Organized Research Units

The Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) is committed to creating and maintaining Organized Research Units (ORUs) that meet the highest standards of research and practice, are actively engaged in multi disciplinary scholarship as described in the Milken Institute SPH and the university strategic plans, and convey GW’s image of innovation. The school’s ORUs include a variety of institutes, centers, programs, and cores. Although these ORUs capture many of our key research areas, they don’t fully reflect the breadth of research expertise of our faculty.

Organized Research Units procedures are established by the  GW Office of Vice President of Research and the Milken Institute SPH Policy for Establishing Organized Research Units.

The following ORUs are currently aligned with Milken Institute School of Public Health:

Chartered Centers and Institutes | Non-Chartered Centers | Programs | Cores

Milken Institute School of Public Health Institutes and Centers Chartered by GW

Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC)

The Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC) is conducting cutting-edge research and strategic communication that promotes evidence-based policy to curb the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

Biostatistics Center

As the statistical coordinating center for large-scale, multicenter clinical trials and epidemiological studies, BSC ensures that study results are of the highest
 scientific integrity and meet rigorous biostatistical standards.

Center for Community Resilience 

We aim to inspire, support and sustain a movement of communities that can address the root causes of childhood trauma, foster equity and build community resilience.

Center for Health and Health Care in Schools

This resource center supports the development of school-based health programs across the nation and leads a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national initiative to expand school mental health and dental services.

Center for Health Policy Research

Through research and policy activities, the Center informs debate, advances the policymaking process and helps develop practical solutions to improve access to quality health care.

Center for Healthcare Quality

This Center focuses on research and implementation projects aimed at improving the quality of health care in America, with particular emphases on hospital and ambulatory quality improvement, hospital operations, health care equity, vulnerable populations, and emergency care. 

GW Center for Global Health

A portal for global health activities across the university, the Center's multidisciplinary approach strengthens linkages between population health and social and economic development.

Center for Social Well-Being and Development (CSWD)

The Center for Social Well-Being and Development is a chartered research center in the Milken Institute School of Public Health, Department of Prevention and Community Health, co-directed by Mark Edberg, MA, PhD, (Founding Director) and Hina Shaikh, JD, MPH (Associate Director). It is organized as a transdisciplinary center such that faculty and staff from other departments and schools may participate in research efforts, as appropriate. These may include the Department of Global Health, Department of Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Elliott School of International Affairs, Department of Anthropology (CCAS), School of Education and Human Development, and others.

Center on Commercial Determinants of Health (CCDH)

The Center on Commercial Determinants of Health (CCDH) is one of the world’s first research centers dedicated to studying commercial determinants of health (CDoH) and addressing the growing health burden caused by the private sector globally. Directed by Adnan Hyder, MD, MPH, PhD, the center brings a multi-disciplinary approach to scientific research, advocacy, and policy to strengthen health systems - with a special focus on vulnerable populations around the world.

Climate & Health Institute

At GW’s Climate & Health Institute, we believe there are solutions and opportunities to mitigate the harm of climate change on human health.

Computational Biology Institute

To conduct cutting edge interdisciplinary informatics research; to enable broad educational activities in computational biology; and to provide bioinformatics services.

The DC Metro Tobacco Research and Instruction Consortium (MeTRIC)

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 Healththe Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Legacy , and Georgetown University are at the core of the consortium. These institutions are joined by a variety of organizational and community partners. Their common mission is to tackle the tobacco problem in the DC metro area through innovative interdisciplinary research.

Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity (GWMI)

To inform policies and programs that help build a diverse health workforce with the competencies, courage, and opportunities to reduce preventable differences across groups in terms of access to quality care, health, and wellbeing.

Genomics Core

The Genomics Core is a full-service NGS core lab, capable of providing project planning, nucleic acid extraction, library preparation, quality control, Illumina and Oxford Nanopore Technologies sequencing, as well as other lab services upon request. We also conduct bioinformatics consultations and analyses. 

GW Center of Excellence in Maternal & Child Health

We build the future by educating the next generation of local, national, and global public health professionals who will work to ensure that women are healthy before, during, and after pregnancy, and address the physical and mental health needs of women, children, and families across their lifespan.

GW Health Workforce Institute

The GW Health Workforce Institute's (GWHWI) mission is to strengthen health workforce policies in the United States and around the world. The health workforce is an essential component of health care systems; policies that address its quality, supply, distribution, and organization hold the keys to improving access to high quality and affordable health care.

GW Institute for Brain Health and Dementia

To optimize health and quality of life for adults with or at risk of cognitive impairment and their caregivers, through research in prevention, treatment, management, and population health.

GWU Weight Management and Human Performance Lab

The Milken Institute School of Public Health houses six academic laboratory and teaching spaces for the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. These labs facilitate an unparalleled student hands-on experience across multiple core curriculum courses as students prepare for careers in exercise physiology, nutrition, public health, medicine, clinical and allied health, physical therapy, athletic training, and sports performance.

Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness

The Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness is led by Director Bill Dietz, MD, PhD, a nationally renowned expert in obesity, nutrition and physical activity. Dietz’s training is in pediatrics and nutritional biochemistry. The Center’s charge is to implement and evaluate strategies to improve health and to measure outcomes globally, nationally and in the Washington, DC community.

Milken Institute School of Public Health Non-chartered Signature Centers

Avance Center

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

Center for Risk Science and Public Health

The Center is dedicated to the applying a rigorous, scientific, public health-based approach to the analysis of environmental and occupational health risks.

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

This collaboration of five D.C. academic institutions aims to lead and support the scale-up of HIV/AIDS research activities in Washington D.C.; assist with the development, recruitment and retention of HIV/AIDS investigators in D.C.; and contribute to the prevention and treatment response to the epidemic.

GW Health Workforce Research Center (HWRC)

HWRC is one of seven centers across the U.S. funded by the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis at HRSA. Each HWRC collects, analyzes, and reports data on the health workforce in a specific area. The GW HWRC is focused on the novel and flexible use of workers to improve health care delivery and efficiency.

Jacobs Institute of Women's Health

The Jacobs Institute of Women's Health (JIWH) was founded in 1990 and became part of the Milken Institute School of Public Health in 2006. The goal of JIWH is to improve health care for women through research, dialogue, and information dissemination.

Milken Institute School of Public Health Programs

Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy

Through education, research and training in community health practice, this initiative safeguards and advances strong community health programs.

Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program

This interdisciplinary educational program focuses on how the law influences all aspects of health care and policy, and how the health care system affects traditional areas of law.

mWellness Development and Optimization Program

The mWellness Development and Optimization Program is engaged in the development, evaluation and optimization of mWellness programs. Members of the program have contributed to the development and/or evaluation of mWellness programs that have been subscribed to by approximately a million individuals in the US since 2010. These include programs that are sponsored by the US DHHS such as text4baby, SmokefreeTXT, and SmokefreeMom and those that are available commercially such as Text2Quit and Quit4baby.

Given the wide reach of these programs, this ORU’s efforts focus on:

1) Optimizing current programs

2) Developing new programs

3) Establishing the science base to guide the optimal design and delivery of such programs. 

This program is currently financially supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the US Army. The program has pending proposals at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The program hopes to seek further program support from organizations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and NCI to support the optimization of DHHS mWellness initiatives.

Find out more information on mWellness and mHealth work being done at The Milken Institute School of Public Health.


Milken Institute School of Public Health Cores

Biostatistics and Epidemiology Consulting Service (BECS)

The BECS is embedded in the GWU Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and provides biostatistical, epidemiological, and study design support for health-related research projects.