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Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH

Gina Lovasi headshot

Dana and David Dornsife Dean of the Dornsife School of Public Health
Professor of Epidemiology

Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Urban Health Collaborative
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PhD, Epidemiology, University of Washington
MPH, Epidemiology, University of Washington
BS, Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, UCLA


Gina S. Lovasi, PhD, MPH, is the Dana and David Dornsife Dean and professor of Epidemiology at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health. She is formerly the co-director of the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative.

Her research projects reflect a tension between loving to work with large datasets to chip away at big questions, and a fascination with the insights gained through field data collection to tackle local information needs. In both contexts, the puzzles and surprises that emerge, either during the investigation or during subsequent dissemination, continue to provide a rich source of new research questions.

Her recent NIA-funded project is a longitudinal investigation of local retail (healthy food sources, physical activity venues, and medical facilities) and their implications for cardiovascular disparities and aging across the US. She is also using street-level observations to understand variation in physical disorder within urban areas in the US and Latin America.

Dr. Lovasi teaches and mentors graduate students on using data to answer epidemiological and urban health questions, and serves as chair of the school’s curriculum and assessment committee, and co-directs an NIMHD-funded T-37 training grant entitled the Global Alliance for Training in Health Equity Research.

She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and recently co-edited the book Urban Public Health: A Research Toolkit for Practice and Impact (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Previous affiliations include University of California Los Angeles (undergraduate training), University of Washington (graduate training in epidemiology), and Columbia University (interdisciplinary postdoctoral training, assistant professorship in epidemiology).

Research Interests

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Data Analysis Methods
  • Health and Place or Built Environment
  • Health Disparities
  • Spatial Analysis or GIS
  • Urban Health
  • Urban Trees and Greenspace
  • Local Retail and Urban Design
  • Transportation, Infrastructure and Policies


Gullón, P., Fry, D., Plascak, J.J., Mooney, S.J., Lovasi, G.S. Measuring changes in neighborhood disorder using Google Street View longitudinal imagery: a feasibility study. Cities & Health. 2023:1-7.

Rundle, A.G., Neckerman, K.M., Judd, S.E., Colabianchi, N., Moore, K.A., James W. Quinn, Hirsch, J.A., and Lovasi, G.S. Cumulative Experience of Neighborhood Walkability and Change in Weight and Waist Circumference in REGARDS. American Journal of Epidemiology (Accepted March 2023)

Lovasi, G.S., Boise, S., Jogi, S., Hurvitz, P.M., Rundle, A.G., Diez, A., Hirsch, J.A., Fitzpatrick, A., Biggs, M.L., and Siscovick, D.S. Time-varying food retail and incident disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2023 March 6 online ahead of print

Hirsch, J.A., Zhao, Y., Melly, S., Moore, K.A., Berger, N., Quinn, J., Rundle, A. and Lovasi, G.S. National Trends and Disparities in Retail Food Environments in the United States between 1990-2014. Public Health Nutrition, 2023. 26 (5): pp.1-27.

Michael, Y.L., Smiley, K.T., Clay, L., Hirsch, J.A., and Lovasi, G.S. Uneven growth in social capital organizations after disasters by pre-disaster conditions in the United States 2000–2014. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 2022. 12: p. 1-8. (PMID: 36503707; PMCID in progress)

Salbach, N.M., MacKay-Lyons, M., Howe, J.A., McDonald, A., Solomon, P., Bayley, M.T., McEwen, S., Nelson, M., Bulmer, B., and Lovasi, G.S. Assessment of walking speed and distance post-stroke increases after providing a theory-based toolkit. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 2022. 46(4): p. 251–259. PMCID: 9462135

Lovasi, G.S., Treat, C.A., Fry, D., Shah, I., Clougherty, J.E., Berberian, A., Perera, F.P., and Kioumourtzoglou, M.A. Clean fleets, different streets: evaluating the effect of New York City's clean bus program on changes to estimated ambient air pollution. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 2022. (Online ahead of print; PMID: 35906405; PMCID in progress)

Lovasi, G.S., Johnson, N.J., Altekruse, S.F., Hirsch, J.A., Moore, K., Brown, J.R., Rundle, A.G., Quinn, J.W., Neckerman, K., and Siscovick, D.S. Healthy food retail availability and cardiovascular mortality in the United States: A cohort study. BMJ Open, 2021. 11(7): e048390. PMCID: 8273445

Garg, P.K., Platt, J.M., Hirsch, J.A., Hurvitz, P., Rundle, A., Biggs, M., Psaty, B.M., Moore, K., and Lovasi, G.S. Association of neighborhood physical activity opportunities with incident cardiovascular disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Health & Place, 2021. 70: 102596. PMCID: 8328953

Schinasi, L.H., Cole, H.V., Hirsch, J.A., Hamra, G.B., Gullón, P., Bayer, F., Melly, S.J., Neckerman, K.M., Clougherty, J.E., and Lovasi, G.S. Associations between greenspace and gentrification-related sociodemographic and housing cost changes in major metropolitan areas across the United States. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2021. 18(6): 3315. PMCID: 8005168

Gullón, P., Bilal, U., Hirsch, J.A., Rundle, A.G., Judd, S., Safford, M.M., and Lovasi, G.S. Does a physical activity supportive environment ameliorate or exacerbate socioeconomic inequities in incident coronary heart disease? Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 2021 Jul 1;75(7):637-42.

