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Photo of Dodani, Sunita

Sunita Dodani, MBBS (MD), FCPS, MSc, PhD, FAHA

Founding Director, Center 4 Health Research

Visiting Professor of Clinical Medicine

Center 4 Health Research

Internal Medicine


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Dr. Sunita (Soni) Dodani is an accomplished medical professional with a background in both clinical medicine and implementation science research.

She is the founding director of the Center 4 Health Research, University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP) and a Visiting Professor of Clinical Medicine within the Department of Medicine at UICOMP.

Previously, she was Professor of Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and held a secondary appointment as a Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Health Professions at EVMS. Additionally, Dr. Dodani was the founding director of the EVMS-Sentara Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science Institute (HADSI), a leading research institution focused on improving patient outcomes through the use of data analytics and innovative health promotion models.

Dr. Dodani earned her medical degree from Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, and completed further training in Preventive Cardiology during her residency in Family Medicine. She also completed a Master's in Epidemiology and Community Health from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology (majors in cardiovascular diseases-CVD) from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Dodani received two Fulbright scholarships toward completion of her master's and Ph.D.

As an NIH-funded outcome implementation scientist, Dr. Dodani specializes in research related to health disparities in CVD, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity among racial and ethnic minorities. Her groundbreaking work includes the development of multiple CVD prevention programs that are widely utilized in ethnic and racial communities across the nation.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Dodani initiated and chaired the Health Equity Collaborative of Virginia, aiming to diminish and eventually eradicate health disparities through enhanced scientific collaboration among Virginia's academic institutions and healthcare partners. The collaborative boasts participation from 12 academic institutions and seven major healthcare systems, uniting organizations to combat regional health disparities through partnerships and interdisciplinary science.

Collaborating with George Mason University (GMU) and Vibrent Health (Principal Investigators of NIH All of Us Study), she established a comprehensive COVID registry known as Covidsmart at the statewide level to understand the impact of COVID-19 on mental health.

With over 25 years of mentoring experience with physicians and healthcare professionals, Dr. Dodani has supported more than 80 physician-scientists with a track record of success.

Dr. Dodani is a polio survivor who serves as an inspiration and role model, particularly for the youth. Her personal journey and unwavering dedication underscore the significance of resilience and hard work when facing adversity.