Public Health at UC Merced

Public Health has been defined as "the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research regarding disease- and injury-prevention (www.whatispublichealth.org/what/index.html)." But Public Health is more than that...it is a way of engaging communities and building partnerships to address some of the pressing health issues facing society.

Nowhere is this more important than in the San Joaquin Valley of California. While a place of natural beauty and diverse, vibrant populations, it is also a region with some of the greatest health disparities in the country. Indeed, a major reason for the establishment of the Merced campus of the University of California was to improve the condition of the population of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV), which trails the rest of California on almost all socioeconomic and health risk indicators and is comparable to the poorest Appalachian sub-region. If this region were a state, it would rank about 48th in per capita income based on U.S. Census Bureau data. 

The Public Health faculty at UC Merced are committed to addressing these issues through research, teaching, and service to the community. Public Health is led by a multidisciplinary group of faculty with an expertise in Prevention Sciences and Population Health  and research interests that include:  



Health Disparities

Mariaelena Gonzalez,  Susana Ramirez,  Zulema Valdez,  Karina Diaz Rios,  Jan Wallander,  Anna Song

Public health systems & services research

Paul Brown,  Mariaelena Gonzalez,  Kurt Schnier,  Carol Sipan


Karina Diaz Rios,  Susana Ramirez,  Rudy Ortiz

Health communication

Susana Ramirez,  Linda Cameron

Behavioral health and medicine

Linda Cameron,  Carol Sipan,  Anna Song,  Jan Wallander,  Deborah Wiebe,  Susana Ramirez

Tobacco control

Linda Cameron,  Mariaelena Gonzalez,  Paul Brown,  Anna Song,  Stephen Wooding

Latino Health

Susana Ramirez,  Mariaelena Gonzalez,  Ricardo Cisneros,  Zulema Valdez


Sidra Goldman-Mellor

Mental and behavioral health

Sidra Goldman-Mellor,  Jeffrey Gilger,  Jan Wallander

Environmental Health

Ricardo Cisneros

Public health genetics

Stephen Wooding

Vector Ecology/Population Genetics

Andrea Joyce

Immunology and infectious disease

David Ojcius,  Miriam Barlow,  Jinah Choi,  Derry Ridgway

Translational Research

Paul Brown,  Anna Song,  Linda Cameron,  Susana Ramirez,  Mariaelena Gonzalez,  Jan Wallander,  Deborah Wiebe,  Carol Sipan