Lovasi, G.S., Diez Roux, A., Kolker, J. (Eds.) Urban Public Health: A Research Toolkit for Practice and Impact. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Hirsch, J.A., Moore, K.A., Cahill, J., Quinn, J., Zhao, Y., Bayer, F.J., Rundle, A., Lovasi, G. S. Business Data categorization and refinement for application in longitudinal neighborhood health research: A methodology. Journal of Urban Health. (Published online: September 2020; PMID: 33005987; PMCID in progress)

Henson, R.M.,Ortigoza, A., Martinez-Folgar, K., Baeza, F., Caiaffa,W., Vergarace, A.V., Diez Roux, A.V., Lovasi, G.S. Evaluating the health effects of place-based slum upgrading physical environment interventions: A systematic review (2012-2018). Social Science & Medicine. (Published Online: June 2020; PMID: 32739786; PMCID in progress)

Fry, D., Kiomourtzoglou, M.A., Treat, C.A., Burke, K., Evans, D., Tabb, L.P., Carrion, D., Perera, F.P., Lovasi, G.S. Development and validation of a method to quantify benefits of clean-air taxi legislation. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 2020. 30(4): p. 629-640. PMCID: 7398736.

Tsui, J., Hirsch, J.A., Bayer, F.J., Quinn, J.W., Cahill, J., Siscovick, D., Lovasi, G.S. Patterns in geographic access to health care facilities across neighborhoods in the United States based on data from the National Establishment Time-Series between 2000 and 2014. JAMA Network Open, 2020. 3(5): e205105. PMCID: 722952.

Fry, D., Mooney, S.J., Rodríguez, D.A., Caiaffa, W.T., Lovasi, G.S. Assessing Google Street View image availability in Latin American cities. Journal of Urban Health. (Published online: January 2020; PMID: 31900840; PMCID in progress)

Gullón, P., Bilal, U., Sánchez, P., Díez, J., Lovasi, G.S., and Franco, M. A comparative case study of walking environment in Madrid and Philadelphia using multiple sampling methods and street virtual audits. Cities & Health. (Published online: January 2020; PMCID in progress)

Eisenman, T.S., Jariwala, S.P. Lovasi, G.S. Urban trees and asthma: a call for epidemiological research. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2019. 7(7): p. e19-20. (PMID: 31253377)

Hayes-Larson, E., Kezios, K., Mooney, S., Lovasi, G.S. Who’s in this study anyway? Guidelines for a useful Table 1. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 2019. 114: p. 125-132. PMCID: 6773463.

Berger, N., Kaufman, T.K., Bader, M.D., Rundle, A.G., Mooney, S.J., Neckerman, K.M., Lovasi, G.S. Disparities in trajectories of changes in the unhealthy food environment in New York City: a latent class growth analysis, 1990-2010. Social Science & Medicine, 2019. 234: 112362. PMCID: 6689383.

Rhodes-Bratton, B., Fingerhut, L., Demmer, R., Colgrove, J., Wang, Y.C., Lovasi, G. Cataloging the Bloomberg Era: New York City legislation relevant to cardiovascular risk factors. Cities & Health, 2018. 1(2): p. 125-138. (PMCID not available, not NIH funded)

Castiglione, D., Carvalho, M., Lovasi, G. Perceptions and uses of public and private healthcare in a Brazilian favela. Qualitative Health Research, 2018: 28(1): p. 159-172. PMID: 29134851. (PMCID not available, not NIH funded) *

Weinberger, K.R., Kinney, P.L., Robinson, G.S., Sheehan, D., Kheirbek, I., Matt, T.D., Lovasi, G.S. Levels and determinants of tree pollen in New York City. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. 2018 28(2): p. 119-124.

Greenlee, H., Strizich, G., Lovasi, G.S., Kaplan, R.C., Biggs, M.L., Li, C., Richardson, J., Burke, G.L., Fitzpatrick, A.L., Fretts, A.M., Psaty, B.M., Fried, L.P.  Concordance with cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines reduces mortality among older adults. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2017. 186(10):1168-1179. PMCID: 5860231.

Mooney, S.J., Bader, M.D.M., Lovasi, G.S., Teitler, J.O., Koenen, K.C., Aiello, A.E., Galea, S., Goldmann, E., Sheehan, D.M., Rundle, A.G. Street audits to measure neighborhood physical disorder: virtual or in-person? American Journal of Epidemiology, 2017. 186: p. 265-273.

Ong, P., Lovasi, G., Madsen, A., Van Wye, G., Demmer, R.T. Evaluating the effectiveness of New York City health policy initiatives on cardiovascular disease mortality reduction, 1990-2011. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2017. 186(5): p. 555-63.

Lovasi, G. S., Fink, D. S., Mooney, S. J., Link, B. G., Model-based and design-based inference goals frame how to account for neighborhood clustering in studies of health in overlapping context types. Social Science and Medicine – Population Health. 2017. 3: p. 600-608.

Link, B.G., Susser, E.S., Factor-Litvak, P., March, D., Kezios, K.L., Lovasi, G.S., Rundle, A.G., Suglia, S.F., Fader, K.M., Andrews, H.F., Johnson, E., Cirillo, P.M., Cohn, B.A. Disparities in self-rated health across generations and through the life course. Soc Sci Med, 2017. 174: p. 17-25.

Armstrong, H.F., Lovasi, G.S., Soliman, E.Z., Heckbert, S.R., Psaty, B.M., Austin, J.H.M., Krishnan, J.A., Johnson, C., Budoff, Matthew, J., Watson, Karol E., Barr, R. Graham. Lung function, percent emphysema, and QT duration: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) long study. Respiratory Medicine, 2017. 123: p. 1-7.

Lovasi, G.S., Mooney, S.J., Muennig, P., DiMaggio, C. Cause and context: place-based approaches to investigate how environments affect mental health.  Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2016. 51(12): p. 1571-1579.

Click for full list of publications in PubMed