Center for Pediatric Population Health

Improving the health of children and adolescent populations through evidence-based research to inform programs for health promotion, disease prevention, and health care.

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About the Center for Pediatric Population Health

Improving the health of children and adolescent populations through evidence-based research.

Welcome to the Center for Pediatric Population Health (CPPH). The Center’s mission is to support multidisciplinary research teams to conduct studies and programs in collaboration with health care providers and community organizations to improve the health of child and adolescent populations. We serve as a resource to translate scientific findings and knowledge into practical applications for public health practice, health care services, and health policies.

The Center is a unique collaboration between the UTHealth School of Public Health, one of the largest schools of public health in the nation, and the Children’s Health System of Texas, the largest pediatric health care system in North Texas. Through this partnership, we have the capacity for regional and statewide reach. There has never been a greater time or opportunity to serve our Texas pediatric populations and aspire to health without boundaries for all.

Read our annual report here

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Current research studies 

The Center has the capability and expertise to work in numerous areas in the field of population health. Currently, active projects and collaborations include:

NIH Bariatric Research Study

Pediatric Long Haulers Study

Major areas of research

  • Social determinants of health (SDOH)
  • Sports-related concussions/sports medicine
  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary care
  • Developmental and behavioral pediatrics
  • Healthy weight management
  • School and community-based interventions

What sets us apart

Population health is positioned at the intersection of medicine/health care and public health

A unique collaboration between UTHealth School of Public Health and Children’s Health System of Texas, the Center for Pediatric Population Health was founded in 2018 to:

  1. Collaborate and foster partnerships and transdisciplinary research in clinical and community-based settings.
  2. Lead research discovery to generate evidence-based science and recommendations for clinical practice and community-based programming.
  3. Transform through education, training, and mentoring to improve pediatric population health and instill a culture of health for all families.
  4. Diversify our research portfolio with a nimble approach to meet immediate scientific challenges in the field.

We provide a variety of resources to support the research community in our mission of fostering a culture of data-driven, innovative, progressive strategic approaches to population-level pediatric research. These include guidance and support in the following areas:

  • Grant application or study protocol development
  • Study design
  • Sample size and power calculations
  • Analysis methods
  • Randomization
  • Case report form design
  • Data management
  • Database development and administration
  • Survey development and collection
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Presentation and manuscript preparation

Collaboration is the key to progress

The Center aims is to promote and facilitate collaborations among researchers, clinicians, and community organizations, so that together, groundbreaking research may be done that can have local, national, and global impacts on pediatric population health.

If you are interested in a research collaboration, please complete the following application: 


We currently collaborate on research projects with:

  • Children’s Health Medical Center
  • Children's Health Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
  • UTHealth School of Public Health
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation
  • Dallas Independent School District
  • Dallas Park and Recreation
  • The Cooper Institute


Contact us

Interested in collaborating?

Center for Pediatric Population Health

Trinity Towers
2777 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 8400
Dallas, Texas 75207

Phone: 972-546-2950
Fax: 214-351-7006
Email: Elishia.M.Barnett@uth.tmc.edu


    Understanding how COVID-19 affects the health and well-being of people with obesity

    Research led by UTHealth School of Public Health's Center for Pediatric Population Health and UTSouthwestern could inform clinicians and other health professionals on effective strategies to minimize the physical and psychological health impacts from COVID-10 among adults with obesity.

    READ MORESPH - Our Impact - CPPH Obesity + COVID

    A person stands on a scale. (Photo by Getty Images)

    Concussions are associated with cognitive, behavioral, and emotional health consequences for student athletes

    Research spearheaded by Center for Pediatric Population Health faculty analyzing data from more than 13,000 students shows that concussions may have a compounding effect on children, leading to long-term cognitive, behavioral, and emotional health consequences. This is the first study to report on the association between sports-related concussions and negative health implications based on a representative sample of U.S. high school students. Approximately 2.5 million high school students in the United States reported suffering at least one concussion related to sports or physical activity in the last 12 months, according to the CDC’s 2017 data.

    READ MORESPH - CPPH - Concussion Study

    One football player tackles another. (Photo by Getty Images.)

    Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare but severe condition that is associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection   

    Upcoming oral presentation at APHA 2021 Annual Meeting & Expo on the long-term complications in children with previously diagnosed multisystem inflammatory syndrome related to COVID-19


    A virus

    Recipient of the Primm-Singleton Minority Travel Award and the President James T Willerson Endowed Scholarship in the School of Public Health

    Sitara Weerakoon has earned the Primm-Singleton Minority Travel Award and the President James T. Willerson Endowed Scholarship in the School of Public Health. The Travel Award is conferred to graduate students working towards a career in substance abuse research and covers travel costs to the international substance abuse conference the College on Problems of Drug Dependence Annual Meeting. The Willerson Endowed Scholarship is awarded to School of Public Health students based on academic merit. Sitara is a second year PhD student in epidemiology and a graduate research assistant at the Center for Pediatric Population Health.

    READ MORESPH - CPPH - Weerakoon

    Sitara Weerakoon. (Photo provided by UTHealth)

    New research indicates widespread community transmission of COVID-19 among children   

    Data from TX CARES indicates that children and adolescents have higher exposure to COVID-19 than adults based on seroprevalence analyses from across Texas

    READ MORESPH - CPPH COVID Transmission in Children

    Results of the pediatric portion of the Texas CARES study

    Certain paternally-derived alleles show lower occurrences for obstructive heart defects   

    A recently published study by Dr. Jenil Patel evaluated the risk of paternal genetic variants and occurrence of obstructive heart defects (OHDs). Parent-of-origin effects in transmission of alleles in three different pathways (folate, homocysteine, and transsulfuration) genes were examined to evaluate the risk of OHD occurrence in offspring. The authors found that among infants who inherited paternally-derived copies of certain alleles, the risk for obstructive defects was lower compared to infants who inherited maternally-derived copies of the same alleles. The study was authored as part of Dr. Patel’s post-doctoral training at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Wendy Nembhard, PhD (UAMS) was the principal investigator and senior author of the study.

    READ MORESPH - CPPH Genetic Variants and Occurrence of Obstructive Heart Defects

    Micro Organismz

    Tracking COVID-19: New reseatch app will help trace the spread of the virus

    As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the U.S., a new free research app is hoping to slow the outbreak of the disease by tracking symptoms of millions across the country. To bring the app home to Texans, researchers at UTHealth have joined the national research project led by Harvard University.

    READ MORESPH - Our Impact - COVID Tracker

    COVID Symptom Tracker App. (Image by ZOE)

    Recipient of the Denton A. Cooley, MD Transformation and Hope Scholarship and the J. Fred Annegers Memorial Scholarship

    Luyu "Amber" Xie has earned the Denton A. Cooley, MD Transformation and Hope Scholarship and the J. Fred Annegers Memorial Scholarship. Both scholarships are provided to students from UTHealth’s six schools who excel academically. Amber is a first year PhD student in epidemiology and a graduate research assistant at the Center for Pediatric Population Health.

    READ MORESPH - CPPH - Cooley Award (Amber)


    Children with developmental disabilities more likely to develop asthma

    Children with developmental disabilities or delay are more at risk of developing asthma, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open led by public health researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) as part of the Center for Pediatric Population Health.

    READ MORESPH - New Research - CPPH disabilities + asthma

    A young girl uses an inhaler. (Photo by Getty Images)