The future of translational science, today



Welcome to the website of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses under the Directorship of Dr. Robert J. Gatchel, and Associate Directorship of Dr. Paul J. Fadel.

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 has excellent interdisciplinary core resources in: the biopsychosocial assessment and treatment of pain; brain imaging technologies for more precisely documenting treatment outcomes; outstanding researchers in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders, all of which are associated with different types of pain; microbiology;immunology; genomics; and our research on the rapidly-growing aging population in the U.S., which experiences the highest rates of chronic illnesses and associated pain. All of the above are also closely aligned with a major Strategic Goal of UT Arlington: HEALTH AND THE HUMAN CONDITION, along with many of its vantage points. It now also focuses on Clinical Translational Research with guidance from Dr. Fadel. In addition, besides engaging in interdisciplinary clinical research across the different Colleges here at UT Arlington, there is active research collaborations with UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, UNT Health Science Center, FT. Worth, Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas, and Texas Woman's University at Dallas.

The Center is part of the College of Science at The University of Texas at Arlington, which is situated on a cloistered, urban campus in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex. UT Arlington is a comprehensive research institution, with more than 53,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs. It is the second largest Institution in the University of Texas System.


Associate Director Dr. Paul J. Fadel

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. 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 the Center has direct access to.


Director and new Associate Director bring together experts from different fields to focus on clinical health research and innovations

Robert J. Gatchel
Psychology professor Robert Gatchel was appointed Director of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses earlier this month.
Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology, Robert J. 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, the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas, and Texas Woman's University at Dallas for collaborating on important issues related to chronic illnesses,” Gatchel said.

The Center allows different colleges on campus to work together, including the Colleges of Science, Nursing and Health Innovation, Engineering, and Business, 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 healthcare system in the United States, according to the Center’s website. Many medical schools and centers are starting to suffer from significant 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 master's 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 student 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.”

Dr. Paul J. Fadel, Ph.D., Professor of Kinesiology and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation now brings his expertise to the Center. As he notes, there is a great synergy between the Center and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. The Center brings together many of the older and new hires in his College who are engaged in translational clinical research. These include: Drs. Matt Brothers, Marco Brotto , Mark Haykowsky, David Keller, Mike Nelson, Kathy Daniel, Priscila Cacola, Mark Ricard, and Cynthia Trowbridge. Some of their ongoing research is listed under the College of Nursing and Health Innovation section of this Website. Dr. Keller also leads the Center of Healthy Living and Longevity, which closely collaborates with the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses.