Research with a heart

Research with a people-forward mission

Since 2012, our research center at Northwestern University, one of the nation’s leading research institutions, has believed in the power research has to inform change.

Our efforts bridge research and the real world by examining the connections between health and factors like race, economics, and education, and how inequalities in these domains have an impact on health and wellness outcomes.

With an evidence-based approach to science and discovery and a people-centered lens, we examine the health effects of inequality with the belief that better health for all should be an achievable goal of our society.


Under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Miller, Ph.D. and Dr. Edith Chen, Ph.D., both internationally renowned scientific researchers, the Foundations of Health Research Center is dedicated to confronting and examining health disparities today with the hopes that the insights gained will help prompt change toward a brighter tomorrow.


We explore the pathways and mechanisms linking social factors and physical health across the lifespan, in children and adults. We test both the psychosocial and psychobiological pathways involved in the stress-health relationship in groups that have historically experienced disadvantage in our society to see how they impact health disparities. In parallel, we explore the health effects of resilience. Our efforts seek to advance the next generation of health research.


Our 3,500 square foot research center is uniquely designed to enable our researchers to transcend disciplines and explore the dimensions of health—physical, mental, and emotional— from a truly integrative perspective.
The center features a state-of-the-art biology laboratory, phlebotomy room, cutting-edge cardiovascular equipment, as well as four interview rooms where research participants can comfortably share their stories and lived experiences.