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Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH

Gina Lovasi

Dornsife Associate Professor of Urban Health, Co-Director of the Urban Health Collaborative
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Urban Health Collaborative
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BS, Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, UCLA; MPH, Epidemiology, University of Washington; PhD, Epidemiology, University of Washington


Gina S. Lovasi, PhD, MPH is the Urban Health Collaborative Co-Director and Dornsife Associate Professor of Urban Health at Drexel University. 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 Build Environmnet
  • Health Disparities
  • Spatial Analysis or GIS
  • Urban Health
  • Urban trees and greenspace
  • Local retail and urban design
  • Transportation, infrastructure and policies


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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) *

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.  (Published online May 2018)

Click for full list of publications in PubMed