Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes, Ph.D., M.P.H


Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes is an Assistant Professor in Latina/Latino Studies and Community Health at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has more than 15 years of research and policy experience at the community and national levels. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and psychology from Berea College, her master’s in public health from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her doctorate from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.

Research Interests and Projects

Viruell-Fuentes’ work builds on the premise that studying immigrant health offers insights into the impact of social contexts on health status, which in turn can contribute to the elimination of health disparities. Based on her field research in immigrant communities, she has proposed several conceptual re-directions to immigrant health research by drawing attention to the racialization processes that Mexican immigrants contend with as they integrate into the U.S. and to the contexts of immigrant social ties. She is currently testing these and other ideas in her quantitative work and conducting a project to examine the wyas that migration affects health in the “sending” communities from which immigrant migrate.

Viruell-Fuentes is author of several publications on community-based participatory research, transnationalism, and immigrant and Latino health, among other topics. She teaches courses on immigration and health and Mexican and Latin American immigration. Prior to her current position, she was a joint Yerby and Kellogg Scholars in Health Disparities Program postdoctoral scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Contact Information: eviruell@illinois.edu


Acevedo-Garcia, D.,Sánchez-Vaznaugh E., Viruell-Fuentes, E., Almeida, J.. Integrating social epidemiology into immigrant health research: A cross-national framework. Social Science & Medicine, Volume 75, Issue 12, December 2012, Pages 2060-2068

Andrade, F. & Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. (In Press). Latinos and the changing demographic landscape: Key dimensions for infrastructure building. In L. P. Buki & L. M. Piedra (Eds.), Haciendo camino al andar: Creating infrastructures for Latino mental health. New York: Springer.

Alegría, M., Mulvaney-Day, N. Woo, M., and Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. (In Press) Psychology of Latino American Adults. In E.C. Chang and C.A. Downey (Eds.). Mental Health across Racial Groups: Lifespan Perspectives.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A., Morenoff, J., Williams, D.R., and House, J. (2011). Self-rated Health, Language of Interview, and the Other Latino Health Puzzle. American Journal of Public Health, 101(7):1307–1314.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. (2011). “It’s a lot of work”: Racialization processes, ethnic
identity formations, and their health implications. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. Special issue on Racial Inequality and Health, 8(1): 37–52.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. and Schulz, A.J. (2009) Toward a Dynamic Conceptualization of Social Ties and Context: Implications for Understanding Immigrant and Latino Health. American Journal of Public Health 99:2167–2175.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. (2007) Beyond Acculturation: Immigration, Discrimination, and Health Research among Mexicans in the United States. Social Science and Medicine 65(7):1524-1535.

Cacari Stone, L., Viruell-Fuentes, E.A., and Acevedo-Garcia, D. (2007) Understanding the Socio-Economic, Health Systems & Policy Threats to Latino Health: Gaining New Perspectives for the Future. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, Special Issue on Health Disparities & Social Justice 5:82-104.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A.. (2006) “My heart is always there”: The Transnational Practices of First-generation Mexican Immigrant and Second-generation Mexican American Women. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 13(3):335-362.

Israel, B., Schulz, A.J., Estrada-Martinez, L., Zenk, S.N., Viruell-Fuentes, E.A., and Villarruel, A., Stokes, C. (2006) Engaging Urban Residents in Assessing Neighborhood Environments and their Implications for Health. Journal of Urban Health 83(3):523-539.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. (2005) Mexican immigrant women making a life/re-making ethnicity: A critical inquiry into the “Latina/o Health Paradox”. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan.

Metzler, M. M., Higgins, D. L., Beeker, C.G., Freudenberg, N., Lantz, P., Senturia, K.D., Eisinger, A.A., Viruell-Fuentes, E.A., Gheisar, B., Palermo, A., and Softely, D. (2003) Addressing Urban Health in Detroit, New York, and Seattle through Community-based Participatory Research Partnerships. American Journal of Public Health 93(5):803-811.

Lantz, P.M., Viruell-Fuentes, E.A., Israel, B., Softley, D. and Guzman, R. (2001) Can Communities and Academia Work Together on Public Health Research? Evaluation Results from a Community-based Participatory Research Partnership in Detroit. Journal of Urban Health 78(3):495-507.