July 28, 2020—(BRONX, NY)—Earle Chambers, Ph.D., M.P.H., has been appointed director of the division of research in the department of family and social medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System. In this role, Dr. Chambers will help determine the priorities and focus of the department’s research agenda and manage the resources available for the research faculty. He is currently an associate professor of family and social medicine and of epidemiology & population health, and a member of the leadership team for the New York Regional Center for Diabetes Translation Research at Einstein.
“As a department, we continue to place health equity front and center, and it’s my goal to have our research agenda reflect that,” said Dr. Chambers, who began his career at Einstein and Montefiore in 2007. “There’s an understanding that if we are going to value all lives, then we need to address the social determinants that put extra burden on the most vulnerable in our population to achieve overall health and wellness, and so we need to do more.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted societal inequities that have led to a disproportionate rate of infections and deaths among minority populations, Dr. Chambers noted. Many people of lower-income and people of color were deemed essential in the pandemic but faced challenges with safe transportation, overcrowded housing that did not allow for social distancing, and lack of proper personal protective equipment. Yet, even without a pandemic, food insecurity, lack of access to care, structural racism, and other factors lead to poor health.
“Are we trying to close racial and ethnic disparities that lead to those adverse health outcomes? Are we asking research questions that speak to closing those gaps? How do we support investigators interested in those questions?” Dr. Chambers asked. “One of the things I want to do is lead the development of a health equity research lab, which would provide dedicated resources at Einstein to support interdisciplinary studies of social determinants of health and the inequities that result in harmful outcomes for some people.”
Dr. Chambers also said he would like to help build a diverse pipeline of investigators, including medical students, residents, and fellows, to explore health equity research questions.
One of the things I want to do is lead the development of a health equity research lab, which would provide dedicated resources at Einstein to support interdisciplinary studies of social determinants of health and the inequities that result in harmful outcomes for some people.
Earle Chambers, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“I’m very happy to appoint Dr. Chambers to this position. He has been a productive member of our research faculty since 2007 and has collaborated widely with other investigators at Montefiore-Einstein,” said Peter Selwyn, M.D., M.P.H., chair of family and social medicine and professor of medicine, of epidemiology & population health, and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. “In addition to conducting important original research, he is a valued and sought-after teacher and mentor. I know Earle will do an outstanding job, and will help expand our research efforts in social determinants and health equity in the Bronx and beyond.”
Dr. Chambers earned his B.S. in biology from Duke University, his master’s in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and his Ph.D. in epidemiology with a concentration on chronic disease from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the New York Obesity Research Center (now the New York Obesity Nutrition Center), at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, before joining the Einstein faculty. He has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for studies on how social determinants of health, such as housing and neighborhood conditions, affect behaviors and health outcomes for patients, both as individuals and as part of larger communities.