Signature Research Areas

Our research embraces unique and diverse disciplines within a strong culture of interdisciplinary collaboration. HHS research models range from the cellular level, to pre-clinical models, to human and population-level studies.
Newborn babies

Developmental Health and Wellness

The College of Health and Human Sciences promotes optimal development across the life span. We aim to help all individuals thrive physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually, environmentally, occupationally, financially and cognitively by, for example:


• Understanding how biological, behavioral, social and environmental factors protect or threaten health and mitigate or contribute to risk for adverse clinical outcomes.
• Identifying how families can support healthy development, resilience, disease prevention and mental health.
• Designing and evaluating the efficacy of interventions for children with developmental, behavioral and communication disorders, and advancing methods for ensuring effective education of children and adolescents.
• Determining how relationships can foster optimal development across the life span.

Faculty Co-Leaders: 

Arielle Borovsky, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences 

A.J. Schwichtenberg, Department of Human Development and Family Studies 

Older couple smiling

Healthy Lifestyles and Vital Longevity

 We promote optimal aging, including prevention of chronic disease and disability, the treatment of diseases of aging, caring for individuals with chronic disease and disability, and enhancing quality of life. We develop new technologies, therapies and applications to enhance healthy aging, well-being, relationships and longevity in all communities and in the workplace. We seek to understand how lifestyle, dietary and environmental choices impact health and longevity by, for example:


• Promoting healthy lifestyles, preventive/protective heath-enhancing strategies, and treatment for infectious and chronic diseases and age-related disabilities and conditions.
• Establishing how environmental, recreational, occupational or behavioral exposures may influence or cause disability or disease.
• Defining genetic and biologic mechanisms of neurological disease and diseases of aging, along with underlying social, cultural and structural determinants of disease onset and progression.
• Understanding the impact of infectious and chronic disease, neurologic injuries and military service on the long-term health of individuals and families, including mental health.

Faculty Co-Leaders:

Jason Cannon, School of Health Sciences 

Regan Bailey, Department of Nutrition Science 

International children

Sustainable and Thriving Organizations and Communities

We focus on encouraging sustainable and thriving organizations and communities, locally and globally. We seek to reduce health and wealth disparities, support the development of diverse and inclusive communities, and ensure the long-term health of the environment. We foster hospitality, inclusion and resilience among all individuals and communities from all backgrounds by, for example:


• Establishing methods to reduce social biases, food insecurity, systemic inequalities and health disparities and their consequences.
• Detecting and countering risk and mechanisms for infectious disease spread in local and global contexts.
• Ensuring sustainable, accessible, high quality and cost-effective healthcare organizations and systems of care.
• Determining and disseminating methods for sustainable protection of the earth’s environment, with special emphasis on tourism and food policies and practices.
• Promoting the adoption of policies and practices that support healthy lifestyles within Indiana, the United States and globally.

Faculty Co-Leaders:

Jonathon Day, School of Hospitality & Tourism Management 

Nilupa Gunaratna, Department of Public Health