Katherine Theall

Dr. Theall is the Cecile Usdin Professor of Women’s Health and Director of the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Community Women’s Health Education Center at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. As a social epidemiologist, her research focuses altering social environments for better health in vulnerable populations and in reducing health inequities, by connecting health to social conditions and researching innovative methodologies to do so. Dr. Theall’s seminal work on how neighborhood conditions such as crime and disorder may ‘get under the skin’ to produce health disparities across the life course has moved the field forward in thinking about the biologic impact of social conditions. This work has been conducted locally, nationally, and internationally and fits within her broader portfolio of neighborhoods and health, including intervening on neighborhood conditions. She is actively involved in observational and experimental research projects aimed at altering social environments for health equity. Her action-oriented approach to research is also evidenced in other lines of work, specifically in the role that structural racism plays in disparate health outcomes such as adverse birth outcomes. As director of a women’s center aimed at addressing social determinants of women’s and children’s health, and with a strong base in community partnered participatory research, she continues to find ways to disseminate her team’s work and turn it into action. Along with Dr. Branas, she currently leads a large-scale randomized controlled trial aimed at blight remediation for youth and family violence prevention and improved health and well-being.