The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program ended February 2017. The site will no longer be updated. More »

Carolyn Cannuscio, Sc.D., Sc.M.

RWJF Health & Society Scholar:

Social Epidemiology, Epidemiology, Public Health

Area(s) of Expertise:
Visual Methods, Urban Health, Health Disparities, Material Resources, Housing, Food Insecurity, Financial Strain, Cardiovascular Disease


Carolyn Cannuscio is a social epidemiologist whose current work centers on the causes and consequences of urban health disparities. Her work emphasizes the health toll of society's failure to meet universal human needs for adequate food, shelter, and health care as well as safety.  In her work as a teacher and researcher, Dr. Cannuscio has two major goals. The first goal is to identify strategies for improving population health by incorporating novel and varied methods, including visual methods. The second goal is to build the field of population health by engaging citizens, including students, in the research process. The Health of Philadelphia Photo-documentation Project accomplished both aims, by developing new insights regarding constraints on the health of urban residents, and by drawing from tremendous input and energy from collaborating students and community members. The project was conceived during Dr. Cannuscio's participation in the Santa Fe Science Writers Workshop and was initiated during her tenure as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.  Recent projects include examinations of the health consequences of food and housing access and insecurity, the mortgage crisis, and homelessness. These studies have incorporated traditional epidemiological methods as well as arts-based strategies for community engagement. Dr. Cannuscio is particularly interested in investigating and applying the power of art, including photography, to communicate across cultural and social divides and to transform disadvantaged communities, as in the recent housing advocacy project A Place to Call Home (  Dr. Cannuscio is a Core Investigator of the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the Philadelphia VA and an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She holds an AB from Brown University and an ScD from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Journal Articles:
Click here for a list of Carolyn Cannuscio's available publications in PubMed.

Web Materials:

YouTube - Carolyn Cannuscio Engaging Students Through Technology 2011 Symposium