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News and Events

September 29, 2017

HRI featured in Research & Innovation 2017

The latest issue of the UH Research & Innovation Magazine focuses on the role urban universities play in promoting public health. Read the feature articles below.

Getting Healthcare in the Community >

Don’t Dismiss Smoking as a Minor Health Concern >


August 19, 2017

West Texas Centers to end tobacco use on properties September 1

The West Texas Centers is partnering with "Taking Texas Tobacco Free" (TTTF), which is funded by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. The TTTF project provides training, technical assistance and treatment resources to mental health authorities across the state in their efforts to become tobacco free.

Read the full article >


March 28, 2017

UHF gives $2 million grant to tackle obesity and Type 2 diabetes in the Third Ward

The HEALTH Research Institute will get a $2 million grant to help prevent and treat obesity and Type 2 diabetes in the city's Third Ward, a place that can often slip through the health care cracks. The program, scheduled to launch later this spring, is expected to reach 5,000 residents in the next three years, program organizers said. It is being funded by a grant from United Health Foundation, the nonprofit charitable arm of UnitedHealth Group, the insurance giant's parent company.

Watch Dr. Ezemenari Obasi and Dr. Dan O'Connor discuss the UHF grant on Fox26 Houston below.

Read the full announcement in the Houston Chronicle

Read the UH press release.


September 27, 2016

Obasi UH Press Release

The HEALTH Research Institute officially launches

The University of Houston released its official announcement of the HEALTH Research Institute. Co-founded by Dr. Ezemenari Obasi and Dr. Lorraine Reitzel, the interdisciplinary group of scientists behind the HEALTH Research Institute will focus on making improvements within communities that bear a disproportionate burden of disease and who are oftentimes disenfranchised, marginalized or underserved. 

“The University of Houston is embedded in one of the largest and most diverse metropolitan areas in the nation,” Obasi said. “We are committed to advancing science and practice to improve the health and, ultimately, the lives of those we interact with every day.” 

Read the full press release.


June 18, 2015

Dr. Ezemenari Obasi published in Frontiers in Psychology

Read the ful text,"The relationship between alcohol consumption, perceived stress, and CRHR1 genotype on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis in rural African Americans" in  Frontiers in Psychology.


July 17, 2015

Dr. Qian Lu honored with Early Career Award from the Society of Health Psychology

Dr. Qian Lu, HEALTH Research Institute fellow, received the 2015 Early Career Award for outstanding scientific contribution to the field by the Society of Health Psychology, Division 38 of the American Psychological Association.  

Read the press release here.


December 2, 2015

Dr. Lorraine Reitzel leads Taking Texas Tobacco Free initiative

Dr. Lorraine Reitzel highlights the important work of the Taking Texas Tobacco Free program sponsored by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas in this article from the UH College of Education.

Read the article here.


August 27, 2014

Dr. Lorraine Reitzel published in Addiction

Read the full text, "Is smoking cessation associated with worse comorbid substance use outcomes among homeless adults?" on The Wiley Online Library.


November 26, 2014

Dr. Lorraine Reitzel's study featured in article on income and obesity

UH's The Daily Cougar profile on the link between fast food in low-income areas and obesity references study by Dr. Lorraine Reitzel, co-director of the HEALTH Research Institute.

Read the article here.


November 2, 2014

Dr. Qian Lu interviewed on ABC 13 Houston

HEALTH Research Institute fellow, Dr. Qian Lu, shares her findings on the health benefits of expressive writing for Chinese-speaking breast cancer survivors on Houston's  ABC13.


August 4, 2014

New study by HRI fellow Dr. Qian Lu featured on NBC News

Qian Lu's study on the long and short-term health benefits of writing therapy for Chinese-speaking breast cancer survivors.

Read the article here.


May 23, 2013

Research by Dr. Lorraine Reitzel featured in Atlanta Black Star

Dr. Reitzel, co-director of the HEALTH REsearch  Institute, is quoted in Atlanta Black Star that focuses on her study published in the American Jouranal of Public Health on the link between fast-food restaurant proximity and higher BMI found in African-American population.

Read the article here.


April 5, 2013

Dr. Ezemenari Obasi awarded $2.5 Million to Study Effects of Stress on Substance Abuse

A five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) will support research from the University of Houston College of Education to investigate mechanisms that influence drug-related health disparities in the African-American community. Ezemenari M. Obasi, co-director of the HEALTH Research Institute, will lead research in Harris county and eight surrounding urban and rural counties.  He says the development of drug use and abuse in the African-American community is often informed by research that rarely include African-Americans or their social and cultural experiences.