sNew Mexico State University

Border Epidemiology and Environmental Health Center

Overview of the BEC


The Border Epidemiology & Environmental Health Center (BEC), founded in 1998, is an international, collaborative research center led by Dr. Hugo Vilchis, MD, MPH, director and associate professor, College of Health and Social Services, and Molecular Biology Graduate Program, at New Mexico State University.

The BEC supports and applies scientific research to reduce health disparities among minority populations through research, intervention, evaluation, training, and dissemination.

The BEC encourages involvement in research by identifying research opportunities for academics, students and community-base organizations; conducts original interdisciplinary research to reduce disparities in health by studying approaches to promote healthful behaviors and prevent disease across the lifespan. Provides technical assistance to community-based organizations for needs assessment and program evaluation and maintains collaborative relationships with higher education institutions, research centers, and its community partners.
The research conducted at BEC focuses on areas of racial/ethnic health disparities, preventive health, disease surveillance, environmental health, and community-based participatory research, in disease areas such as cancer, obesity, vector-borne and food-borne disease.  The BEC is funded by external grants primarily from federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, in addition to state and local agencies and foundations.  BEC provides health research training to junior faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. 

The BEC is located at the College of Health and Social Services of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico.