September 22, 2022

Dr. Chantel Martin

Dr. Chantel Martin

Chantel Martin, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Gillings Faculty Award for Excellence in Health Equity Research.

The Gillings Health Equity Faculty Research Award recognizes excellence in research by faculty in the Gillings School that advances solutions to health inequities. This award is co-sponsored by the school’s Research, Innovation and Global Solutions and Inclusive Excellence units.

As an emerging national leader in research to understand how structural factors and social stressors in the United States become biologically embodied to impact health outcomes among racially and ethnically minoritized groups and produce health inequities, Martin is the ideal recipient of the award. Martin’s interdisciplinary research is innovative and cutting edge. She uses rigorous methodological and theoretical approaches to identify the short- and long-term effects of structural and social factors to reduce excess morbidity and mortality and eliminate health inequities. Her research, teaching and mentoring aim to amplify the voices and work of those historically marginalized and underrepresented.

“Dr. Martin’s research is exactly the type of innovative work that the Gillings Health Equity Faculty Research Award is purposed for,” said Kim Ramsey-White, PhD, associate dean for inclusive excellence. “Examining the intersection of social stressors, structural factors and the biological embodiment of these factors is pioneering work that will ultimately lead to new information in our quest to better understand health inequities among racially and ethnically minoritized populations.”

Martin received her doctoral degree from the Gillings School in 2015, and did postdoctoral work in the National Institutes of Health T32-funded Cancer Health Disparities Program at UNC. She has been an assistant professor of epidemiology since 2020 and is a faculty fellow at the Carolina Population Center. Additionally, she co-leads the Cardiopulmonary Disease Translation Research in the Center for Environmental Health & Susceptibility. Her research is currently funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Institute on Aging. She also received an Early-Stage Investigator Award from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research in 2022.

“I am extremely pleased that the awards committee recognized Dr. Chantel Martin’s outstanding contributions,” said Til Stürmer, MD, PhD, the Nancy A. Dreyer Distinguished Professor and chair of epidemiology. “Chantel began navigating the complex biological response to social adversity as a post-doc and has been strategic in identifying opportunities to ask important questions that positively impact public health. Her research on how the social environment, racism and discrimination get under the skin, in particular through epigenetic pathways, to cause negative health outcomes is cutting edge and has great potential to reduce health disparities experienced by BIPOC communities in the U.S. Chantel has quickly stepped up to become an influential leader in the field and in the Department of Epidemiology’s efforts to increase inclusive excellence. I am very happy for Chantel: well deserved!”

Martin will receive her award during University Research Week in a session entitled “Advancing Health Equity Solutions at UNC,” co-sponsored by the Gillings School, the Center for Health Equity Research and the School of Social Work, on Oct. 11 from 10-11 A.M. Martin will give a presentation, followed by presentations from Rachel Goode, PhD, MPH, LCSW, from the School of Social Work, and Gaurav Dave, MD, DrPH, MPH, from the Center for Health Equity Research.

You can attend the Advancing Health Equity Solutions at UNC event by registering online.

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