UNLV Research and Interdisciplinarity

Research at UNLV strives to develop solutions and pathways that allow us to adapt and thrive in a complex, dynamic world. UNLV is committed to becoming a leader in interdisciplinary research grounded in the recognition that the most compelling challenges are about quality of life and what it means to be human. The approach demands new ways of working together between the STEM fields, arts and humanities.

Sustainability in Arid Lands - Colleges of Urban Affairs, Engineering, and Sciences

Ensuring sustainability in arid lands requires research in STEM fields and social sciences to interact with each other to inform policy decisions. Similarly, public policy requirements drive innovation that impacts the quality of life. A goal of this area is developing solutions and approaches for sustainability through research spanning this multidisciplinary area in a way that mutually informs and shapes each individual disciplinary approach. Social and scientific problems associated with this topic range from developing innovative solutions for water reclamation and resource management to understanding and addressing social consequences of the heat-islands in cities including juvenile and adult homelessness. Faculty will collaborate on translational research, strategic planning, and communication approaches to facilitate urban sustainability and community resilience to address sustainability in arid lands.

Liaison: Haroon Sahotra

Racial Equity and Social Justice - Colleges of Liberal Arts, Education, and Urban Affairs

The complex interplay between race, ethnicity, and justice and its social implications provide the motivation for this broad topical research area. Objectives include but are not limited to teaching expertise of the history of or community-embedded engagement with U.S.-based Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and/or Southeast Asian youth and families. The research initiatives for this group are designed to develop policy recommendations and potential solutions to a wide range of social issues including creating and reporting on social equity for underprivileged and disadvantaged populations, addressing challenges facing foster youth and homeless individuals, facilitating workforce development to create successful life pathways for disadvantaged individuals, developing effective reentry and diversionary program to reduce incarceration rates, and providing trauma-informed care to vulnerable populations.

Liaison: Steven Nelson

Aging and Health Disparities: Brain Health - School of Integrated Health Sciences

Optimizing the health of an aging population characterized by vast differences in socioeconomic conditions and access to cutting-edge health care is a leading challenge of our time. Brain Health takes the form of interdisciplinary research in neuroscience, aging, and health disparities to advance the science, education, and practice to benefit the health, care, and treatment of people with brain disorders across their lifespan. The research approaches within Brain Health include the development of teams that specialize in several areas ranging from basic and clinical research in neurodegenerative disease, neuropsychology, and the study of clinical trial design and outcomes to address critical needs that exist in urban and rural environments where health disparities exist.

Liaison: Jefferson Kinney

Addictions - College of Liberal Arts and Schools of Nursing and Public Health

Overview - Research in this complex area strives to inform and advance addiction prevention and treatment practices through constructive engagement between psychology researchers and practitioners who directly serve the Las Vegas and Southern Nevada communities. The ambition includes yielding research and practice outcomes that will benefit not only citizens of this region, but of the nation. Preventative studies are focused on the relationship between developmental theories and successful prevention program strategies that have been established. Focused treatment of addictions includes specialization in substance use, gambling, and other addictive behavior disorders for all populations. This area builds on established UNLV strengths in serving the Las Vegas community and in foundational research.

Liaison: Candace Burton

Ubiquitous Data - Colleges of Engineering, Schools of Business, and Public Health

Overview - With the advances in computing, a huge amount of data is generated every day from all aspects of life that is generated from sources ranging from wearable sensors to medical and satellite images. These data would remain of limited use without the development of methods to move and process the data. Ubiquitous data approaches are designed  to move and process the data centrally as well as distribute computing locally, thereby achieving autonomy on the device level.  To achieve these goals, contributions from multiple disciplines are necessary to ensure the successful translation and use of the data at all levels.

Liaison: Mingon Kang

Entertainment & Media Research Development & Education - College of Fine Arts and the Lee School of Business

This innovative cluster at UNLV, an R1 research university at the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, leverages our institution's and our region's expertise to facilitate bold interdisciplinary approaches to the arts, science, and business of film and media. The multidisciplinary team will combine the study of important business practices including marketing, operations/supply chain management, and/or organizational behavior/human resource management to the entertainment and media industries, particularly the film industry. The initiative will advance Las Vegas' role as a global entertainment leader and film production hub, building a strong foundation for careers in the dynamic worlds of entertainment business, film, and education.

Liaison: Marla Royne Stafford

Neuroscience - College of Sciences

Overview - Neuroscience is a diverse field that collectivity investigates the organization, development, and function of the nervous system. It is one of the fastest growing fields of science with research ranging from mechanisms responsible for basic neuronal function to investigations of behavior, cognition, and neurological/psychiatric disorders. Development of research teams with broad disciplinary contributions are required when investigating complex neurological processes that influence behavior and cognition.

Liaison: Kelly Tseng

MSI/HSI Research Development

The objective of the MSI/HSI i-RDA is to develop collaborative teams to pursue Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and Hispanic Service  Institutions  (HIS) grant opportunities that are aligned with UNLV’s mission of increased retention, improved graduation rates, and enhanced outreach to the community in the STEM areas.   The main focus is STEM education including science, engineering, and math education.  The long-term goal is to use the funding opportunities to create programs that broaden opportunities for of our diverse student population; the programs created can then be institutionalized to support greater enrollment, retention, and completion of the STEM degrees.