Merlin Chowkwanyun

Merlin Chowkwanyun

Merlin Chowkwanyun

Donald H. Gemson Assistant Professor
Sociomedical Sciences


722 W. 168th St. R931
New York NY United States 10036
Website address: Email:


Merlin Chowkwanyun's work centers on three themes: the history of public health and health policy; racial inequality; and social movements. He is working on a book examining the development of post-WWII medical care and environmental health hazards in four regions (Los Angeles, Cleveland, Central Appalachia, and New York) and another about political unrest at medical schools and neighborhood health activism during the 1960s and 1970s. With Adolph Reed, he is writing an essay collection that questions the dominant theoretical assumptions and frames in disparities research (under contract, University of California Press). With the Center for Public Integrity, he is part of a group of environmental health journalists and historians on a database featuring millions of previously unseen corporate documents that have emerged in recent environmental health lawsuits. (More information is available at He teaches courses on health advocacy and mixed methods.



PhD, 2013, University of Pennsylvania
MPH, 2012, University of Pennsylvania
BA, 2005, Columbia University

Mailman Affiliations

Faculty, Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health

Honors & Awards

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013-2015)

Areas of Expertise

Data Management, Spatial Analysis, Community-Based Healthcare, Disparities / Inequalities in Health, Immigrant Health, Pollution--Air/Ground/Water, Healthcare Policy, History of Public Health
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