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Core Faculty

Frank C Curriero

Frank C. Curriero, PhD

Center Director

Dr. Curriero is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology with a joint appointment in the Departments of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Dr. Curriero’s research focus is on the development and application of spatial and spatial-temporal statistical methods in the public health sciences.  Much of his current work involves translating methods of spatial science involving spatial data, GIS and spatial statistics for building research capacity in wide ranging health research applications.  A substantial part of Dr. Curriero’s academic agenda involves education; leading the development of the onsite spatial analysis curriculum at Johns Hopkins (including the four course sequence in spatial analysis and the proposed spatial science certificate program) as well as director of the online Master of Applied Science in Spatial Analysis for Public Health program.

Timothy Shields headshot

Timothy M. Shields, MA

Senior Scientist

Timothy Shields is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Epidemiology. Mr. Shields’ expertise is in incorporating geographic information systems (GIS) with public health applications. A primary focus of his work is on data management and environmental surveillance with respect to modeling of risk and spatial distributions of disease. Mr. Shields has also developed and currently teaches two courses of a four course Spatial Analysis sequence, ArcGIS for Public Health Applications and Emerging Spatial Data Technologies. 



Michael R. Desjardins

Michael R. Desjardins, PhD

Assistant Scientist

Michael R. Desjardins is an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Desjardins is broadly trained medical geographer and geographic information scientist with many research interests, including: spatial epidemiology, spatial statistics, geostatistics, GIS, geovisualization, global health, and mixed-methods approaches. 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 dengue fever transmission in Colombia.  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 on the editorial boards of Health and Place; Wellbeing, Space, and Society; and Frontiers in Epidemiology. 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. 

Carlos Castillo-Salgado

Carlos Castillo-Salgado, MD, MPH, DrPH

Dr. Castillo-Salgado is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology with joint appointments in the Departments of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Medicine of JHU.  Dr. Castillo-Salgado’s research focus is on applying geospatial statistics and GIS in health situation analyses including measuring local health inequalities, urban epidemiological profiles, public health surveillance and health impact assessments. Since 1998 he has pioneered the development of GIS-Epi units in the ministries of health, several schools of public health and schools of geography in Latin America. He directed the development of “SIG-Epi”, the first GIS software with a full-toolbox for Public Health applications.   His current work includes developing innovative real-time public health surveillance systems, applying new equity-focused public health metrics and teaching the Professional Epidemiology Methods Track.  He also teaches the course “Epidemiologic Applications of GIS”. Dr. Castillo-Salgado is the Director of the Global Public Health Observatory and the Director of the Certificate Program of Epidemiology for Health Managers.


Ben Zaitchik

Ben Zaitchik, PhD

Dr. Zaitchik is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences in the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, with joint appointment in the Department of Geography & Environmental Engineering in the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering. His research aims to understand and respond to climate variability on seasonal to multi-decadal timescales. This includes work on high resolution climate forecasts and projections as well as the development of interdisciplinary models of climate impacts on health, agriculture, water resources, and energy. In this context, Dr. Zaitchik develops and applies tools for spatiotemporal downscaling, satellite data analysis, and merging and assimilation of geospatial datasets.