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Public Health Research at Dornsife: Urban Health, Global Impact

Social inequalities in health remain a major challenge for societies around the globe. Dornsife is committed to understanding the drivers of health disparities, investigating the possible interventions to reduce those disparities, and working with partners to eliminate them. Our school views social justice as critical to population health.

All of Dornsife's public health research has a community component to it. Co-created research projects result in co-created solutions to public health problems that are ultimately more sustainable and have more community investment.

Public Health Research Resources

Dornsife has a diverse research portfolio in areas of population health including urban health, health disparities, translation of evidence into practice and policy, and health and human rights. Learn more about our research centers, interests and activities.

Drexel Urban Health Collaborative analyzes neighborhood-level data

Centers and Programs

Dr. Jana A. Hirsch at APHA

Faculty Research Interests

Shiriki K. Kumanyika speaks at APHA 2019

Faculty Grants and Announcements

Dornsife Research Expertise

Learn more about how Dornsife, both locally and globally, is building partnerships and focusing on health in cities.

Research Partnerships

research partnerships

Dornsife research is elevated by our partnerships with other exceptional local and international organizations. Learn more about our alliances.

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Urban Health

Urban Health

By 2050, cities will be home to two-thirds of the world’s population. Learn about the work of Dornsife's Urban Health Collaborative.

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Featured Public Health Research Topics

Below are two featured areas of research that reinforce Dornsife's commitment to the three goals of generating the best scientific evidence, putting it into practice, and promoting equity and social justice.


hands with bag of groceries

Dornsife's Center for Hunger-Free Communities offers research and action with the goal of developing innovative, empirically-tested solutions to the challenges of hunger and economic insecurity.

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Emergency Preparedness

group of people talking to each other

Our Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication builds public health infrastructure and capacity for disaster response and recovery through research, education and service.

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Faculty Research Highlight

Dornsife is fortunate to have among our faculty many experienced public health practitioners, and many researchers focused on generating policy relevant evidence. Evidence and action are two sides of the same coin, reinforcing and informing each other continuously to improve population health and eliminate health disparities.

headshots of 15 new faculty who joined Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health in 2022

New Faculty With Wide Range of Public Health Expertise Join Dornsife This Academic Year

This year the Dornsife School of Public Health welcomed new faculty members who bring a wide range of expertise including behavioral change, aging, stress, housing, climate change, environmental justice, spatial methods, policy evaluation, community-based participatory research, and more. Learn more.

Latest Public Health Research News

Dornsife researchers show the value of public health by addressing current and emerging issues facing the world today. Read about our research and activities making news locally, nationally and globally.

Alex Quistberg and Team Awarded Grant to Link Urban Health Outcomes to Climate Change and Contribute to AI Risk Models

Alex Quistberg, PhD, MPH, an Assistant Research Professor with the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative, has been awarded a grant to study the health effects of climate change in two Colombian cities, Bogotá and Barranquilla. This work will be funded by a grant from the Lacuna Fund, an organization that supports the creation of data sets from low- and middle-income countries to contribute to machine learning models that better represent traditionally underserved populations.

illustration of two nurses with two new babies

Proactive Policing May Contribute to the Racial Gap in Preterm Births

A recent study in the journal of the American Public Health Association looked at proactive policing and preterm birth rates in New Orleans.

UHC Adds Urban Health Perspective to Gas Stove Debate

UHC Faculty member Josiah Kephart, PhD, has been studying the health effects of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and other household air pollutants for years. In a series of recent interviews, he explained how emissions from indoor gas appliances can affect health and how to mitigate exposure by switching to electric or induction cooktops or by using a gas range hood.

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Drexel Research on Structural Racism and Public Health Highlighted

A special edition of the American Journal of Public Health featured papers by multiple researchers at the Dornsife School of Public Health on structural racism and practices that need changing.

Older woman walking with cane down hospital hallway with younger woman

Fall Rate Nearly 50% Among Older Americans with Dementia

Research from Drexel found that targeting specific fall-risk factors could improve fall screening and prevention strategies.

Cartoon of person in bed with tea in hand and thermometer in mouth

Winter ‘Tripledemic’ Highlights the Need to Stay at Home When Sick—and the Need for Paid Sick Leave to Make It Possible

Policymakers should support paid sick leave policies to prevent the spread of infectious disease, say Dornsife researchers in a paper published in Health Affairs.

Advancing Anti-racism Evidence and Solutions to Transform the Health of Black Communities

In the latest Lancet publication, researchers from The Ubuntu Center on Racism, Global Movements and Population Health Equity authored a special commentary and were featured in a profile piece.


Higher COVID-19 Vaccination and Narrower Disparities in U.S. Cities with Paid Sick Leave

Cities with paid sick leave policies have a higher rate of COVID vaccination among working-age populations compared to cities without such policies.

Raised vegetable beds in a community gardetn

Study Highlights Need for Community Food-Growing Spaces in Philadelphia

An epidemiologic study of community gardens and urban farms helps clarify potential solutions to food apartheid.

Police car lights in front of city landscape

New Study Shows Pacific Islanders Face High Risk of Fatal Police Violence

A study finds that Pacific Islanders in the U.S. are killed by the police at rates on par with Black Americans and Native Americans.

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