Jackson State University is one of the partners that contribute to the Jackson Heart Study effort. Jackson State University is responsible for cohort definition (randomization, demographic tracking), data management, and community outreach. JSU has the responsibility of providing on-going updates of the purpose, process and results of the Jackson Heart Study, and proactively providing various preventive health-related information to the community. Another important goal is to assist medical professionals in their understanding, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease in African Americans.
Jackson State University was founded as Natchez Seminary in 1877 by the American Baptist Home Mission Society to serve the great Mississippi Valley between Memphis and the Gulf Coast, Jackson State University was established at Natchez, Mississippi. The school opened on October 23, 1877, with 20 students, and it operated as a private church school for 63 years. In 1882 the Society moved the school to Jackson. In 1894, the University was moved from its original site in north Jackson to a new tract of land in the southwest section of the city. The state assumed support of the college in 1940, assigning to it the mission of training teachers. Between 1953 and 1956, the curriculum was expanded to include a graduate program and bachelor's programs in the arts and sciences. The name was changed to Jackson State College in 1956 and to Jackson State University in 1974. In 1979, Jackson State was officially designated the Urban University of the State of Mississippi. As the Urban University, emphasis is placed on providing public service programs designed to enhance the quality of life and to seek solutions to urban problems in the physical, social, intellectual, and economic environments.
Jackson State University is the home of a College of Public Service, established in 2003. It is also the recipient of numerous federal grants including a grant in 2003 from the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities to establish a Center of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach Research on Health Disparities and Training (Project EXPORT).