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Assistant Research Professor

Michael R. Desjardins, PhD, MA, is a spatial epidemiologist and medical geographer who works on pushing the frontier of understanding the nexus between health and place.

Contact Info

2004 McElderry St

Research Interests

Spatial Epidemiology; Geographic Information Science & Systems; Medical Geography; Spatio-Temporal Modeling; Health Disparities; Spatial Statistics; Uncertainty; Disease Surveillance; Gun Violence; Substance Abuse; Healthcare Accessibility; Cancer; Healthy Ageing; Residential Mobility; Longitudinal Analysis

Experiences & Accomplishments
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Keene State College

Dr. Desjardins is broadly trained medical geographer and geographic information scientist. His current work focuses on examining accessibility to Gynecologic Oncologists and Johns Hopkins’ Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC); residential mobility’s impact on chronic and infectious disease outcomes; healthy ageing; prediction of Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria in estuarine environments; smoking cessation; adolescent and adult mental health; and vector-borne disease transmission across the globe. Dr. Desjardins also substantially contributed to the COVID-19 literature with 9 published scientific papers since the start of the pandemic. He is the former chair of the Health and Medical Geography Group (HMGSG) of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), and currently serves as the Special Issues Editor for Health & Place; and serves on the editorial boards of Health and Place; Wellbeing, Space, and Society; and Cartography and Geographic Information Science. Dr. Desjardins also assists Dr. Curriero as co-instructor of Spatial Statistics and Spatial Design and Application. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology with Dr. Curriero in May 2022 and has since transitioned to faculty.

Honors & Awards

2023 Faculty Innovation Fund (Richard L. Gelb Cancer Prevention Fund)

Early Career Editorial Board (ECEB) Member for Health and Place (2022-present)
ECEB Member for Well-being, Space, and Society (2022-present)
Dissertation Research Grant. American Association of Geographers (2019)
Outstanding Doctoral Student in Geography Award. UNC-Charlotte (2019)
James W. Clay Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in GIScience. UNC-Charlotte (2018)
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. UNC-Charlotte. (2018)
Joanna R. Baker Memorial Graduate Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Research. UNC-Charlotte (2016)

Select Publications

Recent representative publications

  • Sugg M.M., Runkle J.D., Andersen L.A., Desjardins, M.R. (2022). Exploring Place-Based Differences in Suicide and Suicide-Related Outcomes Among North Carolina Adolescents and Young Adults. Journal of Adolescent Health. Accepted.

  • Desjardins, M. R., Hohl, A., & Delmelle, E. M. (2020). Rapid surveillance of COVID-19 in the United States using a prospective space-time scan statistic: Detecting and evaluating emerging clusters. Applied geography, 118, 102202.

  • Desjardins, M. R., Whiteman, A., Casas, I., & Delmelle, E. (2018). Space-time clusters and co-occurrence of chikungunya and dengue fever in Colombia from 2015 to 2016. Acta tropica, 185, 77-85.

  • Delmelle, E. M., Desjardins, M. R., Jung, P., Owusu, C., Lan, Y., Hohl, A., & Dony, C. (2022). Uncertainty in geospatial health: challenges and opportunities ahead. Annals of Epidemiology, 65, 15-30.

  • Desjardins, M. R., Eastin, M. D., Paul, R., Casas, I., & Delmelle, E. M. (2020). Space–Time Conditional Autoregressive Modeling to Estimate Neighborhood-Level Risks for Dengue Fever in Cali, Colombia. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 103(5), 2040.