Maggie Hicken

Through my research, I aim to clarify the social causes and biological mechanisms linking racialized group membership to population health inequalities. A significant portion of my research program falls at the intersection of sociology, geography, and environmental toxicology, examining the interrelated roles of racial residential segregation, environmental hazards, and racial health inequalities. I currently oversee two projects funded by the National Institutes of Health in which my team and I examine the social genomics of racial health inequalities by integrating the sociology and geography of place and time with various genomic mechanisms such as DNA methylation. I also examine the role of anticipatory and perseverative stress that may mark the burden of cultural racism (termed “vigilance”) in racial health inequalities. This vigilance has been shown to mediate racial inequalities in numerous health outcomes.