Thank you for your interest in the Georgia Prevention Institute (GPI). Augusta University (AU) is noted for its excellence in basic science research programs. In the GPI, AU is also noted for its support of the community, as well as innovative research in both the com- munity setting and in improving patient care through laboratory studies.

The GPI was founded 35 years ago (1981) by two pioneers, a Pediatric Cardiologist (Dr. William B. Strong) and an educator (Dr. Maurice Levy), to fill a void in education and research in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention within the community. The GPI had very humble beginnings, building from the “grass roots” up. The GPI was first allocated space in 1985, when Drs.’ Strong, Levy and Frank Treiber (the first full-time faculty member and later Director) received the GPI’s first grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the relationship of childhood diet and exercise to future development of heart disease.

Our research portfolio has grown considerably since these beginnings. For example, we increased our community research efforts to include programs on both obesity and sub- stance abuse in children and adolescents, which have been very successful; we are performing studies that indicate stress reduction can improve treatment for PTSD in the military; and we are measuring risk factors for disease in a longitudinal study of Hispanic farmworkers. All of these studies also provide services to the community.

Our research on mechanisms related to disease has also transitioned from observa- tional studies to clinical trials based on our initial findings. These studies have the potential of changing patient care in high risk populations. Finally, we expanded our research focus to diabetes, obesity, lung disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis, diet, inflammation, alcohol intake, music, stress reduction, and early life stress to name a few. These changes have increased our total funding to $94 million since our inception. Our continued growth and development will allow us to continue serving the community in disease prevention and treatment.

Gregory Harshfield, PhD.

Director