History of Our Center

HealthLINK Internal Advisory Committee

In 2016, SDSU received a $10 million endowment from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the National Institutes of Health. The Principal Investigators of this award are Dr. Guadalupe X. Ayala, Dr. Jose Castillo, Dr. Kee Moon, and SDSU President Adela de la Torre. An endowment is a donation of money to a non-profit organization who may use the return on investment for specific purposes. The goals of the SDSU HealthLINK endowment are to: Leverage Infrastructure, Networks, and Knowledge to support minority health and health disparities research at SDSU/ SDSU IV and SDSU Research Foundation.

In 2018, SDSU received additional funding from NIMHD, a five-year, $19.9 million award to build a center for minority health and health disparities research, later called the SDSU HealthLINK Center for Transdisciplinary Health Disparities Research (SDSU HealthLINK Center). This award was one of the largest in the university’s history.

The SDSU HealthLINK Center applies a transdisciplinary approach to minority health and health disparities research where lead researchers leverage their networks and knowledge to collectively ‘link’ their areas of expertise toward one vision–to inspire transformational and collaborative research that promotes health equity and well-being for all people and communities. This transdisciplinary approach includes lead researchers from different disciplines across SDSU’s campus, including public health, psychology, physical therapy, computational and engineering sciences, information sciences, biology and biochemistry, geography, sociology, and math/statistics.

Now with over 70 individuals on the team and growing, the SDSU HealthLINK Center’s team includes faculty from multiple colleges and disciplines at SDSU, members of our partner organizations, administrative and technical staff at SDSU/ SDSU IV and the SDSU Research Foundation, SDSU/ SDSU IV students, and volunteers. Dr. Guadalupe X. “Suchi” Ayala, Professor of Public Health, and Dr. Kristen J. Wells, Associate Professor of Psychology, have served as the Center’s Co-Directors since the Center’s inception in 2018.

The Center plans to support this innovative research by opening a Clinical Research Center and other facilities to further its mission of advancing health equity through meaningful, high quality, transdisciplinary research.