Principal Investigator:

Duncan, DustinDustin T. Duncan, ScD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, where he directs the Spatial Epidemiology Lab. At NYU, he is also a Faculty Affiliate at the College of Global Public Health, the Population Center, the Center for Data Science, the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies, the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, Broome Street Residential College, and NYU Abu Dhabi. Dr. Duncan is a Social and Spatial Epidemiologist, studying how specific neighborhood characteristics influence population health and health disparities. His research has a strong domestic (U.S.) focus, but recent work is beginning to span across the globe.Methodologically, his research utilizes a geospatial lens to apply spatially explicit approaches such as computer-based geographic information systems (GIS), web-based geospatial technologies, real-time geospatial technologies, and geospatial modeling techniques. For instance, his work applies emerging geospatial technologies such as Global Positioning System (GPS)devices and smartphones to, in part, examine mobility and social networks in neighborhoods. Dr. Duncan’s research appears in leading public health, medical, geography, criminology, and demography journals. He has over 40 publications and book chapters, and his research has appeared in major media outlets including the US News and World Report, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Dr. Duncan’s recent work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Verizon Foundation, and Aetna Foundation. He is an Associate Editor of Behavioral Medicine and is on the Editorial Board of Spatial Demography and Geospatial Health. Dr. Duncan completed both his doctorate and the Alonzo Smythe Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship, both in Social Epidemiology, at Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

NYU School of Medicine Profile
Google Scholar Profile

Research Assistants

Brooks, ForrestForrest Brooks, MS is an incoming medical student at the New York University School of Medicine, where he is also a research assistant in the Spatial Epidemiology Lab. He completed his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder. His graduate research focused on translational vascular aging and clinical interventions that influence vascular physiology. His current research interests include aging, medical humanities, medical ethics, lifestyle influences on health, health education, and health disparities.

Blakley, JermaineJermaine Blakley, BS is a research assistant in the Spatial Epidemiology Lab. He received his Bachelors of Science in Biology with a minor in public health sciences from Morehouse College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. He has had the opportunity to participate in the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at Columbia University Medical Center and the Health Sciences Career Development Academy at the University of Michigan. Additionally, Jermaine has had the privilege to conduct research at Morehouse College, Princeton University, and Harvard School of Public Health. Jermaine’s public health’s practicum experience at the National AIDS and Educational Services for Minorities solidified his interest in contributing to the operations and programs that aid in remedying health disparities, inequality, and inequities. He co-founded an organization called Project House, a homelessness outreach organization, which has raised over 4,000 dollars and positively impacted hundreds of individuals without homes in the Atlanta area. Jermaine will be continuing his education at New York University Wagner School of Public Service, where he will earn a Master of Public Administration in Health Policy and Management as a Lisa Goldberg Fellow with a specialization in Health Finance. He hopes to use his knowledge of public health, public service, leadership, and health economic improvement to enhance the healthcare industry’s ability to better serve marginalized and underserved populations.

Shivali Devjani is a second year undergraduate student at NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business pursuing the Pre-Medical Studies track and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business (Conc: Operations Management). She is most interested in learning more about the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in relation to environmental factors, such as business marketing and one’s neighborhood. A research assistant at the NYU School of Medicine Spatial Epidemiology Lab, she hopes to further develop her interests and learn from co-workers about different health behaviors and disparities within populations. She is a former intern at a pediatrician’s office on Long Island, NY and a former volunteer at North Shore LIJ Huntington Hospital. Eventually, Shivali hopes to work as a physician and serve the community in any which way possible.

Goedel, WilliamWilliam Goedel is an undergraduate student at the NYU College of Global Public Health, pursuing his Bachelors in global public health and sociology, and a research assistant in the Spatial Epidemiology Lab. His main interests are in social and spatial epidemiology with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and those affected by HIV/AIDS. Recently, he has led three studies investigating the impact of using smartphone application to meet sexual partners on sexual behaviors and substance use in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in urban centers such as Atlanta and New York. His first first-authored manuscript published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance in April 2015. In addition to his work in the Spatial Epidemiology Lab, he works under the guidance of Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and serves as the national student liaison for the Section on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs at the American Public Health Association. Previously, William served as a community health educator at the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON) in Sydney, Australia and a research assistant in the Section on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use in the Department of Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine under the guidance of Dr. Donna Shelley.

Daniel Hagen, MPH is an incoming first year PhD student in socio-behavioral health at the NYU College of Global Public Health and a graduate research assistant in the Spatial Epidemiology Lab as well as at the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. His main interests are in social, political, and spatial epidemiology, with a focus on sexual minority health. Daniel studied social sciences at the Universities of Mannheim, Copenhagen, and Bonn before majoring in Epidemiology in the International MPH program at the French School of Public Health (EHESP) in Paris. Among other things, Daniel has worked on the effects of structural factors (such as sexual stigma) on minority health in different settings, with experience in LGBT health research at the World Bank and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Prior to that, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Bonn and as a volunteer for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Kenya.

Khan, AishaAisha Khan is a third year undergraduate student at New York University majoring in global public health and anthropology. She is particularly interested in understanding how current health policies in place impede vulnerable populations’ ability to make healthy choices and decisions. She hopes that the research she conducts as a research assistant at the Spatial Epidemiology Lab helps policymakers make informed decisions when enacting policies and keep the needs and health outcomes of marginalized populations, such as public housing residents, in mind. Aisha returned from a semester in Sydney, Australia, where she interned at the Center for Medical Psychology and Evidence-Based Decision-Making at the University of Sydney School of Public Health. She assisted on a project aiming to uncover the effectiveness of a health literacy course on individuals’ health outcomes and ability to engage in shared decision making with their healthcare provider. Eventually, Aisha hopes to pursue a degree in law and represent clients who need help navigating the complex healthcare system, reducing their medical debt, or accessing health services.


Geospatial Analysts 

Jeffrey Blossom, MA has 19 years working in the GIS industry as a technician, analyst, developer, manager, and educator. Jeffrey earned an M.A. in Geography from the University of Denver in 2002 and a B.S. from Willamette University (OR) in 1995. Jeff’s work experience includes performing GIS analysis for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, and the U.S.G.S in Lakewood, CO. In addition to consulting for the Spatial Epidemiology Lab, Jeff currently holds a full-time position as a senior GIS specialist at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. Jeff is especially interested in developing tools, teaching methods, and maps using geographic information that can be used by any student or professional to enhance their work. Related to this effort is the graduate level class he teaches at the Harvard Extension School: “Geographic Communication Today.” Jeff is also an adjunct faculty member at Salem State University, her he teaches “Computer Cartography.”

Seann Regan, MA is an experienced GIS analyst and geographer with a focus on bringing the tools of computer aided mapping and a geographic perspective to issues of public health. To this end, he has worked at the top ranked MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas as a GIS analyst on health disparities and health inequality, the Baylor College of Medicine on issues of environmental health, exposure to airborne pollutants and environmental toxins, and with the Texas Department of State Health Services as a senior GIS specialist on a wide range of topics. Seann continues to consult with various organizations and works closely with the Dr. Duncan and the Spatial Epidemiology Lab. He is a contributing author to multiple academic publications, and is a strong advocate for enhancing geographic literacy in the public health domain.

Research Affiliates

Daniel Giovenco, MPH, CHES is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Education and Behavioral Science and a research associate in the Center for Tobacco Studies, both at the Rutgers University School of Public Health. He is also a research affiliate at the Spatial Epidemiology Lab. He teaches “Principles of Health Education” at Rutgers University and has published articles in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Tobacco Control, and Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Daniel’s career goals include working as a public health researcher to study the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and health behaviors and outcomes as well as teaching public health at a university.

Yusuf Ransome, DrPH, MPH is an Alonzo Smythe Yerby Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a research affiliate at the Spatial Epidemiology Lab. Dr. Ransome completed his doctorate in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he completed a pre-doctoral fellowship at the National Development Research Institute.

Lab Alumni

Rochelle Frounfelker, MPH, MSSW
Shilpa Dutta, MPH
James Williams, AB
Maliyhah Al-Bayan, BS
Brittany Gozlan, BS
Kimberly Jones, MSW
Kenneth Pass, BS
Abebayehu Yilma, PhD, MPH
Raiya Mallick
Samantha Bennett
Udisa Chowdhury
John Twarog, MPH
Thayane Moreira
Jonathan Varghese, BS