Engagement and research

CHECK-UP is organized around three components

  1. Health equity priority areas that represent major public health challenges for the metro Detroit region
  2. Research networks that link CHECK- UP faculty and collaborators and drive scientific investigations relevant to the priority areas
  3. Shared resources. Shared resources are key to CHECK-UP's success because they build upon CHECK-UP faculty expertise and provide access to knowledge and methods critical to conducting innovative, impactful research.

CHECK-UP Core principles and practices

CHECK-UP is uniquely positioned to address these problems because of the center's adoption of the following five principles and practices that yet to be integrated as part of a major WSU research initiative. 

  1. Behavioral medicine focus: The research supported by CHECK-UP will be rooted in behavioral medicine, drawing upon behavioral and social science that addresses the complex interplay between biological, behavioral, social, and environmental processes, including phenomena that occur both with the organism (e.g., genetics, neurobiology, emotion, perception, cognition) and external to the individual (e.g., environment, social relationships, societal factors, culture, policy).1
  2. Application of Social-Ecological Model (SEM): CHECK-UP will promote the integration SEM in its research. This model outlines multiple levels of influence on individual, community, and population health and provides and framework for conceptualizing upstream or distal determinants of health. 
  3. Public health critical race praxis (PHCR): PHCR is "... a semi-structured process for conducting research that remains attentive to issues of both racial equity and methodological rigor." 2  It is associated with "fourth-generation" health disparities research, rooted in justice and action to increase health equity and is driven by race consciousness, which requires attention to racial dynamics within the research context as well as the out world, and the role of racism in health inequity.2
  4. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods: PHCR and fourth-generation disparities research are deeply rooted in community voice, which is aligned with the commitment to CBPR as described above. 
  5. Transdisciplinary team science: A core practice of CHECK-UP will be the application of effective strategies in transdisciplinary team science and collaboration outside of the conventions of one's discipline towards the creation of a new intellectual space to consider complex problems, like barriers to health equity. 


1. National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. BSSR Definition. https://obssr.od.nih.gov/about/bssr-definition. Acessed 2023. 

2. Thomas SB, Quinn SC, Butler J, Fryer CS, Garza MA. Toward a fourth generation of disparities research to acheive health equity. Annual review of public health. 2011; 32:399-416.