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Supriya Kumar, PhD, MPH


A717 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
R-znvy: fhcevln@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-5789
Web site:

Personal Statement

I examine the mechanisms by which poverty impacts health. I conduct studies in the US, and in India. In the US, my collaborators and I use agent-based models to examine factors that may explain the observed association between area-level poverty and high influenza rates. In India, I collaborate with researchers in New Delhi to examine mediators of the association between household wealth and lower respiratory infection risk in children. I am also leading a new study of social mixing in India in order to understand people's encounter networks--networks on which respiratory infectious diseases spread. 

I also use simulations as a virtual laboratory in which to assess the impact of alternative policies on health. I am currently examining the costs and benefits of alternative formulations of paid sick days laws in Pennsylvania from the perspectives of employers and society.

As a core faculty member of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, I engage in highly multi-disciplinary research in collaboration with epidemiologists, computational scientists, and health policy researchers. My goals are to document the mechanisms responsible for unequal levels of illness and death between socio-economic sub-groups of the population, and to thereby ensure that disparities are front-and-center in routine public health planning as well as in pandemic preparedness planning. 


2005 | Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA | PhD in Biological Sciences

 2009 | University of Pittsburgh | Master of Public Health




I teach BCHS 2990: Social Dynamics in Public Health. This is a new course that introduces graduate students to the rationale for adopting a systems thinking approach in behavioral and community health research and practice. Students also learn how systems thinking can be important in public health policy making. The course includes didactic sessions, guest lectures, hands-on engagement with tools that allow us to represent dynamic social systems, as well as seminar-style discussions of publications that apply systems thinking to persistent community health issues.

Supriya  Kumar
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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