May 24, 2023 (updated July 10, 2023)

NIMHD Science Leader Receives Honors for Work Advancing the Science of Minority Health and Health Disparities

Dr. Monica Webb Hooper

Dr. Monica Webb Hooper, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently received two accolades for her leadership and influence across biomedical and behavioral research.

In April, Dr. Webb Hooper was recognized as one of the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) Class of 2023 Global Top 100 List for Healthcare and Wellness in support of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024. The MIPAD honor identifies high achievers of African descent in public and private sectors who have distinguished themselves in advancing people of African descent worldwide. The MIPAD Class of 2023 will be recognized at a formal ceremony on Sunday, October 1, at the Millennium Hilton in New York City.

Dr. Webb Hooper has also been acknowledged by Academic Influence (AI) as one of 25 Influential Black Psychologists and among 50 Influential Black Anthropologists* from the past 30 years. AI is a data science organization that ranks the top schools, disciplinary programs, and academic thought leaders based on statistical analyses of scholarly journals and keyword searches. Their data show Dr. Webb Hooper is one of America’s most cited and searched Black scholars.

In 2020, shortly after joining NIMHD, Dr. Webb Hooper was established as a leading federal authority on COVID-19 disparities when she authored an article, “COVID-19 and Racial/Ethnic Disparities,” highlighting the disproportionate burden of the coronavirus on people from racial and ethnic minority groups. The article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and it has been cited more than 1,200 times**.

As NIMHD Deputy Director, Dr. Webb Hooper partners with the Director on overall executive direction and scientific leadership of the institute. She leads working groups for several interdisciplinary scientific initiatives across NIH and NIMHD, including those addressing COVID-19 testing and vaccine hesitancy, and estimating the social, behavioral, and economic impacts of COVID-19. Her leadership paves the way for successful implementation of large-scale community-engaged research programs and for more inclusive research opportunities within NIH and the extramural scientific community. Dr. Webb Hooper’s guidance is instrumental in the NIH UNITE initiative, which has the aspirational goal of ending structural racism in biomedical research.

As an internationally recognized licensed clinical health psychologist and translational behavioral scientist dedicated to the scientific study of minority health, and racial and ethnic disparities and interventions to reduce them, Dr. Webb Hooper has published and been featured in more than one hundred articles and editorials, and has presented at numerous health and science events at the federal, professional society, and community levels.

*Anthropologists - inclusive of social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, and the humanities.

**This article was updated July 10, 2023 to reflect 1,294 citations of the article COVID-19 and Racial/Ethnic Disparities, noted by the Journal of the American Medical Association. As of that date, additional citations for this article include Academic Influence, which records 1,558 citations and Google Scholar, which records 2,036 citations. Both references include scholarly journals as well as other sources that may include search terms, abstracts, blogs, and other online publications.

Page updated July 11, 2023