Faculty and Research | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Our faculty are driving change through
their research and leadership.

The future of social work and public health depends on leading evidence-based research; moving that research into practice; and preparing students to excel in their work. Brown School faculty excel in these pursuits, and the work they are doing is a vital for creating change.

Browse Our Faculty

Our 15 research centers enable us to dive deep into complex issues.

Center for Diabetes Translation Research Logo

The Center for Diabetes Translation Research (WU-CDTR) aims to eliminate disparities by fostering research collaborations, catalyzing new ideas, and assisting investigators in conducting T3 (translating clinical findings into everyday practice in real world settings) and T4 research (testing and implementing solutions at a community or population level) among populations at risk for diabetes and obesity.

The center supports studies on the root causes of diabetes and disparities and on the prevention of obesity. The WU-CDTR is a collaboration between the Brown School and the Washington University School of Medicine and includes partnerships with the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network, the National Congress of American Indians, and the University of Missouri.

Visit the WU-CDTR websiteCenter for Diabetes Translation Research
Center for Mental Health Services Research Logo

The Center for Mental Health Services Research (CMHSR), through its national network of research partners, works with social service and mental health agencies to build a base of evidence to address the challenges of delivering mental health services to vulnerable populations. CMHSR was the nation’s first Social Work Research Development Center, and is home to two NIMH-funded training programs.

Visit the CMHSR websiteCenter for Mental Health Services Research
Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research Logo

The Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research (COPPR) develops and disseminates new knowledge to inform the creation and implementation of programs and policies designed to prevent obesity. In addition to conducting research, COPPR works with national and state policymakers to ensure the development of evidence-based obesity policy.

Visit the COPPR websiteCenter for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research
Center for Public Health Systems Science Logo

The Center for Public Health Systems Science (CPHSS) works to create sustainable solutions to public health problems. Through innovative research and evaluation, their work creates a better understanding of how policies and organizational systems affect key issues in public health, such as tobacco control and chronic disease prevention.

Visit the CPHSS websiteCenter For Public Health Systems Science
Center for Social Development Logo

The Center for Social Development (CSD) undertakes domestic and international research testing social innovations and uses evidence to inform policy and practice. The center is well known for innovations in asset building for family security and development. Many other initiatives are underway in the following areas: Financial Inclusion; Civic Engagement and Service; Thriving Communities; Child and Youth Development; Social Justice, Environment and Social Development; and Race, Inequality and Social Mobility.

Visit the CSD WebsiteCenter for Social Development
Center for Violence and Injury Prevention Logo

The Center for Violence and Injury Prevention (CVIP) promotes healthy young families and healthy young adults by advancing evidence-based, real-world strategies to prevent child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and suicide attempts. CVIP is the only center of its kind to be housed in a school of social work.

Visit the CVIP WebsiteCenter for Violence and Injury Prevention
Envolve Center Logo

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change is an innovative industry-academic collaboration between the Brown School, Duke University and Centene Corporation, a leading Fortune 500 managed care company. The center focuses efforts on translating evidence-based healthcare methods into real-world settings to actively improve the lives and health of vulnerable populations.

Visit the Envolve Center WebsiteEnvolve Center for Health Behavior Change
Evaluation Center Logo

The Evaluation Center is committed to helping organizations understand their work and why it matters. The center specializes in client-driven evaluation and training for non-profit organizations, funders, universities and government agencies, to help determine whether organizational goals and program outcomes are being achieved.

Visit the Evaluation Center PageEvaluation Center
Health Communication Research Laboratory Logo

The Health Communication Research Laboratory (HCRL) is one of the leading centers in the U.S. dedicated to the research, development and dissemination of health communication programs that enhance the health of individuals and populations. The HCRL seeks to eliminate health disparities by increasing the reach and effectiveness of health information to low-income and minority populations.

Visit the HCRL WebsiteHealth Communication Research Laboratory
Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation Logo

The Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation aims to advance science, policy and practice to improve the well-being of individuals and families impacted by involvement in the criminal justice system. Advancing Justice is dedicated to accelerating the feedback loop between research and practice in order to reduce high incarceration rates.

Visit the Advancing Justice WebsiteInstitute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation
ichad logo image

The International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD)’s mission is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and the improvement of health and overall developmental outcomes for youth and families in low-resource communities, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa.

The center conducts rigorous applied research focused on family-level economic strengthening and empowerment interventions that tackle the interactive effects of poverty, disease, and health-related risk factors for youth. ICHAD also seeks to increase public awareness and support for asset-based social programs, as well as to promote research-driven policy and programming.

Visit the ICHAD WebsiteInternational Center for Child Health and Asset Development
Buder Center Logo

The Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies promotes preparation of professionals to assume leadership positions in social services and governmental institutions dedicated to improving the lives of American Indians.

Visit the Buder Center WebsiteKathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies
Prevention Research Center Logo

The Prevention Research Center in St. Louis (PRC-StL) explores behaviors that place Americans at risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, cancer and diabetes. Center researchers conduct and share research on physical activity, policy, the built environment, and the translation of evidence into public health practice, while placing particular emphasis on vulnerable populations. The PRC-STL is a joint effort between Washington University and Saint Louis University.

Visit the PRC-STL WebsitePrevention Research Center in St. Louis
Smart Africa Center Logo

The SMART Africa Center (Strengthening Mental Health and Research Training) is a transdisciplinary collaborative center aimed at reducing gaps in child mental health services and research in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the SMART Africa Center utilizes a population approach to child mental health.

The center brings together a consortium of academic, government, NGO and community stakeholders in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and the United States to focus on addressing the child mental health burden and service gaps in sub-Saharan Africa, including implementation and scale-up of evidence-based practices.

Visit the Smart Africa Center WebsiteSmart Africa Center
Social System Design Lab Logo

The Social System Design Lab (SSDL) advances the science and application of system dynamics in organizations and communities. The SSDL specializes in developing participatory methods and workshops for engaging communities and organizations to design innovative solutions in complex social systems using causal maps and formal models with computer simulation.

Visit the SSDL WebsiteSocial System Design Lab
Portrait of Michael Sherraden smiling

Sherraden Receives Career Award for Social Policy Research

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Jonson Reid

Combatting ‘Disinformation’ About Child Abuse

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Michael Sherraden at podium during SSWR 2017 conference

Brown School Leads 60+ Presentations at Society for Social Work and Research Conference

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"We are in the unique position of having the talent and resources to address immense health disparities, income inequality, and structural racism. By working collaboratively, we can and will improve lives and move towards a more just and equitable world."

—Mary M. McKay,
Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean

Our faculty lead diverse research that engages students and makes an impact.


faculty represented academic disciplines


in annual research funding


Masters Research Fellows support faculty research

Faculty & Research

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Faculty & Research

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