Professor of Epidemiology & NIH Endowed Chair,
University of Puerto Rico -School of Dental Medicine
Dr. Joshipura is the NIH Endowed Chair & Director of the Center for Clinical Research and Health Promotion at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, and an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). She has a Master's degree in Biostatistics and a Doctorate in Epidemiology from Harvard University (doctoral program completed in two years), and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health.
Her research (H-index 58) has focused on evaluating lifestyle and other modifiable risk factors for cardio-metabolic conditions, and on evaluating the inter-relationships of microbial, dietary and inflammatory mediators. She was among the first to show that periodontitis and/or tooth loss were risk factors for coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke and peripheral artery disease. This work has expanded to the evaluation of several systemic outcomes including type 2 diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes, glaucoma and pancreatic cancer. Dr. Joshipura has been the Principal Investigator of several NIH funded projects, including a mentoring grant. Her recent funded projects include a cohort study (SOALS: San Juan Overweight Adults Longitudinal Study) to evaluate the bi-directional association between progression of periodontal disease, inflammation and glucose abnormalities among overweight and obese individuals. Several additional cardiometabolic outcomes, biospecimens including plaque and saliva samples, and assessments such as taste test were added to the cohort to expand the scope and enable ancillary projects. She is also PI of a randomized controlled trial (PEARLS: Pregnancy and EARly Lifestyle improvement Study) to evaluate the effect of diet and physical activity interventions during pregnancy and early life, on cardiometabolic outcomes in overweight/obese mothers and their offspring. She is a Steering Committee member of the LIFE-Moms consortium that has enrolled over 1,000 overweight/obese pregnant women. Her current funded projects include: (1) Preparedness to Reduce Exposures and diseases Post-hurricanes & Augment REsilience (PREPARE): This study evaluates risk and resiliency factors for non-communicable diseases (NCD) at individual, organization, and community levels to inform interventions and policies to improve resilience, and preparedness to reduce the impact of disasters on chronic disease. (2) Oral Microbiome, Nitric oxide Metabolism, and Oral and Cardiometabolic Health: This study aims to identify oral microbial profiles associated with nitric oxide metabolism, to evaluate their associations with cardiometabolic health, and to identify factors that can be modified to improve microbial profiles and nitric oxide metabolism. (3) A pilot project to evaluate associations between water quality and health.
She has been serving on several editorial boards and reviews manuscripts and grants for national and international journals and organizations. She has taught methodological and substantive courses and Co-directed the Oral Epidemiology Program at HSPH. She has served as an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the American Association of Periodontology (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and has also been serving as an advisor to the American Dental Association. She mentors several students and faculty, and is the University or Puerto Rico site liaison for the Fogarty Global Health Training consortium based at HSPH, and also serves on the committee for the MPH in Epidemiology at HSPH.
Dr. Joshipura’s goals also focus on health promotion, through finding, evaluating and promoting preventive measures that are cost-saving, free or low-cost, and can be adopted widely and globally. To this end, she founded a global public movement "VMove” (short for We Move) to help individuals and organizations incorporate physical activity throughout the day in creative resource-free ways. VMove, launched at a TEDx talk, aims to reduce risk of several chronic disease by changing the norms and increasing the visibility of physical activity in different settings, to enable people to overcome barriers to exercise and engage in physical activity more frequently in a fun manner. VMove especially encourages public health students and professionals to join and help lead the movement. She also a conducted a Continuing Education ethics course to help reduce single use plastic.
Research Interest & Expertise: Global Health, Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease, Nutrition, Oral Health, Health Promotion, Pregnancy outcomes, Hurricane preparedness