Caroline Compretta was appointed assistant vice chancellor for research on March 1, 2023. In addition to this role, she serves as associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine with additional appointments in Population Health Sciences, Pediatrics, and Advanced Biomedical Education. She is also core faculty in the UMMC Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities. Her research focuses on building effective and sustainable research programs to improve health in populations at risk for chronic disease.
A Hattiesburg native, Compretta graduated from Millsaps College before earning an MA and PhD in anthropology from the University of Kentucky and completing a post-doctoral research fellowship in medical anthropology from UMMC. She previously worked in the non-profit sector with underserved communities, and she remains engaged in these efforts through her research and as a volunteer.
Since joining UMMC in 2016, Compretta has garnered nearly $6 million in research funding, receiving a platinum Excellence in Research medal in 2022 for projects that address barriers to health education and promotion, including the impact of diabetes, physical activity and access to food and healthcare on cardiometabolic disease in underserved communities.
Compretta has worked to bridge the gap between academic and non-academic partners to help increase participation in research and/or uptake of therapeutics. As contact PI for the Mississippi Community Engagement Alliance (MS CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities, she led a statewide team of community, research, clinical and public health collaborators to improve vaccination rates and clinical trials participation in communities of color, resulting in positive rates of vaccination uptake. In addition, she is the PI for several other studies through which she has worked to build multi-site collaborative research partnerships with institutions such as Mayo Clinic, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Tuskegee University and Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
She also holds leadership roles in three National Institutes of Health funded centers: the Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research, the Forge AHEAD Center, and the Obesity Health Disparities Research Center.
A reviewer for multiple peer-reviewed journals and study sections, her regional and national efforts have helped her develop research programs and networks that may be leveraged to broaden research and funding opportunities for students, trainees, and faculty at UMMC, furthering the mission and vision of the institution.
Compretta and husband Jonathan enjoy traveling and sports with their three sons