Dr. José Pagan, economics professor at The University of Texas-Pan American, will soon leave the University to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program.
Pagan - who has been instrumental in conducting economic research through the UTPA Center for Border Economic Studies (CBEST) - will spend the next two years at the University of Pennsylvania developing research for health issues in collaboration with scholars from various professions including medicine, business, social work, fine arts, nursing and law.
"My goal is to learn more about emerging issues in health economics and population health, to develop leadership skills and to conduct policy-relevant research that helps us to reduce health disparities," Pagan said.
He hopes to research issues such as the impact of different health conditions on employment, productivity and early retirement.
According to the program, "scholars will acquire new skills, span disciplinary boundaries and launch innovative scholarly programs on their own design."
Pagan, who has been with UT Pan American since 1995, credits the University for his recent appointment. He said this award demonstrates the University's strong support of research, and its ability to compete with the best universities in the United States.
"UTPA has been very supportive of my research and teaching activities, and this personal accomplishment would not have been possible without the constant encouragement from colleagues," he said. "Getting one of our faculty members selected to this program shows UTPA's commitment to high-level research."
Of more than 100 applicants, only 18 positions were filled with scholars from Harvard, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, San Francisco/Berkely and Colombia.
Pagan will return to the University after his two-year fellowship.