Barbara Israel is Principal Investigator of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center, funded initially in 1995 through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and presently funded by the University of Michigan, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The Center is a collaborative partnership involving members of community-based organizations, health and human service agencies, and academia that fosters CBPR research and intervention projects aimed at increasing knowledge and addressing factors associated with health inequities and quality of life in Detroit, Michigan. She has published widely in the areas of community-based participatory research (CBPR), community empowerment, evaluation, stress and health, social networks, and health disparities. Dr. Israel has extensive experience conducting community-based participatory research in collaboration with partners in diverse ethnic communities.
Dr. Israel is involved in several of these CBPR efforts focusing on: an examination of the social and physical environmental determinants of childhood asthma and intervention strategies aimed at reducing these determinants; the relationship between psychosocial and physical environmental and biological factors and cardiovascular disease and strategies for addressing these factors (e.g., interventions aimed at increasing access to healthy foods and physical activity spaces); and building capacity for and engaging in policy change aimed at eliminating health inequities.