Associate Dean, Research
Department Chair

Community Medicine and Population Health
Institute for Rural Health Research

Phone: (205) 348-7259


John C. Higginbotham, Ph.D., MPH is the associate dean for Research and Health Policy, professor, and chair of the Department of Community and Rural Medicine and the Director of the Institute for Rural Health Research. He teaches, conducts, and oversees the research infrastructure for the College. Dr. Higginbotham works in partnership with all areas of the College to promote scholarship activities among the faculty, fellows, Family Medicine residents, medical students, and others.

Higginbotham received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and his doctorate in Preventive Medicine and Community Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. Higginbotham has an extensive portfolio of funded research from more than 20 unique federal, state, and local governments as well as foundations and other non-profit organization. His most recent presentations and publications focus on racial and ethnic disparities related to cancer and other health issues that have particular impact in rural areas. He has chaired standing grant review committees for NIH, received the Charles Barkley Excellence in Mentoring Award, and the Alabama Public Health Association’s Ira L Myers Award for having a significant impact on public health.