• Pilot Grant Program - Investigator Development Core

    The HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention is pursuing a bold research agenda aimed at addressing the public health crises that disparately affect minoritized communities to achieve health equity. With support from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), this national center (Research Centers in Minority Institutions, RCMI) will serve as an exemplar for how community-engaged research can accelerate the discovery of innovative basic biomedical mechanisms and/or cost-effective prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and intervention strategies that can be disseminated and implemented directly into underserved communities to achieve health equity.


    This short-term (1-year) funding opportunity will support 3-5 innovative pilot grants ($30,000 to $50,000) that seek to break new ground in addressing disparities in addictions and cancer prevention while leveraging the data to successfully transition into a developmentally appropriate NIH funding mechanism (e.g., K- and R-series).


    Moreover, mentorship and professional development activities will be structured to develop the next generation of health-equity scientists capable of advancing data-driven and culturally-responsive breakthroughs in addictions and cancer prevention.




    Important dates associated with the upcoming Request for Applications (RFA)


    Letter of Intent (LOI) Due: September 1, 2022 @ 5:00 p.m.


    Complete Application Due: October 3, 2022 @ 5:00 p.m.


    Scientific Merit Review: November 10, 2022


    Funding Decisions and NIMHD Approval: Between December 2022 - January 2022 


    Earliest Anticipated Award Start Date: February 1, 2023



    More information


    Download: RFA Guidelines


    Download: Cover Page 


    Please watch our 15-minute webinar to receive some background information regarding the HEALTH-RCMI’s Pilot Grant Program.






    All questions regarding this RFA may be directed to Dr. Ezemenari Obasi (RCMI, PI) and/or HEALTH-RCMI Staff.

  • Pilot Funding for Basic Biomedical Science

    In support of the institute's goal to become a model for advancing transdisciplinary health science through strong partnerships with communities, organizations and other key stakeholders, HRI is requesting applications to expand the HEALTH Research Institute in the area of basic biomedical science. Basic biomedical science provides a transformative platform to discover novel pathological and pathophysiological mechanisms that could be rapidly translated into population-specific targets of prevention and treatment.

  • Funded HRI Pilot Projects

    The purpose of the pilot research program is to strategically seed feasibility and proof of concept studies that will lead to the development of novel findings that address one or more health challenges faced by our local, state or national communities. The HRI pilot grant awardees are:


    Investigating Efficacy of Epigenetic Therapy in Ovarian Cancer

    Fatima Merchant, Ph.D., Principal Investigator


    Project Team Includes:

    • Wanda Wosik, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
    • Lewis Francis, Ph.D. (Swansea University College of Medicine), Collaborator


    Role of 27-hydroxycholestrol, the Endogenous SERM that Links Cholesterol Metabolism and Estrogen Receptor Signaling, in Adipose Tissue Function

    Michihisa Umetani, Ph.D., Principal Investigator


    Project Team Includes:

    • Yang Zhang, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
    • Preethi Gunaratne, Ph.D., Collaborator


    Functional Cortical Deficits and Cortical Hemodynamic Changes in Minority Older Adults with Type II Diabetes

    Stacey Gorniak, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

    Project Team Includes:

    • Luca Pollonini, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
    • Steven Woods, Psy.D., Co-Investigator
    • Emily LaVoy, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

    Physical Mechanisms of Prostate Cancer Metabolism

    John Miller, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

    Project Team Includes:

    • Martha Y. Suarez Villagran, Ph.D., Postdoc
    • Dale Hamilton, M.D. (Houston Methodist Research Institute), Collaborator / Co-Investigator
    • Additional collaborators from the UH Colleges of Natural Sciences & Mathematics and Engineering are expected to participate as the project expands.


    Computerized Suicide Prevention for Latinos in Primary Care
    Michael J. Zvolensky, Ph.D, Principal Investigator


    Project Team Includes:

    • Andres Viana, Ph.D, Co-Investigator
    • Rheeda Walker, Ph.D, Co-Investigator
    • Jodi Berger Cardoso, Ph.D, Co-Investigator
    • Monica Garza, Ph.D, Co-Investigator

    The Intersectionality of Nutrition, Alcohol Abuse, and Infectious Disease Susceptibility
    Elebeoba E. May, Ph.D, Principal Investigator

    Project Team Includes:

    • Ezemenari Obasi, Ph.D, Co-Investigator
  • UHAND Pilot Projects

  • Spring 2021 Pilot Projects

    Examining Health Disparities and Promoting Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention in Syrian Refugee Women in the United States

    Samina Salim, Ph.D., Principal Investigator


    Project Team Includes:

    • Johanna Bick, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
    • Mohan Chandra, Ph.D., Collaborator
    • Meghna Trivedi, Ph.D., Collaborator
    • Sausaun Abouharb, M.D., Collaborator


    Exploring the provider and organization level barriers to Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) treatment for Black Americans

    Lauren R. Gilbert, Ph.D., Principal Investigator


    Project Team Includes:

    • Steven Starks, M.D., Co-Investigator