Welcome to the website of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses under the directorship of Dr. Robert Gatchel.

Center Members, Spring, 2013

This Center was developed to coordinate and stimulate biopsychosocial/medical research and community-based education and prevention efforts pertaining to the causes and management of chronic illnesses.

The Center is part of The University of Texas at Arlington, which is situated on a cloistered, urban campus of over 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.

The Center itself currently consists of 1,100 square feet of space, with a large suite of laboratory/clinical research rooms that house personnel involved in research projets, as well as for subject assessment and treatment purposes.

In addition, data management and quality assurance tasks are conducted here. There is also excellent secretarial and computer services support available for projects. In addition to this space, there is additional space which houses the comprehensive Andy Baum Memorial Bioassay Laboratory, which is part of the Center.

We welcome your input for other areas you might consider important to include in the Center.


New Director brings together experts from different fields to focus on health

Robert Gatchel
Psychology professor Robert Gatchel was appointed Director of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses earlier this month.
Psychology professor Robert Gatchel began the Spring 2013 Semester as Director of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses. The Center brings together different organizations and institutions for research. 

“The goal is to develop synergy among UT Arlington, UT-Southwestern Medical Center and the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth for collaborating on important issues related to chronic illnesses,” Gatchel said.

The Center allows different colleges on campus to work together, including the science, nursing, life sciences and business departments, Gatchel said. 

“It will emphasize the fact that most human behavior is a result of interaction among biological, social and psychological factors,” Gatchel said.

The Center was created in response to changes in the health-care system in the United States, according to the Center’s website. Many medical schools and centers suffer from federal cutbacks. However, Gatchel hopes to attract private donors to help fund the Center. 

“I think there is a commitment by the University to try to attract major donors, and the Center is one of the attractive parts of the University for those donors,” Gatchel said.

Nursing professor Kathryn Daniel holds a seat on the Advisory Committee at the Center. She is also the Adult and Gerontologic Nursing Practitioner Program interim director. 

Daniel said she would like nursing to be more involved in research.

“I would like to see nursing at the table in those research discussions,” Daniel said. “We are the first and sometimes the only person the patient sees.”

Management professor James Quick is another UTA instructor who is a part of the Advisory Committee for the Center.

“Dr. Gatchel has recruited a team with a wide range of expertise,” Quick said.

Quick brings a link between the Center and public health because of work with his brother, who holds a doctorate and mastery in public health. “I’m happy to serve,” Quick said. “There is significant, collaborative overlap between the work he is doing and the work I do.”

Quick said that there is a good connection between the management and psychology departments. He also recognizes that students are interested in research that taps into different fields of study.    

Gatchel said the Center presents a great opportunity for students interested in research. 

“Whenever we do research, we need research assistants to help us conduct studies, analyze data, write up results,” Gatchel said. “It is an ideal environment for them to get involved in terms of real-life practical clinical research.”