Allison Huff

Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine - (Research Scholar Track)

Born and raised in the Republic of Panama, one of the largest and most concentrated melting pots in the Americas, I know nothing other than a life of multiculturalism. Originally, this is what spawned my passion toward building equitable education and health opportunities for all races and ethnicities. As the former wife of a career military officer, my travels have taken me to several countries and given me opportunities to work alongside U.S. Ambassadors and state department personnel, as well as local women and children in impoverished conditions in Central and South America. I started my career as a higher education administrator, while volunteering as a counselor for young girls (ages 11-17) who had experienced severe and systematic trauma in the low-income areas of Panama City. Those two dichotomous activities set the stage for the rest of my career where I focus my efforts toward both education and behavioral health for all populations, particularly low income and marginalized individuals. Since then, my career efforts have been equally shared between improving educational opportunities for underrepresented minorities, and researching risk and protective factors, particularly for health disparities. While at the University of Arizona, I have been involved in engaging the Native American population in an effort to bridge the gap between academia and the Indigenous populations in Arizona. As the Principal Investigator for several National Science Foundation Engineering Education grants that focus on Native American students and researchers, I have seen on many occasions the intersection of education and substance use disorders in our students. After 10 years in engineering education, I have recently shifted my professional focus back to health disparities, where I address barriers and develop interventions for cancer screening adherence as well as adherence to continued care for different populations with chronic illnesses, particularly substance use disorders.  While my career trajectory has not been straight, it has provided me with invaluable insight into social challenges affecting underserved and at-risk populations. This insight is critical to developing effective strategies and programs to address health and education disparities in our communities.

Offering Research Opportunities?


Prerequisite Courses


Majors Considered

Neuroscience Psychology Engineering/Biomedical Engineering

Types of Opportunities

Description of Opportunity

No description given

Start Date

May 2023

Primary Department

Affiliated Departments

Research Location