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Multiethnic Health Equity Research Center

Formerly known as the Medical Effectiveness Research Center

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Our Mission

Our mission is to promote health equity and prevent disease in racially/ethnically diverse populations by meeting the following objectives:
• Discover mechanisms that explain health disparities and promote health equity.
• Develop and evaluate interventions in the community and within health care systems to promote health equity.
• Train investigators to conduct research on health equity.

MERC, the Multiethnic Health Equity Research Center (formerly Medical Effectiveness Research Center) was established within the UCSF School of Medicine in 1993 under the guidance of Drs. Gene Washington and Eliseo Perez-Stable. MERC unites investigators from multiple disciplines, departments and schools in conducting community-based, clinical and outcomes research on health services, specific medical conditions, and prevention that addresses racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care in pursue of health equity. MERC is committed to promoting the development of minority investigators and supports training and mentoring of students, residents, fellows and junior faculty. MERC has built a network of relationships with diverse community-based organizations and strives to incorporate the community perspective in training and research.


Dr. Ana M. Napoles is named Director of the Center for Aging and Diverse Communities (CADC)

Dr. Mangurian accepts position as first LPPI Director of Diversity

UCSF Drs. Elena Portacolone and Julene Johnson at IHA have both been awarded unsolicited support from the Pepper Center in the Division of Geriatrics. Elena received a Pepper Research Career Development Core (RCDC) Award for the second year. Dr. Johnson received a Pepper Center Genius Award, which is an award given to an investigator who is conducting innovative research in geriatrics to accelerate their research in aging and to help support mentoring junior faculty in aging research. Congratulations!!

UCSF Professor, Rosa Maria Sternberg, works to improve mental health services for immigrants. Article published online San Jose Mercury News







Updated Fall 2015

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