Published: Jan. 29, 2021
Graphic of people wearing surgical masks

Dr. Monica Webb Hooper
Deputy Director
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
National Institutes of Health 

Friday, January 29th at 12:00PM MT
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Racial/ethnic disparities in healthcare and health outcomes are longstanding. The real-time emergence of COVID-19 disparities has heightened the public and scientific discourse about structural inequities contributing to the greater risk of exposure among racial/ethnic minorities and other underserved groups. Community-engaged approaches to address unmet health and social needs among underserved populations have never been more urgent. The fields of minority health and health disparities are encouraged to push full speed ahead into 3rd, and ultimately 4th generation, health disparities science – with the goal of achieving health equity in COVID-19 and beyond. Authentic community-engaged research has strong potential to enhance our understanding, competence, and capacity to address multilevel determinants that impact behavior and risk disease, which is especially vital in the age of COVID-19. NIMHD is leading several large-scale initiatives as part of the scientific response to COVID-19 focused on community-engaged interventions to increase testing access and uptake, address misinformation and distrust of clinical research, and to understand and address vaccine hesitancy and uptake among populations with health disparities. We must ensure that populations disproportionately affected are not further left behind and receive the needed culturally and community competent care.


Dr. Monica Webb Hooper is Deputy Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). She works closely with the Director, Dr. Pérez-Stable, and the leadership, to oversee all aspects of the institute and to support the implementation of the science visioning recommendations to improve minority health, reduce health disparities, and promote health equity. Dr. Webb Hooper also co-leads Working Groups for NIH-wide initiatives to understand and address the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 among populations with health disparities.       

Dr. Webb Hooper is an internationally recognized translational behavioral scientist and licensed clinical health psychologist. She has dedicated her career to the scientific study of minority health and racial/ethnic disparities, focusing on chronic illness prevention and health behavior change. Her program of community engaged research focuses on understanding multilevel factors and biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying modifiable risk factors, such as tobacco use and stress processes, and the development of community responsive and culturally specific interventions. Her goals are to (1) contribute to the body of scientific knowledge, (2) make a meaningful and positive difference in the lived experiences of medically underserved communities, (3) return research findings into communities with high need, and (4) facilitate the training of the next generation of minority health and health disparities scientists.

Before joining NIMHD, Dr. Webb Hooper was a Professor of Oncology, Family Medicine & Community Health and Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She was also Associate Director for Cancer Disparities Research and Director of the Office of Cancer Disparities Research in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. During her time as a professor, Dr. Webb Hooper directed the Tobacco, Obesity, and Oncology Laboratory, was principal investigator of multiple federal and foundation grants, and trained dozens of underrepresented trainees at all levels. To date, she has published over 95 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Dr. Webb Hooper completed her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida, internship in medical psychology from the University of Florida Health Sciences Center, and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami.

Downloadable Colloquium Poster PDF