African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network
Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
8th Floor Blockley Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104

AACORN | African American Collaborative Obesity Network



The mission of AACORN is to improve the quality, quantity, and effective translation of research to address weight related issues in African American communities. A major aim of this network is to enhance the visibility and integration of the perspectives of African American investigators within the larger obesity research arena and especially in relation to research in African American populations.


African-American communities are disproportionately impacted by obesity and its related conditions including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and osteoarthritis. For AACORN, efforts to ameliorate obesity and associated poor health and quality of life require a full commitment to basic human rights and to addressing the challenges posed by obesity within the broader social and political realities affecting African Americans.

AACORN is currently building its infrastructure with participation of university-based researchers, researchers-in training and community-based researchers and partners. With our foundation based on resource mobilization, the expertise and involvement of our stakeholders are essential in this developmental process. It is our intention that AACORN will serve as a catalyst in the implementation of obesity research and interventions to have a national and, eventually, international reach and impact.

Involvement with AACORN is open to all interested and qualified scholars. Membership is by invitation and is not restricted by "race" or ethnicity.


AACORN was formed in 2002 to stimulate and support greater participation in framing and implementing the obesity research agenda by investigators who have both social and cultural grounding in African American life experiences and obesity-related scientific expertise.

Shiriki Kumanyika, an African American public health and nutrition researcher and professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine is the founder of AACORN. AACORN formerly was linked to the Penn-Cheyney Center of Excellence for Inner City Health (a partnership she directed between the University of Pennsylvania and the Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) which was established with funding from the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the Project Export Program.                                                                                                                     



AACORN's current research activities are funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

© 2007 African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network. All Rights Reserved.