McKyer receives Chancellor’s Research Initiative “EDGES” Award

October 9, 2020

Lisako Jones McKyer, PhD, MPH, professor and senior associate dean of climate and inclusion at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health, has been selected as a recipient of a Chancellor’s Research Initiative “EDGES” Award. This initiative was created in 2013 to recruit the brightest minds to Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University and expanded in 2019 to retain The Texas A&M University System’s best faculty engaged in research.

McKyer is an internationally-recognized expert on social and structural determinants of health inequities, with emphasis on rural, minority, maternal, infant, child and adolescent health disparities. Her research focuses on using socio-ecological framework and community-based participatory model to address social/structural determinants. She is a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on more than $8 million in extramural funding, co-investigator on additional $12 million, and has published approximately 90 peer-reviewed papers, with more than 130 international and national presentations. She is the current president and a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB). She also serves as the executive director of the Health Disparities Education, Awareness and Research Consortium (HDEART-C), which includes more than 40 institutions of higher learning, health care institutions and organizations committed to developing programs to address health disparities in minority and medically underserved populations. The HDEART-C Summer Workshop on Social Justice and Health Disparities is the longest-running health disparities workshop in the nation.

McKyer has for two decades advocated for health equity to be viewed as a social justice issue, with contributing causes rooted in implicit biases. She was instrumental in the establishment of the AAHB Diversity and Equity Council and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

Former School of Public Health Dean Jay Maddock, PhD, says, “Dr. McKyer has helped develop the next generation of minority scholars by chairing more dissertations of minority students in public health than anyone of which I am aware. She is in the top 1 percent of public health faculty in mentoring.” It is no surprise that she has received Mentorship Awards from both the Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the AAHB.

“Dr. McKyer is an exemplar in every meaning of the word and is extremely deserving of the recognition through the EDGES award,” said School of Public Health Dean Shawn Gibbs, PhD. “She is a superb researcher, mentor, teacher, administrator and person. She is who most faculty strive to be, as her research impacts lives for the better and pushes her field further. I feel lucky that I get to work with her, and I cannot stress enough how valued she is as a member of the School of Public Health and Texas A&M University.”

McKyer received her BA in psychology from California State University at Northridge where she earned a research fellowship from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS), and doctoral training in pediatric clinical science (psychology) at Indiana University, funded by a predoctoral research fellowship from NIH/NIDDK. She earned both an MPH in community health and a PhD in health behavior also from Indiana University.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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