MSM’s "Danforth Dialogues" Podcast Focuses on the School’s Innovative Research Programs

MSM President and CEO Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice is joined by Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Innovation Dr. Sandra Harris-Hooker and Senior Vice President for Research Dr. Rick Kittles for the conversation.

Danforth Dialogues

ATLANTA – OCTOBER 13, 2022 – Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) today published the latest edition of its "Danforth Dialogues" podcast, featuring a “deep dive” into the medical school’s innovative research programs during a conversation between MSM’s President and CEO Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Senior Vice President for External Partnerships and Innovation Dr. Sandra Harris-Hooker, and Dr. Rick Kittles, Senior Vice President for Research.

“The COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness of the continuing health disparities in communities of color and the need to invest in more research to address those disparities,” said Dr. Montgomery Rice. “Since our inception, Morehouse School of Medicine has been on the frontlines of medical research to help improve health outcomes for African Americans, Latinos, and other underserved communities in the country.”

Dr. Harris-Hooker, who headed MSM’s research program before assuming her new role, noted that the school’s research efforts were modest during its early years as a two-year institution. “We started with a portfolio that was, at best, $300,000 to $400,000,” she said. “Today, we have a comprehensive and robust research program. We ended our last fiscal year with well over $84 million in research projects.”

Dr. Kittles is one of the country’s leading genetics researchers and is known for his pioneering work in tracing African American ancestry though DNA testing. “Honored and humbled,” to be in his new role, Dr. Kittles noted in the podcast the unique role for medical research at Historically Black Medical Schools to help improve health equity in communities of color.

“It is our responsibility as individuals who came from these communities to go back and serve and improve the health of our communities,” he said. “Very few investigators outside of our communities can do that.”

Launched earlier this year, Danforth Dialogues focuses on the leadership lessons from the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and their broader implication for society. Named after the

historic Danforth Chapel on the Morehouse College campus, the podcast series features a cross-section of guests and topics.

To hear this edition of the podcast, click here. For more information about the Danforth Dialogues leadership series, click here.

To listen and subscribe to the Danforth Dialogues podcast, click here.

For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, please visit

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. Morehouse School of Medicine's 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 or call 404-752-1500.


Jamille Bradfield
Morehouse School of Medicine