Newswise — Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is welcoming two new faculty as Bloomberg Professor of American Health Scholars, endowed positions supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

Aisha Dickerson, PhD, is an assistant professor and Bloomberg Professor of American Health in Environmental Challenges in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology, as of July 15. Yeeli Mui, PhD, MPH, is an assistant professor and Bloomberg Professor of American Health in Obesity and the Food System in the Bloomberg School’s Department of International Health, as of October 1.

“These terrific researchers are critical additions to our efforts to understand and respond to major challenges facing health in the United States,” says Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM. “We are thrilled to welcome them to our faculty.”

Aisha Dickerson
is an environmental epidemiologist with primary research interests in environmental risk factors for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dementia. Her research focuses on evaluating combined environmental and occupational exposures to metals and subsequent individual and transgenerational outcomes. Additionally, she continues to investigate the influence of disparities in autism assessment and service provision, along with environmental injustice in underserved communities.

Dickerson holds a BS in biology and an MSPH in epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After receiving her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, she completed a year of postdoctoral training at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She comes to the Bloomberg School from a postdoctoral fellowship in the departments of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.   

“Aisha brings real strengths to our growing team of researchers who are working on the NIH-supported Environmental Influences on Childhood Health Outcomes (ECHO) Data Analysis Center,” says David Celentano, ScD, MHS, Charles Armstrong Chair in Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School. “Her work explores, in part, environmental influences on autism and other neurodevelopmental outcomes. We could not be more pleased to have her on our faculty.”

Yeeli Mui
is a scholar of public health and urban planning. Her research, teaching, and practice focus on advancing health equity through the lens of planning for food systems and community development. As part of a multi-country project in the Global South, Mui leads an interdisciplinary research team examining how small-scale farmers’ adaptations—in the face of urbanization, globalization of food, and climate change—impact farmer food security and health in Kerala, India. In the U.S., Mui directed a study to strengthen links between neighborhood revitalization efforts and community health through more place- and health-conscious strategies in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mui received a PhD in nutrition from the Bloomberg School and holds an MPH in health policy from the Yale School of Public Health. She comes to the Bloomberg School from the Community of Excellence in Global Health Equity and the Food Systems Planning and Health Communities Lab at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Yeeli. With her focus on urban planning, she brings valuable perspectives, tools, and approaches to address the complex problems of obesity and food security,” says David Peters, MD, DrPH, MPH, Edgar Berman Chair in International Health at the Bloomberg School. “Her commitment and contributions are impressive, and we look forward to working with, and learning from, her.”

“These new Bloomberg Professors of American Health bring together the best of science with a deep interest in seeing measurable improvements in health,” says Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. “Our many involved faculty, fellows, and partners around the country will benefit from their expertise and inspiration.”

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative will support 25 endowed positions over the next five years, deepening the Bloomberg School's expertise and impact in the Initiative’s five areas of focus: obesity and the food system, environmental challenges, addiction, violence, and adolescent health.