About the BRITE Center

The BRITE Center’s  mission is to support the innovative use of research, science and policy development to help eliminate disparities in physical and mental health for communities that are traditionally underserved by academic research. The acronym BRITE comes from the center’s tagline: to Bridge Research, Education, Innovation, Training and Education on minority health disparities.

As part of an academic-community partnership, researchers and academic institutions can play a powerful role by bringing better science into the study of how issues such as discrimination, chronic stress, and social exclusion harm individual health. By drawing from diverse fields such as clinical psychology, law, public policy, medicine, neuroscience, psychobiology, and sociology, and from the experiences of community residents and organizations, the center applies a unique framework designed to study both the external influences that contribute to disparities, and the science behind internal, physical effects on brain function and the body. This two-part strategy allows the center to address the social, environmental and behavioral factors that influence health and well-being in order to help shape programs and policies that have an opportunity to change our health care system.

Since its founding, the center has worked to:

  • improve the health of racial, ethnic and sexual minorities;
  • advance health disparities science and research; and
  • increase the capacity of racial/ethnic and immigrant communities to conduct research.

Through its fellows and research staff, the center has also increased the number of minority students trained in addressing health disparities and committed to conducting research with this focus.

In addition, by investing in the creation of data cohorts, the BRITE Center provides an ongoing opportunity for other researchers in the field to work with understudied racial/ethnic groups such as Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians, Latinos, Americans Indians, African Americans, and gay, lesbian and bisexual populations.

Center Leadership

Director – Vickie M. Mays, PhD, MSPH

Center Sponsorship and Funding

The BRITE Center was created with funding from the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health, and was previously known as the UCLA Center for Research, Education, Training and Strategic Communication on Minority Health Disparities (CRETSCMHD). Additional funding has been provided by community partnerships, philanthropic foundations and volunteers. For information about how you or your organization can help support the BRITE Center’s work, please contact us at: cmhd@ucla.edu