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Jana A. Hirsch, MES, PhD

Jana Hirsch

Associate Research Professor of Epidemiology
Urban Health Collaborative, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
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PhD, Epidemiological Science, University of Michigan
MES, Environmental Health, University of Pennsylvania
BA, Health and Societies/Environmental Studies, University of Pennsylvania


Jana Hirsch, PhD, MES (she/they) is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work aims to understand the way neighborhoods shape health behavior and disparities. Dr. Hirsch has primarily worked at the intersections of urban planning, geography, and epidemiology with a focus on built environments and health among adults and older adults. In particular, they have extensive experience measuring neighborhood change within communities and the subsequent impact of these changes on chronic disease and aging disparities. Dr. Hirsch’s current work includes longitudinal examinations of neighborhood change and cognitive decline. Learn more at MESA Neighborhoods.

Research Interests

  • Health and Place or Built Environment
  • Health Disparities
  • Mental health and Behavioral health
  • Spatial Analysis or GIS
  • Urban Health
  • Physical Activity
  • Active Aging and Age-Friendly Neighborhoods


Michael, Yvonne L., et al. "Systematic Review of Longitudinal Evidence and Methodologies for Research on Neighborhood Characteristics and Brain Health." Public Health Reviews 45 (2024): 1606677.

Li, J., Hirsch, J. A., Michael, Y. L., Besser, L. M., Auchincloss, A. H., Hughes, T. M., & Sánchez, B. N. (2024). Spatial scale effects on associations between built environment and cognitive function: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Health & Place, 86, 103181.

Zewdie HY, Robinson JR, Adams MA, Hajat A, Hirsch JA, Saelens BE, Mooney SJ. A tale of many neighborhoods: Latent profile analysis to derive a national neighborhood typology for the US. Health Place. 2024 Mar;86:103209. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2024.103209. Epub 2024 Feb 25. PubMed PMID: 38408408; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10998688.

Brown J, Hirsch JA, Tabb LP, Judd SE, Bennett A, Rundle A, Lovasi GS. A Segmented Regression Analysis of Household Income and Recurrent Falls Among Adults in a National Cohort Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2024 Feb 5;193(3):516-526. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwad211. PubMed PMID: 37939143.

Hirsch, J., & Michael, Y. (2023). Incorporating New Measures of Neighborhood Supports for Healthy Aging Into Existing Cohorts. Innovation in Aging, 7(Suppl 1), 7.

Rundle AG, Neckerman KM, Judd SE, Colabianchi N, Moore KA, Quinn JW, Hirsch JA, Lovasi GS. Cumulative Experience of Neighborhood Walkability and Change in Weight and Waist Circumference in REGARDS. Am J Epidemiol. 2023 Nov 10;192(12):1960-1970. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwad134. PubMed PMID: 37312569; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10691194.

Vatavuk-Serrati G, Kershaw KN, Sotres-Alvarez D, Perreira KM, Guadamuz JS, Isasi CR, Hirsch JA, Van Horn LV, Daviglus ML, Albrecht SS. Residence in Hispanic/Latino Immigrant Neighborhoods, Away-From-Home Food Consumption, and Diet Quality: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2023 Nov;123(11):1596-1605.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2023.06.283. Epub 2023 Jun 22. PubMed PMID: 37355040; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10592543.

Michael YL, Nicholas DS, Ruben D, Epstein N, Dickinson ST, Hirsch JA. Places for Healthy Play: A Multi-Pronged Evaluation of Context, Design, and Perceptions for Play Space Improvements. J Healthy Eat Act Living. 2023;3(2):100-106. eCollection 2023. PubMed PMID: 38077292; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10699857.

Besser LM, Lovasi GS, Zambrano JJ, Camacho S, Dhanekula D, Michael YL, Garg P, Hirsch JA, Siscovick D, Hurvitz PM, Biggs ML, Galvin JE, Bartz TM, Longstreth WT. Neighborhood greenspace and neighborhood income associated with white matter grade worsening: Cardiovascular Health Study. Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2023 Oct-Dec;15(4):e12484. doi: 10.1002/dad2.12484. eCollection 2023 Oct-Dec. PubMed PMID: 37885920; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10598801.

Auchincloss AH, Mucciaccio F, Fang CY, Ruggiero DA, Hirsch JA, Zhong J, Li M, Egleston BL, Tseng M. Neighborhood gentrification, wealth, and co-ethnic density associations with acculturation stressors among Chinese immigrants. SSM Popul Health. 2023 Sep;23:101476. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2023.101476. eCollection 2023 Sep. PubMed PMID: 37583620; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10424118.

Lovasi GS, Boise S, Jogi S, Hurvitz PM, Rundle AG, Diez J, Hirsch JA, Fitzpatrick A, Biggs ML, Siscovick DS. Time-Varying Food Retail and Incident Disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Am J Prev Med. 2023 Jun;64(6):877-887. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.02.001. Epub 2023 Mar 6. PubMed PMID: 36882344; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10200742.

Youngbloom AJ, Thierry B, Fuller D, Kestens Y, Winters M, Hirsch JA, Michael YL, Firth C. Gentrification, perceptions of neighborhood change, and mental health in Montréal, Québec. SSM Popul Health. 2023 Jun;22:101406. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2023.101406. eCollection 2023 Jun. PubMed PMID: 37114239; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10127140.

Hirsch JA, Zhao Y, Melly S, Moore KA, Berger N, Quinn J, Rundle A, Lovasi GS. National trends and disparities in retail food environments in the USA between 1990 and 2014. Public Health Nutr. 2023 May;26(5):1052-1062. doi: 10.1017/S1368980023000058. Epub 2023 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 36644895; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10191888.

Serrano N, Realmuto L, Graff KA, Hirsch JA, Andress L, Sami M, Rose K, Smith A, Irani K, McMahon J, Devlin HM. Healthy Community Design, Anti-displacement, and Equity Strategies in the USA: A Scoping Review. J Urban Health. 2023 Feb;100(1):151-180. doi: 10.1007/s11524-022-00698-4. Epub 2022 Dec 29. Review. PubMed PMID: 36580236; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9798938.

Godina SL, Rosso AL, Hirsch JA, Besser LM, Lovasi GS, Donovan GH, Garg PK, Platt JM, Fitzpatrick AL, Lopez OL, Carlson MC, Michael YL. Neighborhood greenspace and cognition: The cardiovascular health study. Health Place. 2023 Jan;79:102960. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102960. Epub 2023 Jan 3. PubMed PMID: 36603455; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9928891.

Hirsch JA, Michael YL, Moore KA, Melly S, Hughes TM, Hayden K, Luchsinger JA, Jimenez MP, James P, Besser LM, Sánchez B, Diez Roux AV. Longitudinal neighbourhood determinants with cognitive health and dementia disparities: protocol of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Neighborhoods and Aging prospective cohort study. BMJ Open. 2022 Nov 11;12(11):e066971. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-066971. PubMed PMID: 36368762; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9660618.

See Dr. Hirsch's full list of publications on PubMed

See Dr. Hirsch's full list of publications on Google Scholar