Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center– DELETE FOR LAUNCH

Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center

The National Institutes of Health recently awarded USC’s
Schaeffer Center with $2.7 million over 5 years to establish a Resource
Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR). The USC RCMAR is named the
“Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center ” and with this
prestigious, highly competitive award, we join a distinguished group of
universities with an established RCMAR.

The Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center is led by Dana Goldman and Julie Zissimopoulos from the Schaeffer Center. The mission is
to provide infrastructure and resources to increase the number,
diversity, and academic success of researchers focusing on the health
and economic well-being of minority elderly populations.

The Center is housed at USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and
Economics and brings together the resources of USC’s Roybal Center for
Health Policy Simulation, Roybal Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s
Disease Research Center, and RAND’s Roybal Center for Financial Decision

The RCMAR will examine the differences across racial and ethnic groups of elderly in:

  1. health care decision making, including medical care utilization and Medicare Part D plan choice;
  2. health behaviors and outcomes; and
  3. financial behavior including savings and work, and economic well-being.

The aims are to support research careers in the health and economic
challenges of minority elderly; to solicit pilot studies; to mentor
junior faculty (RCMAR scholars) in multidisciplinary training; to begin
new lines of research; and to track and evaluate success of pilot
investigators, RCMAR scholars.


Current RCMAR Scholars:


Tyson H. Brown, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology


Project Title: Understanding Racial/Ethnic Inequalities in Wealth Trajectories in Middle and Late Life: Patterns and Explanations.


Tyson H. Brown is an assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University (VU). He also has secondary appointment at VU’s Center for Medicine, Health and Society, and is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Associate. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and did a NIH/NIA-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University.

Dr. Brown’s program of research is focused on understanding how and why race/ethnicity intersects
with other systems of inequality (e.g., gender, class, and nativity) to shape health and wealth across the life course. This research interest is expressed in three interrelated areas: 1) using multiple-hierarchy stratification approaches to investigate the intersecting consequences of social factors on health and wealth, 2) examining whether and why health and wealth inequality increase or decrease over the life course, and 3) determining the extent to which structural and psychosocial mechanisms (e.g., childhood and adult SES, chronic stress, discrimination, and neighborhood conditions) underlie health and wealth inequalities. His training and research has been supported, in part, by funding from the NIH, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Uchechi A. Mitchell
, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, USC/UCLA Center for Biodemography and Population Health

Project Title: Economic Stress and Disease Risk: A Pathway to Health Inequalities Among Older Adults.

Uchechi A. Mitchell is a National Institute on Aging (NIA) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California, in the USC/UCLA Center for Biodemography and Population Health. She received her Ph.D. in Public Health, with training in Community Health Sciences, from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014.

She was a former predoctoral trainee with the NIA and the National Institute of General Medical
Sciences (NIGMS), where she pursued research on the effects of experiences of discrimination on health and health disparities. As a postdoctoral fellow, she is currently receiving training in gerontology and population aging, multidimensional aspects of the aging experience, and social determinants of change in biological risk among older adults.

Dr. Mitchell’s research investigates racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic inequities in health and
aging.  She examines the psychosocial and biological pathways leading to these systematic differences, with a specific emphasis on the role of social and psychosocial stressors.  Current projects include research on social and age-related disparities in inflammation; racial disparities in cumulative biological risk and disease onset; differential exposure to discrimination as a determinant of racial disparities in biological risk; and educational differences in psychosocial well-being among older adults.  


Maria Jose Prados, Ph.D.

Associate Economist


Project Title: How much can education and health interventions lower old-age health disparities?

Maria Jose Prados, Ph.D. is a Research Economist at the Center for Economic and Social Research at the University of Southern California. Most of her work focuses on understanding the sources and dynamics of inequality over the lifecycle. She specializes in quantitative and applied economics, and her research interests have to do with inequality, health, gender, labor economics, and household finance.

Dr. Prados holds a PhD in Economics from Columbia University and she completed a postdoctoral appointment at USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. She received her Licenciatura en Economia with highest honors from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Mendoza, Argentina) and pursued graduate studies at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Buenos Aires, Argentina). To read more about Maria Prados’ research, please visit her website: www-bcf.usc.edu/~prados/index.html


For more information, please contact:
Julie Zissimopoulos, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics