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

Michael Emch, Ph.D., M.A.

 RWJF Health & Society Scholar:

Geography, Epidemiology

Area(s) of Expertise:
Medical Geography, Spacial Epidemiolgy



Michael Emch is Professor of Geography, Fellow at the Carolina Population Center, and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His expertise is in infectious disease ecology, neighborhood determinants of health, and geographic information science applications of public health. He leads the Spatial Health Research Group ( which conducts research that explores spatio-temporal patterns of disease, primarily infectious diseases of the developing world. Disease patterns are studied using a holistic approach by investigating the role of natural, social, and built environments in disease occurrence in different places and populations. Diverse statistical and spatial analytical methods are informed by theory from the fields of medical geography, epidemiology, ecology, and others.  These theories and methods are used to examine diverse topics such as the role of population-environment drivers in viral evolution, how social connectivity contributes to disease incidence, and using environmental indicators to predict disease outbreaks.

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


  Meade, Melinda and Emch, Michael. Medical Geography, Third Edition. The Guilford Press, 2010.