The L.C. Dorsey Research Honor Society is a new multidisciplinary network of social, behavioral, health, and citizen scientists who have produced or contributed to the production of exceptional minority health and health disparities research. This honor society will be comprised of graduate students, faculty, and citizen scientists who produce meritorious research that contributes to the effort to improve health among vulnerable populations. The charter members of this honor society are listed below.
Bettina M. Beech, DrPH, MPH, is the Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Population Health Research and Professor of Health Systems and Population Health Sciences at the University of Houston. Before her transition to the University of Houston, was the Founding Dean of the John D. Bower School of Population Health and the Founding Executive Director for the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). Dr. Beech is a population and public health scientist and a leading expert in family studies examining cardiometabolic risk factors among African American youth, and the science of research training and mentoring among groups underrepresented in biomedical science. She currently serves as the Science Director of UMMC-GTEC.
Marino A. Bruce, PhD, MSRC, MDiv, is Professor, Director of Faculty Development, and Director of the Program for Research on Faith, Justice, and Health in the Department of Population Health Science in the John D. Bower School of Population Health at UMMC. Dr. Bruce is a sociologist who conducts studies integrating the full range of determinants influencing chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease among African American males. He is also an ordained Baptist Minister with two decades of experience serving in multiple African American churches and his current program of research examines how faith has implications for biopsychosocial pathways linking stress to disease risk and progression among African American men over the life course and across generations. Dr. Bruce is the Principal Investigator of the Jackson Heart Study Graduate Training and Education Program at University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., PhD, is a Professor and Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism, and Equity in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society as well as the Founding Director of the Program of Men’s Health Research in the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr.Thorpe is a social epidemiologist and gerontologist with substantial experience with conducting and analyzing observational study data and has generated a substantial body of research examining the influence of social determinants of health on the development of race- and SES-related disparities in health outcomes among of middle- to older age African American men. He is committed to training the next generation of scientists as he mentors undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty from under-represented backgrounds. Dr. Thorpe is Co-Director of the Jackson Heart Study Graduate Training and Education Program at University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Elizabeth Heitman, PhD, is Professor of Ethics in Science and Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She is an internationally known educator in research ethics and responsible conduct of research whose work focuses on cultural aspects of ethics in clinical medicine, biomedical science, and public health. A National Associate of the National Research Council, Dr. Heitman’s NIH- and NSF-funded research explores best practices in research ethics education, particularly for international and racial/ethnic minority students, fellows and early career faculty. Dr. Heitman is a core faculty member of the Jackson Heart Study Graduate Training and Education Program at University of Mississippi Medical Center and a long-time affiliate of JHS Scholars Program at Tougaloo College.
Keith C. Norris, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine and Executive Vice-Chair for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Norris is an internationally recognized clinician scientist and health policy leader who has made major contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion while addressing disparities in contemporary society. His research interests focus on hypertension and chronic kidney disease in historically disadvantaged and oppressed populations. Other research areas include the role of Vitamin D and oxidative stress in health disparities, enhancing community-academic partnerships and increasing diversity in the biomedical workforce. Dr. Norris has co-authored over 425 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the international journal Ethnicity and Disease. Dr. Norris is a core faulty member of the Jackson Heart Study Graduate Training and Education Program at University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Mary E. Crump, DrPH, MPH, RN, is a native of Raymond, MS who has been a community leader and advocate for underserved communities for well over four decades. Prior to her retirement from University of Mississippi Medical Center, Dr. Crump was Clinic Manager for the Jackson Heart Study, the largest cardiovascular epidemiologic study of African American in the United States. She was a cornerstone of the study as her community sensibilities paved the way for successful participant recruitment and retention during the first three waves of data collection. Dr. Crump has a distinguished track record of civic engagement and has developed extensive networks and strong ties with federal and state legislators, college presidents, and health-related CBO leaders across Mississippi. Dr. Crump is a consultant to the Jackson Heart Study and the Jackson Heart Study Graduate Training and Education Program at University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Raymond Jones, PhD, MS, recently graduated with his doctorate degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology from the University of Southern Mississippi and accepted a postdoctoral position in the Department of Medicine at the Center for Exercise Medicine, University of Alabama-Birmingham. He had previously earned a baccalaureate degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from Southeastern Louisiana University. Raymond’s research centers on how lifestyle behaviors influence the cardiovascular contribution to brain health. He focuses on the impact that sedentary behavior has on vascular health in racial/ethnic minority populations. Raymond hopes to continue a career in research and contribute to the ever-growing body of knowledge highlighting the importance of exercise as a high value therapeutic agent for all individuals and an approach that can reduce disparities in health outcomes.