Sandra Echeverría, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Sandra Echeverría is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She received her master’s degree and her doctorate in epidemiology from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, where she was a Kellogg Fellow in Health Policy Research.

Research Interests & Projects

Dr. Echeverría’s research centers on the social determinants of health, and specifically the role of neighborhood contexts and immigrant status in patterning cardiovascular disease and risk factors, including physical activity. Her work has also examined racial/ ethnic disparities in breast cancer and found increased risk of late-stage breast cancer in specific communities, underscoring the importance of investigating local geographic patterns in cancer risk using locally-relevant measures of neighborhood deprivation. Her current research studies include the study of perceived and objective (geocoded) neighborhood-level factors associated with physical activity patterns among Latino children; whether distinct modes of physical activity are differentially associated with changes in BMI and depression in adults over time; actual use and meaning Latinos attach to open spaces and parks for promoting physical activity; and a pilot project evaluating the social determinants of diabetes care.

Her studies incorporate various study designs, ranging from qualitative methods to large cohort studies and community-based surveys. She believes employing multiple study design approaches and distinct disciplines contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of how social determinants may operate.

Echeverría is involved in local and state-based initiatives aimed at addressing health disparities. She also mentors master’s and doctoral students interested in social epidemiology. She aspires to integrate results from her research into policy and programmatic initiatives that improve the health of disadvantaged communities.

Contact Information:


Echeverría SE and AV Diez-Roux. 2010. Emergent Chronic Conditions. In Health Issues in Latino Males: A Social and Structural Approach. Aguirre-Molina M, Borrell L, and Vega W (Eds). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Echeverría SE, L Borrell, D Brown, G Rhoads. A local area analysis of racial, ethnic, and neighborhood disparities in advanced-stage breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol, Biomarkers Prev 2009; 18(11): 3024-9.

Echeverría SE, AV Diez-Roux, S Shea, L Borrell, S Jackson. Associations of neighborhood problems and neighborhood social cohesion with mental health and health behaviors: the Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Health & Place. 2008 Dec: 14(4): 853-65.

Echeverría SE, O Carrasquillo. The roles of citizenship status, acculturation and health insurance in breast and cervical cancer screening among immigrant women. Medical Care 2006; Vol.44 (8): 788-792.

Echeverría SE, AV Diez-Roux, B Link. Reliability of self-reported neighborhood characteristics. J Urban Health 2004; 81(4):682-701.

Mair C, AV Diez Roux, M Shen, S Shea, T Seeman, S Echeverria, ES O’Meara. Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of neighborhood cohesion and stressors with depressive symptoms in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Ann of Epi 2009; 19(1): 49-57.

Abraido-Lanza A, E Vasquez, SE Echeverría. En las manos de Dios [In God’s hands]: religious and other forms of coping among Latinos with arthritis. J Consult & Clin Psych 2004; 72(1):91-102.