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UT’s Children’s Mental Health Services Research Center is changing its name to the Center for Behavioral Health Research to better reflect its mission to improve the lives of America’s at-risk children and families.

umarao3Uma Rao, the Betsey R. Bush Endowed Professor in Behavioral Health, directs the center, which is housed within the College of Social Work. Rao is a psychiatrist who studies mood and addictive disorders in children and adolescents at the neurobiological level.

The center emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary staff and faculty to facilitate better research designs and results, as well as an interinstitutional approach that draws on the expertise of collaborators from across the country. Faculty receive grants supporting research in gerontology, teens struggling with addiction and services for adults with cancer.

“The College of Social Work is pleased to unveil the new name of the Center for Behavioral Health Research,” said Dean Karen Sowers. “We welcome the new emphasis on behavioral health that is in keeping with the work of the National Institutes of Health and Mental Health.”

The center was founded in UT’s College of Social Work twenty-five years ago by Chancellor’s Professor Charles Glisson, who led the center until 2014. He compiled an extensive record of externally funded research and published articles targeted at children’s mental health services. Glisson now serves as the center’s senior research director.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,