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The Administrative Core (AC) provides the organizational infrastructure for the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer PreventionThe HEALTH–RCMI at the University of Houston (UH) designs, executes, and disseminates community-engaged research that informs novel prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and intervention strategies that mitigate a broad range of health disparities — with an emphasis on advancing research in alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use and preventing cancer in underserved communities. Through a purposeful and streamlined organizational structure, the AC provides the necessary communications, coordination of activities, and evaluation components to integrate stakeholders, policymakers, and community members into the science being execute by this national center. These efforts facilitate the HEALTH–RCMI's vision and goals to serve as a national hub for eliminating health disparities in ATOD use and cancer prevention. 

The AC intentionally aligns with the primary purpose of the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention to complete four specific aims:​

  1. Provide leadership, coordination, and implementation of all administrative and operational processes for managing, supporting, and ensuring timely progress and documentation of HEALTH–RCMI activities.​

  2. Enhance institutional infrastructure and environment to accelerate bold health-equity research in addictions and cancer prevention.​

  3. Accelerate discovery and increase the scientific productivity of scientists underrepresented in the health sciences through increased extramural funding, high-impact peer-reviewed publications, policy briefs, professional presentations, and effective dissemination and implementation activities in the community.​

  4. Deliver career enhancement activities and research opportunities for underrepresented minoritized (URM) postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors.


Dr. Obasi

Dr. Ezemenari M. Obasi


Dr. Ezemenari M. Obasi was a professor in the Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences. His program of research focuses on addictions, health disparities that disproportionately affect the African American community, stress physiology, and cultural predictors of health behaviors and cancer prevention. He is the founder and director of UH’s HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention and also serves as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Education. Dr. Obasi has a history of sustained team science funding from the National Institutes of Health (e.g., R01, R03, R13, R21, P30, U54), Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, and UnitedHealth Foundation where he’s served as the primary or co-investigator. For this RCMI at UH, Dr. Obasi is the Principal Investigator (PI), directs the Administrative Core, and leads the oversight, strategic planning, and synergistic integration of the Cores, Research Projects, Pilot Grants, and supporting Stakeholders.


Tzuan A. Chen, PhD

Senior Biostatistician and 

Program Evaluator


Safiya Friday

Program Director

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Arlette Chavez

Program Manager

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Natalie Shipula

Sr. Graphics Designer


Brian Minton

Web Developer

Ashika Brinkley

Ashika Brinkley, PhD, MPH

Health Initiative
Research Director

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