Headshot of Dustin T. Duncan

Associate Professor

Affiliated Faculty

I am an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine, where I direct NYU’s Spatial Epidemiology Lab. I am also a faculty affiliate at several NYU entities: the College of Global Public Health; the Population Center; the Center for Data Science; the Center for Urban Science and Progress; and the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research.

I am a nationally recognized social and spatial epidemiologist studying how specific neighborhood characteristics influence population health and health disparities, among sexual and gender minorities, especially gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women from an intersectional perspective. My research has a strong domestic focus—especially in New York City—but my recent work spans the globe, including studies in Paris, London, and Abu Dhabi. Forthcoming collaborative projects are in east Africa and Australia.

Methodologically, my research utilizes a geospatial lens to apply, for example, computer-based geographic information systems (GIS), web-based and real-time geospatial technologies, and geospatial modeling techniques. For instance, I apply Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and smartphones to examine spatial mobility and social networks in and across neighborhoods.

My work appears in leading public health, medical, geography, criminology, and demography journals. I have over 135 publications and book chapters, and my research has appeared in major media outlets including U.S. News & World Report, the Washington Post, the New York Times and CNN.

My work also extends out of the research world and into classrooms through guest lectures across institutions and courses including Connecting Neighborhoods and Health: An Introduction to Spatial Epidemiology, offered at NYU Abu Dhabi, and Assessing Neighborhoods in Epidemiology, offered at the Epidemiology and Population Health Summer Institute of Columbia University.

My recent work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, the Aetna Foundation, and the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). I am on the editorial boards of Geospatial Health and the Journal of Urban Health.

I completed both my doctorate and the Alonzo Smythe Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship in social epidemiology at Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health. My research, and that of the field of spatial epidemiology, is summarized in the revamped second edition of Neighborhoods and Health, which I co-edited with Ichiro Kawachi (Oxford University Press, 2018). My forthcoming co-edited book The Social Epidemiology of Sleep with Ichiro Kawachi and Susan Redline focuses on social factors, such as neighborhoods and sexual/gender minorities, as they relate to sleep health (forthcoming from Oxford University Press, 2019).