Dr. Rick Kittles Joins MSM as Senior Vice President for Research

Noted researcher and health disparities expert comes to MSM from City of Hope,
where he is founding director of the Division of Health Equities

Dr. Rick KittlesRick Kittles, PhD
Senior Vice President for Research

ATLANTA – JULY 26, 2022Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is proud to announce that noted researcher and health disparities expert Rick Kittles, PhD, will join MSM as its Senior Vice President for Research on August 1.

“From exploring the human genome to examining cancer outcomes, Dr. Kittles has conducted groundbreaking research throughout his career. He has a proven track record of demonstrating real-world impacts that are informed by data,” said MSM President and CEO Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG. “We are thrilled that Dr. Kittles is bringing his expertise to MSM, and we are excited to work with him as we create the future of global health equity.”

Dr. Kittles joins MSM from City of Hope in Duarte, California, where he is currently a professor, the founding director of the Division of Health Equities within the Department of Population Sciences, and associate director of health equities in City of Hope’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Kittles has extensively studied the overlapping intersections of race, ancestry, genetics, and health disparities, with a particular focus on prostate cancer among African American men.

As the inaugural Senior Vice President for Research at MSM, Dr. Kittles will oversee several key offices as well as support targeted hiring of additional funded basic science and clinical research faculty. He will report to the President and CEO Dr. Montgomery Rice and will have a close working relationship with the Dean and Executive Vice President of Health Affairs. Dr. Kittles will also work very closely with the MSM Research Advisory Council, the Chief Scientific Research Officer, and will work day-to-day with faculty, particularly in the area of faculty development and assistance in pursuing and securing grants. He will also have a close relationship with MSM center and institute directors and basic science department chairs with regards to research activities.

“The opportunity to join Morehouse School of Medicine and help lead its research program is a huge honor,” said Dr. Kittles. “I’m thrilled to partner with the talented faculty and staff at Morehouse School of Medicine as they continue their transformational growth in the area of research. My entire professional career has been focused on leveraging scientific advances and discoveries to enhance health equity and I’m looking forward to further the organization’s mission of ‘translating discovery into health equity.’”

Dr. Kittles has published more than 240 research articles in addition to winning numerous awards and accolades. He earned his PhD in Biological Sciences from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Rochester Institute of Technology. His first faculty appointment was at Howard University, where he helped establish the National Human Genome Center at Howard University. Dr. Kittles has also held faculty appointments at the Ohio State University Medical Center, University of Chicago Medical Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Arizona. He is co-founder of African Ancestry, Inc., a private company that provides DNA testing services for tracing African genetic lineages to genealogists and the general public around the world.

For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, please visit MSM.edu.

About Morehouse School of Medicine

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission — the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master’s degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit MSM.edu or call 404-752-1500.


Jamille Bradfield
Morehouse School of Medicine