Dr. Ana V. Diez Roux has been named the new dean of the Drexel University School of Public Health. She will begin her term in February 2014.
Diez Roux is a physician and epidemiologist known worldwide for seminal research on multilevel determinants of population health. Her work has had a major impact on public health research and practice.
“We’re very excited that the University has filled this critical position with one of the nation’s most accomplished public health researchers and administrators,” said Drexel President John A. Fry. “Ana will be charged with continuing to expand our School of Public Health’s vision and culture, strengthening its research programs, building partnerships at Drexel and beyond, raising visibility nationally and internationally and developing and stewarding the school’s resources.”
Diez Roux will oversee the school’s plans to expand its leadership in experiential education, community engagement and cultural diversity.
In her current position at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, Diez Roux chairs the Department of Epidemiology and also heads two distinguished research and training centers. Her accomplishments as department chair since 2012 include reorganizing the administrative structure, leading the development of new curricula, formalizing policies, and creating a new sense of mission and cohesiveness across a diverse faculty through shared academic activities and faculty recruitment.
Diez Roux built the Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities, a collaboration between Michigan and two Mississippi-based partner institutions, from the ground up into an important locus for research and training on the determinants of minority health and health disparities. She also reorganized and reinvigorated the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, which focuses on the causes of health inequalities and the policies and interventions necessary to eliminate them.
Her own research is funded at a level of more than $4 million annually, and she has led large research and training programs funded by foundations and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She has led research programs on health disparities and the social and physical determinants of health, the impact of neighborhood environments on health, the role of psychosocial factors in health, environmental health and urban health issues. Her work on neighborhood health effects has had a major impact on policy discussions by highlighting the impact of urban planning and community development policies on health.
Before joining Michigan in 2003, Diez Roux held joint appointments in medicine and public health at Columbia University. She received master’s and doctoral degrees in public health from Johns Hopkins after beginning her career as a pediatrician in her native Argentina, where she earned her medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires and served as chief resident at the Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital.
She is an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. John Rich will continue to serve as interim dean until February. He has held this position since Dr. Marla Gold stepped down to rejoin the faculty in June, following more than a decade of foundational leadership as the school’s dean.
The Drexel University School of Public Health has embraced innovative programs including a new bachelor’s degree, and will soon move into its new home on Drexel’s University City Campus in Nesbitt Hall. Its faculty is in the vanguard of research on urban health, autism, violence prevention, child hunger, health care equality, HIV/AIDS, health disparities and more.