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Our Research to Advance Health Equity

Our department is dedicated to conducting research that promotes health equity for all individuals.

We recognize that disparities in healthcare and health outcomes exist, and we are committed to identifying and addressing the root causes of these disparities through rigorous scientific inquiry. Through collaborative partnerships with communities and other organizations, the Department of Population Health Sciences strives to promote health equity and improve the health of all individuals.


Olutobi Sanuade, PhD

I am a cardiovascular health disparities researcher and population health scientist. My program of research focuses on the study of methods to improve implementation of evidence-based chronic disease prevention, management, and control and to advance health equity in minority populations.

Who are your partners?
I have established a long-term partnership with the Ga Mashie Development Agency (GAMADA) in Ghana and have collaborated with them on various research projects funded by the NIH and Medical Research Council (UK). Recently, I have also formed partnerships with the Total Resource Community Development Organization (TRCDO) and Pastors for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (Pastors4PCOR). Together, we are conducting two studies aimed at improving hypertension control among African Americans in Chicago.

Additionally, I have had the privilege of initiating a partnership with The Jackson Heart Study, an NIH-funded cohort study that is the largest African American-specific cohort study in the United States. Through this partnership, I am currently working on investigating the association of urinary sodium intake with Incident apparent treatment resistant hypertension among African Americans.

This summer, I had an amazing experience being a part of the BRIDGE UP HBCU program at the University of Utah. I had a truly enjoyable experience connecting with Black students from various regions across the country during our time in Moab and Park City.

What is something you’re proud of in your work?
Among other things, what I am most proud of is the impact that my work has made in addressing health inequities both in the United States and abroad. Particularly, the work I did with the Lancet Nigeria Commission led to the enactment of the National Health Insurance Authority Bill which ensures health insurance coverage for nearly 83 million poor people in Nigeria. I find this impact immensely satisfying and I am thrilled to be involved in it.

What is something you’re excited about?
I am particularly enthusiastic about implementation science because of its focus on improving uptake of evidence-based interventions. There is clear evidence that effectiveness of a health intervention does not guarantee its integration into routine usage. In fact, there is a huge gap between discovery science and population impact as less than 10% of all effective interventions, whether behavioral or biomedical, actually reach the intended population. Therefore, I find the process of improving uptake of evidence-based interventions to enhance population health truly inspiring. To me, this is an important approach to ensure that effective interventions reach the people who need them, with greater fidelity, efficiency, quality, and relevant coverage.

What brought you to the PHS?
I decided to join PHS primarily because of the exceptional opportunity it offered me to advance my career and research expertise in the field of implementation science. Additionally, the valuable mentorship opportunities available were also a significant factor in my decision.


What does a perfect weekend look like for you?
I eagerly look forward to the weekend because it gives me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family and friends. Moreover, I dedicate part of my Saturdays to teaching teenagers valuable life skills on how to lead a meaningful life. On Sundays, I regularly attend Church, which serves as an important way for me to prepare for the upcoming week. The weekend also offers me the luxury to indulge in afternoon siestas and unwind in general.

Past Spotlights

PhD Students

Daniel Addo & Josh Jacobs

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Evan Goldstein, PhD

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Adam Bress, PharmD

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Melissa Watt, PhD

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