History of CSAAH

The Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH) is a National Institute of Health (NIH) National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) funded National Research Center of Excellence based in the Section for Health Equity within the Department of Population Health (DPH) at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.

Established in 2003 through an NIH NCMHD Project EXPORT (Excellence in Partnership, Outreach, Research, and Training) Center grant, CSAAH is the only Center of its kind in the country that is solely dedicated to research and evaluation on Asian American health and health disparities. Through research, dissemination, and training activities, CSAAH seeks to eliminate health disparities facing the Asian American population.

CSAAH consists of a broad network of community organizations, community leaders, academic medical centers, and health care institutions that are committed to identifying health priorities and reducing health disparities in the Asian American community.  Integrating and building on the work of researchers and over 55 Asian American community, government, business and academic/medical partners, CSAAH aims to:

  • Build new and strengthen existing private and public partnerships in order to increase outreach, advocacy, and research capacity to address Asian American health disparities and social inequalities;
  • Develop and conduct research to understand, address, and eliminate health disparities in Asian American communities; and
  • Train a cadre of health professionals about community-based approaches of addressing health disparities in Asian American communities.


In the fall of 2007, CSAAH received designations from two prestigious federal funding mechanisms as National Centers of Excellence. The NIH NCMHD awarded a five-year center grant to CSAAH as a National Research Center of Excellence. The NIH grant supports research, research training, and community outreach initiatives that are aimed at reducing disparities in health in Asian American communities. That same fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designated CSAAH a Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Health Disparities (CEED). The five-year CEED grant supports training and dissemination of evidence-based strategies to reduce hepatitis B disparities.  Learn more about the B Free CEED.

In the Fall of 2009, NYU received a CDC Prevention Health Promotion and Research Prevention Center (PRC) grant, one of the CDC’s oldest and largest award programs.  CSAAH is the coordinating agency of this five-year award.  The NYU PRC involves an interdisciplinary and inter-university collaboration among the NYU School of Medicine, NYU Steinhardt Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, and NYU College of Dentistry and Nursing.  The mission of the NYU PRC is to use a community health worker (CHW) model approach to build community capacity and leadership for health promotion and disease prevention in minority and other underserved populations.

NYU is one of the few academic medical centers in the United States to hold both the NIH and CDC designations as Centers of Excellence, as well as the CDC designation as a Prevention Research Center. The success of CSAAH has been largely due to the dedication and commitment of community and university partners working together to reduce health disparities. Over the years, CSAAH partners have been critical in ensuring that the Center’s work is guided by a pan-Asian, collaborative spirit.