Deborah Polk

  • Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
  • Assistant Professor, Public Health Dynamics Lab
  • Assistant Professor, Center for Health Equity

To a large extent, behavior at the individual level is determined by broader social factors. I study the relationship between these broader social factors and both health behaviors and indicators of health, including disparities in health. Examples of social determinants I am interested in include socioeconomic status, social norms, and public policies. Examples of health behaviors include smoking and oral hygiene behaviors. And the health outcomes I study include dental caries and periodontal disease. In addition, I identify social and behavioral contexts in which genetic variants increase the probability of disease.


2001 - 2003 | Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA | Postdoctoral Fellow in Health Psychology
1997 - 2001 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | Postdoctoral Fellow in Health Psychology
1997 | Indiana University, Bloomington, IN | PhD in Clinical Psychology