Tarleton Earns Award for Minority Health Network Service

SEAVER | Heather Tarleton, associate professor of health and human sciences, was awarded the medallion of the Network of Minority Health Research Investigators by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a unit of the National Institutes of Health. The award, which honors an individual’s highest commitment to improve the understanding of minority health, recognizes Tarleton’s many years of significant service, contribution and loyalty to the network.

“I have benefited greatly from NMRI mentorship,” said Tarleton, “and consider NMRI to be an integral part in my progression from postdoctoral fellow to assistant professor to associate professor. If I had not first been a recipient of NMRI’s support, and if that support had not been comprehensive and effective, then I would not have been in a position to pay it forward as a leader within the community.” The award was presented in April 2017 by Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Tarleton, a faculty member in the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering, heads up the IMPAACT Project, which studies how physical exercise helps cancer survivors in their return to healthy living after treatment. She also teaches a course, “Health and Wellbeing in Homeless Communities,” where students live as the homeless do for a weekend.

Tarleton praised the network for nurturing a “national community of health science researchers from underrepresented backgrounds toward professional success in the professoriate and towards publications and awarded grants.” She noted that because researchers from underrepresented backgrounds often study underrepresented populations and low-resource communities, this means that, nationally “NMRI is increasing the number of researchers seeking to improve the health of marginalized communities and seeking to eliminate health disparities across communities of color.”