caribbean and Latin America. We leverage the research, expertise, and experience of faculty at the Milken Institute School of Public Health and across GW to develop collaborations in the region to promote health and wellness.


GW Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health

Director: Amita N. Vyas, MHS PhD

One of 13 outstanding MCH programs across the country, all working to ensure our country has a strong pipeline of professional and academic talent to serve the physical and mental health needs of women, children, youth, and families. It is the only center in the country with policy as one of our foundational pillars. Located within the Department of Prevention and Community Health, our world-class faculty provides educational and research opportunities to students through their global and domestic work in areas including maternal health, women's and adolescent health, reproductive health, obesity, mental health, and violence against women.


Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health

Director: Julia Strasser, DrPH MPH

The Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health works to improve women’s health through research, dialogue, teaching, and information dissemination. We're part of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.


Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness

Director: William H. Dietz, MD PhD

Located within the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, the Redstone Center recognizes that chronic disease, health inequities, and climate change are all interconnected and share common drivers. To address these interlinked public health threats, the Redstone Center works within the University and with community partners to support research, share expertise, and advance evidence-based policy solutions.

GWSPH Health Programs


Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy

Director: Feygele Jacobs, DrPH, MS MPH

The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health is the nation’s leading academic program focusing on community health centers and the communities and populations they serve.


Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program

Director: Joel Teitelbaum, JD LLM

The Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program of the Milken Institute School of Public Health offers unique educational opportunities to law students, practicing lawyers, and health professions students.  Endowed by Harold and Jane Hirsh and home to GW’s joint degree programs in law and public health, the program is designed to foster an interdisciplinary approach to the study of health policy, health law, public health, and health care.  

GWSPH Core, Lab Facilities and Research Service Units


Biostatistics and Epidemiology Consulting Service (BECS)

Director: Adam Ciarleglio, PhD

The Biostatistics and Epidemiology Consulting Service (BECS) provides biostatistical and epidemiologic support to improve the quality of health-related research conducted at the George Washington University and by affiliated research groups. We provide support through consultations, extended collaborative relationships, communication about best practices, and broad-based services in research design, statistical analysis, data management, and dissemination of findings.


BSL-3 Biocontainment Facility

Director: Christopher N. Mores, SM ScD FASTMH

To provide solutions to intransigent and emergent disease threats through research, expertise and access to authentic pathogen infection systems for the GW community, trusted partners and countermeasures developers around the world.  Our goal is a healthy world free from harmful outbreaks of infectious diseases.


District of Columbia Clinical Trials Unit

Directors: Manya Magnus, PhD MPH, Sarah Henn, MD and Gary Simon, MD PhD

The NIH-funded District of Columbia Clinical Trials Unit (DC CTU) is a regionally-focused CTU designed to address the HIV epidemic in the nation’s capital, one of the most severely affected areas in the United States. The DC CTU unites two experienced, high-impact clinical research sites and conducts HIV prevention, treatment, and cure trials.


Genomics Core

Director: Keith A. Crandall, MA PhD

Led by The Milken Institute School of Public Health, the Genomics Core at The George Washington University provides a variety of genomics services to the research community, from library preparation to Next Generation Sequencing.


GWU CTU & DC CFAR Laboratory Support Services

Director: Jeanne A. Jordan, PhD HCLD(ABB) MT(ASCP)

Use of cutting-edge technologies to support clinical trials, research studies and community services to address the HIV epidemic and the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic here in the nation’s capital.


Metabolism & Exercise Testing Service Core

Director: Kyle S. Levers, PhD

The Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Department at George Washington University houses a laboratory research service center and a public testing program within the Metabolism and Exercise Testing Laboratory located in Washington, DC on the Foggy Bottom campus.


Additional Resources

·       Research Centers and Institutes

·       GW Shared and Core Facilities

·       Milken Institute SPH Policy for Establishing Organized Research Units