Sometimes I wish I could have been a sociologist, or an economist, or a geographer, or an engineer, or an urban planner. So I decided to do social epidemiology, with a little bit of each, and to focus on urban environments.

I am currently Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, where I was previously a postdoctoral research fellow. I defended my dissertation in the Ph.D. program in Epidemiology (concentration in Cardiovascular Epi) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I did my MPH at the Escuela Nacional de Sanidad/Universidad de Alcala, and my MD at the Facultad de Medicina of the Universidad de Oviedo, all in Spain.

My overarching research interest is to study the macrosocial determinants of health. More specifically, I primarily work on:

  • Urban health in Latin American cities (SALURBAL project)
  • The consequences of neighborhood social and economic change (gentrification, decay, renewal)
  • Challenges in the measurement and conceptualization of the local food environment
  • The effect of mass-influences (e.g., macroeconomic change) on health and policy modifiers that mitigate/exacerbate these effects

I also have other side research interests, such as:

  • Complex systems approaches to study the role of endogeneity, heterogeneity, and non-linearity in urban health
  • The use of network analysis tools to improve exposure or outcome measurement and operationalization in social epidemiology
  • The macrosocial determinants of historical smoking dynamics and alcohol consumption patterns
  • Using simulations to tackle non-straightforward epidemiologic problems
  • Methodological approaches to remove confounding in panel data (fixed vs random effects models)
  • Use of novel methods to examine behavior trajectories (finite mixture models)
  • Application of causal inference methods to the study of mediation in the obesity paradox

I consider myself "bilingual" in STATA and R, although I use the former only for mixed-effects models nowadays. I also ArcGIS my way into cool maps (I wish), but I'm trying to emulate those maps in R (I dislike ArcGIS data management capabilities with a passion).

From 2013 to 2015 I was supported by a La Caixa Fellowship. From 2015 to 2017 I was supported by a Center For a Livable Future-Lerner Fellowship.

I attended the 2016 Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School where I learned to up the throughput (and that a rock is as intelligent as we are, only a tiny bit slower [it's all about the temporal scale you use {speaking of scaling, I also learned about power laws}]).

Last Updated: March 5th, 2019