Theresa L. Osypuk, S.D., S.M.

Theresa L. Osypuk is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, Bouvé College of Health Sciences. She received her doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health in social epidemiology, with concentrations in social policy and quantitative methods. Prior to joining the faculty at Northeastern, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the University of Michigan.

Research Interests & Projects

Osypuk studies racial, socioeconomic, and nativity disparities in health, their geographic patterns, and causes. She is particularly interested in why place affects health and health disparities, including the roles of racial residential segregation, neighborhood context, and housing policies. She and her colleagues have developed new methods of measuring residential segregation to illustrate the vastly separate distributions of neighborhood quality within which different groups live in the U. S. Osypuk’s research also explores how seemingly “non-health related” social policies (for example, those directly concerned with housing, neighborhoods or smoking) may reduce racial/ethnic health disparities by addressing social determinants of health. Osypuk is the principal investigator of two recently-awarded NIH grants (including an R01 and an R21) that investigate, with an experimental design, how Housing Choice Vouchers may be causes of health and mental health, via moves that families undertake from public housing projects to lower poverty neighborhoods. She is a co-investigator on a cohort study in Michigan funded by the NIH National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) to examine racism and pre-term birth among black women; and she is a co-investigator on an NICHD-funded cohort study in rural Bangladesh that examines how multilevel dimensions of women’s empowerment influence interpersonal violence. Most recently she is a co-investigator on a grant funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to extend the work of the DiversityData website ( which compares health and the social determinants of health across metropolitan areas with a focus on racial equity among children.

Contact Information:


Osypuk, T.L., and Acevedo-Garcia, D. (2010) Beyond Individual Neighborhoods: A Geography of Opportunity Perspective for Understanding Racial/Ethnic
Health Disparities. Health & Place, 16(6):1113–1123.

Osypuk, T.L., Bates L.M., Acevedo-Garcia, D. (2010) Another Mexican Birthweight Paradox? The Role of Residential Enclaves and Neighborhood Poverty in the Birthweight of Mexican Origin Infants. Social Science & Medicine, 70(4):550-60.

Osypuk, T.L., Acevedo-Garcia, D. (2010) Support for Smoke-free Policies: A Nationwide Analysis of Immigrants, US Born, and Other Demographic Groups 1995-2002. American Journal of Public Health 100(1):171-81.

Osypuk, T.L., Diez Roux, A.V., Hadley, C., Kandula, N.R. (2009) Are Immigrant Enclaves Healthy Places to Live? The Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Social Science & Medicine 69(1):110-120.

Osypuk, T.L., Subramanian, S.V., Kawachi, I., Acevedo-Garcia, D. (2009) Is Workplace Smoking Policy Equally Prevalent and Equally Effective for Immigrants? Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health63(10):784–791.

Osypuk, T.L., Galea, S., McArdle, N., Acevedo-Garcia, D. (2009) Quantifying Separate and Unequal: Racial-Ethnic Distributions of Neighborhood Poverty in Metropolitan America. Urban Affairs Review 45(1):25-65.

Osypuk, T.L., Acevedo-Garcia, D. (2008) Are Preterm Birth Racial Disparities Larger in Hypersegregated Areas? American Journal of Epidemiology 167(11):1295-1304.

Osypuk, T.L., Galea, S. (2007) What Level Macro? Choosing Appropriate Levels to Assess how Place Influences Population Health. In: Macrosocial Determinants of Population Health. S. Galea, ed. New York: Springer Media, pp. 399-435.

Osypuk, T.L.., Kawachi, I., Subramanian, S.V., Acevedo-Garcia, D. (2006) Are State Patterns of Smoking Different for Different Racial/Ethnic Groups? An Application of Multilevel Analysis. Public Health Reports 121(5):563-577.

Al Hazzouri, A.Z., Haan, M.N., Osypuk, T.L., Abdou, C. Hinton, L. Aiello, A.E. (In press, 2011) “Neighborhood Socioeconomic Context and Cognitive Decline Among Older Mexican Americans: Results From the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging”. American Journal of Epidemiology.

Christina Mair, C., Diez Roux, A.V., Osypuk, T.L., Rapp, S.R., Seeman,T., Watson, K.E. (2010) Is Neighborhood Racial/Ethnic Composition Associated with Depressive Symptoms? The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Social Science & Medicine, 71(3):541-50.

Acevedo-Garcia, D., Bates, L.M., Osypuk, T.L. McArdle, N. (2010) The effect of immigrant generation and duration on self-rated health among US adults 2003-2007. Social Science & Medicine, 71(6): 1161-1172.

Acevedo-Garcia, D., Osypuk, T.L. (2008) Residential segregation and health – the complexity of modeling separate social contexts. American Journal of Epidemiology 168(11):1255-1258.

Acevedo-Garcia, D., Osypuk, T.L., McArdle, N., and Williams, D.R. (2008) Towards a Policy Relevant Analysis of Geographic and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Child Health. Health Affairs. 27(2):321-333.

Morenoff, J.D., Diez Roux, A.V., Hansen, B. Osypuk, T.L. (2008). Residential Environments and Obesity: What Can We Learn about Policy Interventions from Observational Studies? In Making Americans Healthier: Social and Economic Policy as Health Policy, Schoeni, R.F. House, J.S., Kaplan, G.A. & Pollack H. (Eds.). New York: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 309-343.

Dubowitz, T. Subramanian, S.V., Acevedo-Garcia, D., Osypuk, T.L. Peterson, K. (2008) Individual and Neighborhood Demographic Differences in Diet: Multilevel Analysis Among Low-Income Foreign and US Born Women. Women's Health Issues, 18(3):181-90.

Acevedo-Garcia, D., and Osypuk, T.L. (2008). Impacts of Housing and Neighborhoods on Health: Pathways, Racial/Ethnic Disparities, and Policy Directions In: Segregation: The Rising Costs for America. Carr, J., Kutty, N., Eds. New York: Routledge Books, pp. 197-235.

Acevedo-Garcia, D., Pan, J., Jun, H., Osypuk, T.L., Emmons, K.M. (2005) The Effect of Immigrant Generation on Smoking. Social Science & Medicine, 61(6): 1223-1242.

Subramanian, S.V., Acevedo-Garcia, D., Osypuk, T.L. (2005) Racial Residential Segregationand Geographic Heterogeneity in Black/White Disparity in Poor Self-Rated Health in the U.S.: A Multilevel Statistical Analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 60 (8): 1667-1679.