Healthy Communities | Division of Research & Sponsored Programs | Kent State University

Healthy Communities

The Healthy Communities Research Initiative (HCRI) is focused on basic and applied research leading to discovery of processes and practices that enable all people to thrive free of preventable disease and injury, while also achieving well-being and health-related quality of life.

It bridges existing and emergent research strengths across disciplines, brings together students working with faculty, and links what is taught and learned in the classroom with its application across Northeast Ohio and around the world.

Research in the HCRI addresses some of the timeliest problems facing our communities, including addiction, aging, health care access, injury prevention, diabetes, disability, nutrition, physical activity, suicide, trauma, and violence.

Since its launch in 2017, HCRI has been guided by the principles of conducting transdisciplinary research, engaging students in experiential learning, and establishing partnerships between research and practice that build local capacity for healthy communities.

This section offers just a glimpse of the impactful research our faculty and students conduct every day here at KSU. We hope you enjoy the articles and we thank you for supporting Kent State research.

Dr. Jacqueline Curtis &
Dr. Jeff Hallam, Directors

Mapping Catastrophe

Mapping Catastrophe

We recently sat down with Dr. Andrew Curtis, Professor of Geography and codirector of Kent State’s GIS Health and Hazards Lab. Curtis has spent the past several years developing new mapping technology that generates meaningful, realtime data in complicated environments. His research has given problem-solvers a new tool for helping communities overcome serious challenges at the local, regional, national and international levels, from Portage County to Cambodia.

Taking Off the Gloves In The Fight Against Breast Cancer

Taking Off the Gloves In The Fight Against Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among American women. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. A researcher in Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences is doing his part to halt breast cancer in its tracks.

Prolific Biology Researchers

Prolific Biology Researchers

For many years, two Kent State researchers have been toiling over this matter. Last year, both received grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the NIH — collectively totaling nearly $858,000 — to study the cellular mechanisms that regulate the formation and function of sperm and eggs.

Epidemiologist Examines Vaccine Rejection and Hesitancy

Epidemiologist Examines Vaccine Rejection and Hesitancy

The center of a public health debate is whether parents should have their children vaccinated. Tara Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology at Kent State University’s College of Public Health, challenges statements made by influential individuals who oppose the widespread use of vaccines, and she calls upon her colleagues in the scientific community to speak out to promote vaccination and counter misinformation.