University of Washington School of Public Health

UW SPH News: SPH to Coordinate National Healthy Brain Research Network

SPH to Coordinate National Healthy Brain Research Network


The Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) within the University of Washington School of Public Health has been named the Coordinating Center of the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Brain Research Network. The network was created to address a pair of growing public health challenges: promoting cognitive health and addressing the needs of increasing numbers of older Americans living with cognitive impairment.

The network comprises five institutions, all of which are CDC Prevention Research Centers:

  • UW HPRC (Coordinating Center)
  • Oregon Health and Science University Center for Healthy Communities
  • University of Arizona Prevention Research Center
  • University of Pennsylvania Prevention Research Center
  • University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center

Under a five-year $975,000 grant from the CDC, HPRC will provide leadership and infrastructure, coordinate assessment activities, and participate in the collaborative activities of the network. "We believe our collective impact will be much greater than what individual centers could achieve on their own," said Basia Belza, core investigator at HPRC, professor in the UW School of Nursing, and adjunct professor of Health Services.

Belza will work closely with a team of colleagues at UW, including Rebecca Logsdon, research professor, School of Nursing Psychosocial and Community Health; Lesley Steinman, research scientist, HPRC; Mark Snowden, associate professor, School of Medicine Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Christina Miyawaki, postdoctoral fellow, Group Health Research Institute; and Gwen Moni, research coordinator, HPRC.

The HBRN will further the goals of the CDC Healthy Aging Program's Healthy Brain Initiative. Its work will be guided by the Healthy Brain Initiative Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships.

Among the network’s goals:

  • Establish and advance a public health research, translation, and dissemination agenda that promotes cognitive health and healthy aging, addresses cognitive impairment, and helps meet the needs of care partners
  • Build a strong evidence base for policy, communication, and programmatic interventions
  • Collaborate with public health agencies and their partners to accelerate effective practices in states and communities
  • Build the capacity of public health professionals through training opportunities.