Dr. John Ruffin is the Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). He oversees the NIMHD budget of approximately $276 million. In addition, he provides leadership for the minority health and health disparities research activities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which constitutes an additional annual budget of approximately $2.8 billion. (Under the Affordable Care Act, the new Center is considered an equal partner with the many other NIH Institutes and Centers).
As an academician and a scientist, Dr. Ruffin has devoted his professional career to improving the health status of racial and ethnic communities, and other underserved populations. As the NIH federal official for minority health disparities research, Dr. Ruffin has planned and brought to fruition the largest biomedical research program in the nation aimed at efforts to eliminate health disparities.
Under his leadership, the NIH convened the first annual “Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit” in December 2008 to showcase the work, progress, and challenges of the NIH and its many federal and non-federal government partners involved in minority health and health disparities research.
Dr. Ruffin has a stellar record of professional achievement including honorary doctor of science degrees from Spelman College, Tuskegee University, University of Massachusetts in Boston, North Carolina State University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Tulane University and Dillard University.
Dr. Ruffin received a B.S. in Biology from Dillard University, a M.S. in Biology from Atlanta University, a Ph.D. in Systematic and Developmental Biology from Kansas State University, and completed post-doctoral studies in biology at Harvard University.
The Programs Supported by the NIMDH include:
Research Centers in Minority Institutions awards strengthen biomedical research capacity in institutions with a significant enrollment of students from racial and ethnic minority groups.
Centers of Excellence conduct research on health disparities within several disease areas and conditions, such as, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, nutrition, obesity and maternal and infant health.
Research Endowment Program awards promote the education and training of underrepresented minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged individuals awarding grants to an eligible institutions endowment.
Loan Repayment Program awards promote research careers in basic, clinical, and behavioral research for young scientists from underserved communities.
Community Based Participatory Research awards engage scientists and communities in health disparities research.
Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training awards support young scientists conducting scientific research abroad.
Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions grants support research and strengthen the biomedical research capability of eligible institutions
Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program makes grants to small businesses and to partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions to bring innovative technologies to market designed to empower health disparity communities to achieve health equity through health education and disease prevention.