The Spatial Epidemiology Lab, directed by Dr. Dustin Duncan, is housed in the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health. The lab employs a geospatial lens in studying health behaviors and health outcomes, including obesity, hypertension, sleep, drug abuse, mental health and HIV. The lab places an emphasis on health disparities on vulnerable populations, with a focus on sexual and gender minorities—especially gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women. We apply spatially explicit methodologies including computer-based geospatial technologies and geospatial modeling techniques to inform our work. Using innovative methods like global positioning system (GPS) technologies, we are focused on studying in great depth the relationship between neighborhood attributes and health-related behaviors/outcomes. By studying specific neighborhood characteristics, we hope to inform salient and effective interventions that can support policies aimed at addressing health disparities. Our team is staffed by research assistants/interns who are in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and medical programs. Our work is also supported by post-doctoral fellows, research affiliates, and geospatial analysts. Research assistants have co-authored published manuscripts and been awarded grants. We work collaboratively with communities and colleagues in New York City and from around the world!

“Like real estate, health is location, location, location. Where you live makes an enormous difference in terms of the air you breathe, the schools you go to, the work, transportation, housing, streets, violence levels, etcetera, that you live with on a day-to-day basis.”
– George A. Kaplan, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Michigan