Research Clusters and Leaders

Cancer Cluster

Jay Vadgama Ph.D The Cancer Cluster at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is dedicated to reducing cancer health disparities through research, education and training, and community outreach endeavors. The Cancer Cluster is dedicated to engaging students, staff, researchers, academic faculty, community faculty, and community members into educational and research activities directed at understanding the biological, clinical, bio behavioral, and socioeconomic factors which contribute to disparities. The Cluster is led by Dr. Jay Vadgama, the Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, and is housed in the Division of Cancer Research and Training and the CDU/UCLA Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities at CDU.
Leader: Jay Vadgama, Ph.D.

Cardio-metabolic Cluster

Theodore Friedman, MD, PhDThe goal of the cardiometabolic cluster is to foster collaborative solutions for improving minority health and reducing ethnic and geographic disparities in cardiovascular and related diseases. The cluster aims to accelerate research advances by employing innovative, multi-disciplinary and inter-institutional team-science approaches aimed at improving minority health and reducing ethnic and geographic disparities in the incidence and outcomes of cardiometabolic diseases.

Leader: Theodore Friedman, MD, Ph.D.

HIV/AIDS Cluster

THE HIV/AIDS CLUSTER LEADER - DR. NINA HARAWA The new ideas, supporting the efforts of our members, and coordinating and representing CDU's activities in HIV.

The Cluster and CDU-affiliated service providers include OASIS and SPECTRUM Clinics, domestic and international research and service programs, the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center (PAETC), two HIV testing programs, and AIDS Project Los Angeles. All programs and services are located on the southeast corner of the CDU campus. Services are offered free of charge to low-income populations. The HIV Cluster is headed by Dr. Nina T. Harawa and meets monthly in order to organize and plan activities for HIV education, research and services.

Leader: Nina Harawa, Ph.D.

Mental Health Cluster

The mental health cluster is a recent addition to the cluster group at Charles R. Drew University. The university is surrounded by population that is predominantly Hispanic and African American. The challenges, such as absence of adequate health insurance that covers mental health needs, lower income, sociocultural barriers, and lack of access to mental health services, are unique to this community. Similar to other clusters, mental health cluster is committed to address the mental health disparity by conducting extensive research in better understanding the causes and devise effective solutions to make effective mental health services easily accessible to the community.

Health Services/Policy Research Cluster

The Health Services/Policy Research cluster was another recent addition to the group of clusters at Charles R. Drew University. The cluster is university's answer to a strong need for policy institute that exclusively studies the health disparity and helps in devising effective solutions not only in healthcare distribution but also in political and social avenues. The structure of healthcare legislature such as Affordable Care Act immensely affect the underserved community of South-Central Los Angeles. The cluster will work hard to ensure that the healthcare needs of the community will be effectively communicated to the policymakers and lawmakers of the city.

Research Centers and Leaders

The vision of the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) Research Enterprise is to be a leading national resource for conducting clinical and translational research that produces high-quality, cost-effective and culturally relevant solutions that improve health and wellness in minority and poor populations.
By promoting strategies that create synergy in research teams and between investigators and the community, CDU creates novel best practice solutions to transform the health of underserved communities that can be used as innovative models throughout the nation and the world.

RCMI Infrastructure for Clinical & Translational Research (RCTR)/Accelerating eXcellence In Translational Science (AXIS)

CDU/UCLA Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities

Clinical Research Education and Career Development in Minority Institutions (CRECD)

Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

The Charles R. Drew University/UCLA Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (EXPORT) Center.

Diversity Promoting Institutions Drug Abuse Research Development Program (DIDARP)