Gina S. Lovasi is an assistant professor in Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Her research examines how local policies and initiatives influence cardiovascular and respiratory health, seeking to understand whether the anticipated health benefits are realized across all population groups and to explore any unintended health effects. She works to incorporate GIS into a range of health-related research projects in vulnerable populations, and is overseeing the launch of the Mailman School's Urban + Health Initiative (urbanhealthmsph.org). Her current focus is on understanding the role of local businesses (e.g., supermarkets, gyms, hospitals) in shaping persistent or emerging health disparities over the past two decades. Dr. Lovasi teaches a doctoral course on advanced techniques for epidemiologic research (advancedepidemiology.org) and serves as co-director for the Epidemiology and Population Health Summer Institute at Columbia University (cuepisummer.org).
PhD, 2006, University of Washington
MPH, 2003, University of Washington
BS, 2001, University of California at Los Angeles
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Investigator, Columbia Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan
Faculty Fellow, Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center
Investigator, Built Environment and Health Research Group
Affiliated Faculty, Columbia Population Research Center
Affiliated Faculty, Institute for Data Sciences & Engineering
Affiliated Faculty, RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program
Honors & Awards
Columbia Aging Center Faculty Research Fellowship, 2015
Calderone Junior Faculty Prize, 2013
David Bates Award from the Assembly on Environmental & Occupational Health of the American Thoracic Society, 2012
Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Young Investigator Award, 2011
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program 2006-2009
Areas of Expertise
Longitudinal Studies, Research Design and Methods, Cardiovascular Disease, Social Epidemiology, Urban Health
Select Urban Health Activities
Spatial Patterns of Pollen in New York City: Linking Aeroallergen Dispersion Patterns to Health : The overall objective of this proposal is to measure the spatial patterns of annual tree pollen abundance in New York City (NYC) and examine their associations with childhood allergic sensitization. http://beh.columbia.edu/2015/03/31/spatial-patterns-of-exposure-to-tree-pollen-in-cities/
Quantifying the Effectiveness of NYC Policy Initiatives on Chronic Disease Prevention : The aims of this proposal are to systematically detail the timing and substance of health-relevant New York City (NYC) policies and initiatives from 2002-2013 and to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/131/Suppl_1/AMP08.short
Supporting Evidence-Based Investment in Public Spaces: This project will review and synthesize research evidence in service of the NYRP planning process for a public space restoration in the Mott Haven neighborhood of The Bronx, NYC. Preliminary analyses of secondary data will also be used to frame our consultation about the relevant data sources and recommended analytic approaches for future evaluation efforts. http://beh.columbia.edu/2015/03/04/evidence-based-investment-in-public-spaces/
Select Global Activities
A Rio das Pedras Community Diagnosis, Brazil: This proposal aims to articulate the features of local health-relevant systems that are responsive to its constituent community health needs and that optimize health for lower costs while refining and extending data collection methods appropriate to informal urban settings. http://beh.columbia.edu/2014/07/25/rio-das-pedras-community-needs-assessment/
Examining the relationship between recorded crime, the fear of crime and health in New Zealand, New Zealand: The findings of this research will highlight important differences between recorded crime and the fear of crime, which can help in targeting areas to improve public awareness. In addition, understanding the effects on mental health and resilience holds salience for long-term health policy and crime prevention. http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/3/e004058.short
Wutchiett, D.M., Lovasi, G.S. Prior Depression and Health Insurance in Non-Receipt of Needed Medical Services. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 2015: 48 (6): 737-741.
53. Bancroft C., Joshi S., Rundle A., Hutson M., Chong C., Weiss C.C., Genkinger J., Neckerman K., Lovasi G. Association of proximity and density of parks and objectively measured physical activity in the United States: A systematic review. Social Science & Medicine, 2015: 138: 22-30.
Lovasi, G.S., Diez Roux, A., Hoffman, E.A., Kawut, S., Jacobs, D., Barr, R.G., Association of environmental tobacco exposure in childhood with early emphysema in adulthood among non-smokers. The MESA-Lung Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2010. 171(1): p. 43-62.
Lovasi, G.S., Quinn, J.W., Rauh, V.A., Perera, F.P., Andrews, H.F., Garfinkel, R., Hoepner, L., Whyatt, R., and Rundle, A., Chlorpyrifos exposure and urban residential environment characteristics as determinants of early childhood neurodevelopment. American Journal of Public Health. 2011. 101(1): p. 63-70.
Lovasi, G.S., Schwartz-Soicher, O., Quinn, J., Berger, D.K., Neckerman, K., Jaslow, R., Lee, K.K., Rundle, A. Neighborhood safety, green space, walkability, and social environment characteristics as predictors of obesity among preschool children from low-income families in New York City. Preventive Medicine, 2013: 57(3): 189-193.
Weinberger K.R., Kinney P.L., Lovasi G.S. A Review of Spatial Variation in Allergenic Tree Pollen within Cities. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, 2015: 41(2): 57-68.
Lovasi, G.S., Schwartz-Soicher, O., Neckerman, K.M., Kerker, B., Konty, K., Rundle, A. Safety and aesthetic amenities as determinants of walking and bicycling in New York City. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2013;45(S1): p. 76-85.
Lovasi, G.S., Bader, M., Quinn, J., Weiss, C., Neckerman, K., Rundle, A. Body Mass Index, Safety Hazards, and Neighborhood Attractiveness. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2012. 43(4): p. 378-384.