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Research that Resonates


Arizona Wellbeing Commons

Economics, access to health services, genetics, the environment, geography, age – all of these and more form a complex web of interdependent influences on wellbeing. The Arizona Wellbeing Commons brings scientists, clinicians and partners together in a powerful network of researchers to tackle the health issues that impact wellbeing in Arizona.

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How it works

Participants in the Commons apply multiple perspectives, tools and expertise to the exploration of health, in complexity ranging from the molecular to the societal.

Broadly inclusive frames of examination form our seven divisions of inquiry:

  • neurobiology, aging, dementias and movement disorders
  • cancer prevention, detection, management and treatment
  • viruses, immunity, microbiomes and infectious disease
  • nutrition, obesity, exercise and lifestyle
  • mental health, substance abuse, crime and behavior change
  • public health and healthcare services: law, policy and equity
  • culture, arts, design and humanities in health

Benefits of participating

The Wellbeing Commons offers a space for Arizona professionals of any institution concerned with health to collaborate on research, develop and use shared resources, attend yearly events, identify new interdisciplinary research alignments, enhance the mentorship of young researchers, and belong to a community that facilitates inter-institutional dialogue statewide.  

Viewing wellbeing through multiple perspectives allows fresh approaches to any number of health issues, including grand challenges such as heart disease, cancer, and dementia. New collaborations will catalyze new frameworks and improved solutions throughout the great state of Arizona.

Upcoming Events

Arizona Health Cultures Post-COIVD: a conversation on the humanities, the arts and health

Date: April 16, 2021

Time: noon - 1:30 p.m.

Location: Zoom link 

About the discussion

The COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted and exacerbated the structural inequalities and inadequacies in systems of healthcare that are part of living a 21st century life in the United States. At the same time, the pandemic has required urgent responses from local community networks of care and it has highlighted the fundamental generosity and resilience of clinicians, scientists and community workers who are confronting the disease. In addition to the grief, suffering and trauma that will need to be addressed and accommodated in the post-pandemic future, we can anticipate greater burdens and complexities to the experiences of loneliness and social isolation as communities regain their bearings and create pathways to new normal lives.

Moderated by Cora Fox, PhD, Associate Professor of English and Institute for Humanities Research Health Humanities Initiative Lead

Tamara Underiner, PhD, Associated Dean for Academic Affairs, Graduate College, Co-Founder, Creative Health Collaborations, Arizona State University

Nicole Piemonte, PhD, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Peekie Nash Carpenter Endowed Chair in Medicine, Department of Medical Humanities, Creighton University School of Medicine Phoenix Regional Campus

Katherine C. Kough, M. Admin, Program Director, Center for Humanities in Medicine, Mayo Clinic-Phoenix

Catherine Lockmiller, MA, MLIS, Health Science Librarian, Northern Arizona University, Cline Library

Jen Hartmark-Hill, MD, FAAFP, Director, Narrative Medicine & Health Humanities, Department of Bioethics & Medical Humanism, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix

Tracy Neal Leavelle, PhD, Director, Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions, Associate Professor of History, Creighton University

Lunch is on us for the first 50 people who register, delivered to you by GrubHub. Click here to register.


Joshua LaBaer, MD, PhD, leads the Commons. He is one of the nation’s foremost investigators in the rapidly expanding field of personalized diagnostics and executive director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. LaBaer is also director of the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics, the Dalton Chair of Cancer Research, a professor in the ASU School of Molecular Sciences and an adjunct professor of medicine at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.

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