Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D.
Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D. is Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He oversees NIMHD’s annual budget to advance the science of minority health and health disparities research. NIMHD conducts and supports research programs to advance knowledge and understanding of health disparities, identify mechanisms to improve minority health and reduce health disparities, and develop effective interventions to reduce health disparities in community and clinical settings.
NIMHD is the lead organization at NIH for planning, reviewing, coordinating, and evaluating minority health and health disparities research activities. NIMHD also promotes diversity in the biomedical workforce, supports research capacity at less-resourced institutions training underrepresented students and serving populations with health disparities, supports inclusive participation in all clinical research, and promotes information dissemination through regular electronic communications, public education outreach, and scientific presentations.
Since joining NIMHD in September 2015, Dr. Pérez-Stable has been cultivating the Institute’s position on the cutting edge of the science of minority health and health disparities. Through this effort, the Institute has produced a collection of resources that guide and facilitate the conduct of research to promote health equity. These include the NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan 2021-2025; the NIMHD Research Framework; the PhenX Social Determinants of Health Assessments Collection, a research toolkit; a collection of 30 science visioning Strategies to Promote the Advancement of Health Disparities Science; special journal supplements Structural Racism and Discrimination: Impact on Minority Health and Health Disparities and Addressing Health Disparities through the Utilization of Health Information Technology; and The Science of Health Disparities Research textbook, among other resources.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Pérez-Stable has positioned NIMHD at the forefront of the research response to COVID-19 health disparities by co-chairing three major new NIH-wide research programs and collaborating with other NIH institutes and centers. The two most prominent NIH-wide programs that have been established to promote health equity by reducing COVID-19 associated morbidity and mortality disparities experienced by underserved and vulnerable communities are the Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities and the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics for Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) initiatives. In October 2021, Dr. Pérez-Stable was awarded a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) with Gary Gibbons, M.D., Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). They received the COVID-19 Response Medal for their extraordinary role in fighting the pandemic in communities of color.
Prior to becoming NIMHD Director, Dr. Pérez-Stable was a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Pérez-Stable’s research interests have centered on improving the health of individuals from racial and ethnic minority communities through effective prevention interventions, understanding underlying causes of health disparities, and advancing patient-centered care for underserved populations. Recognized as a leader in Latino health care and disparities research, Dr. Pérez-Stable spent 32 years leading research on smoking cessation and tobacco control in Latino populations in the United States and Latin America, addressing clinical and prevention issues in cancer control research, supporting early career scientists in research on minority aging in clinical and community settings, and addressing research questions in clinical conditions such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes and dementia.
He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and was continuously funded by NIH grants for 30 years prior to becoming NIMHD Director. Dr. Pérez-Stable was also director of the UCSF Center for Aging in Diverse Communities, which is funded by NIH’s National Institute on Aging, and director of the UCSF Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations. He was a career mentor for many students, residents, and faculty, and a research mentor for over 70 minority investigators.
Dr. Pérez-Stable was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Science in 2001 and the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 1996. He earned a B.A. in chemistry in 1974 and an M.D. in 1978 from the University of Miami. He then completed his primary care internal medicine residency and a research fellowship in general internal medicine at UCSF before joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 1983. Dr. Pérez-Stable practiced primary care internal medicine for 37 years at UCSF following a panel of about 200 patients, and supervised and taught students and residents in the ambulatory care and hospital settings.