• Perceptions of Neighborhood Change

    MESA Neighborhoods group introduces a new survey tool measuring perceptions of neighborhood change, gentrification, and displacement pressures.

  • Retail Environment Classifications

    Retail environment is a key component of the built environment. In collaboration with the Retail Environment for Cardiovascular Disease (RECVD) project, MESA Neighborhoods will classify businesses for healthy living

  • Gearing up for Exam 7

    MESA Neighborhoods team is excited to be part of the MESA Exam 7. Scheduled to begin in early 2022, this exam will include longitudinal questions asked in earlier exams as well as novel questions related to neighborhood change and infrastructure to support aging.


The MESA parent study

For more information on the MESA parent study, please visit their website

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Food Environments

MESA Neighborhoods has a long history of research on food environments, food access, diet, and nutrition-related health outcomes

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MESA Neighborhoods and Aging

The most recent MESA Neighborhoods grant focuses on social, natural, and built environment features related to Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias.

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Methods to improve neighborhood research

Drexel faculty member, Brisa Sanchez, leads a research team developing new tools for neighborhood health effects.

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About Research Group

The MESA Neighborhoods group has been in existence since 2003, when Dr. Ana Diez Roux received the first NIH grant to collect, process, and study neighborhood features within the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Since 2003, there have been two additional MESA neighborhood ancillary studies, the most recent of which was funded in June 2021. This recent iteration, focusing on neighborhoods and aging, will collect new survey and GIS data for the MESA cohort from Exam 5 onward (2012 to present day).

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About Publications Group

Our team has a robust history of publications across Public Health, Urban Planning, Geography, Policy, Sociology, and Medicine. 

One of our highlight publications summarizes the work we have done on neighborhoods and cardiovascular disease:

Roux, A. V. D., Mujahid, M. S., Hirsch, J. A., Moore, K., & Moore, L. V. (2016). The impact of neighborhoods on CV risk. Global heart11(3), 353-363.

For more papers, visit our publications page or see some of our spotlighted papers here!

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Associations of the local food environment with diet quality – a comparison of GIS and survey assessments: The MultiEthnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

Moore LV, Diez Roux AV, Nettleton JA, Jacobs DR

Development of an instrument to measure perceived gentrification for health research: Perceptions about changes in environments and residents (PACER)

Hirsch JA, Grunwald HE, Miles KL, Michael YL

The impact of neighborhoods on CV risk

AVD Roux, MS Mujahid, JA Hirsch, K Moore, LV Moore

Longitudinal neighbourhood determinants with cognitive health and dementia disparities: protocol of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Neighborhoods and Aging prospective cohort study.

Jana A Hirsch, Yvonne L Michael, Kari A Moore, Steven Melly, Timothy M Hughes, Kathleen Hayden, Jose A Luchsinger, Marcia P Jimenez, Peter James, Lilah M Besser, Brisa Sánchez, Ana V Diez Roux

Ana V. Diez Roux, MD PhD MPH


Ana V. Diez Roux, MD, PHD, MPH, is the Dana and David Dornsife Dean and Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology at the Dornsife School of Public Health and Director of the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative. Originally trained as a

Ana V. Diez Roux, MD PhD MPH

Dana and David Dornsife Dean and Distinguished University Professor

Urban Health Collaborative
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Drexel University


Ana V. Diez Roux, MD, PHD, MPH, is the Dana and David Dornsife Dean and Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology at the Dornsife School of Public Health and Director of the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative. Originally trained as a pediatrician in her native Buenos Aires, she completed public health training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Before joining Drexel University, she served on the faculties of Columbia University and the University of Michigan, where she was Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health.

Dr. Diez Roux is internationally known for her research on the social determinants of population health and the study of how neighborhoods affect health. Her work on neighborhood health effects has been highly influential in the policy debate on population health and its determinants. Her research areas include social epidemiology and health disparities, environmental health effects, urban health, psychosocial factors, cardiovascular disease epidemiology, social environment-gene interactions, and the use of multilevel methods and complex systems approaches in population health. She has led large NIH and foundation funded research and training programs in the United States and in collaboration with various institutions in Latin America and is currently Principal Investigator of the Wellcome Trust funded SALURBAL (Salud Urbana en América Latina) study.

Jana A. Hirsch, MES PhD

Assistant Research Professor

Brisa N. Sánchez, MS MSc PhD

Dornsife Endowed Professor of Biostatistics