Thu Nguyen, ScD, MSPH

Title(s)Assistant Professor in Res, Family Community Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address1001 Potrero Ave
San Francisco CA 94110
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0003-1185-045X Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthScD, Social Epidemiology2014Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
    University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public HealthMSPH, Epidemiology2009Department of Epidemiology
    Stanford University BA2005Human Biology
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    American Heart Association2016  - 2018American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship
    National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparities2018  - 2019K99 National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award
    National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparities2019  - 2022R00 National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award
    UCSF2020  - 2021Population Health and Health Equity Scholar
    National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities2017  - 2020NIH Loan Repayment Program

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Thu Nguyen, ScD, MSPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is a social epidemiologist whose research focuses on the impact of modifiable social factors on minority health and health disparities. A primarily line of focus of her research is investigating the influence of racism and discrimination in creating and perpetuating health equities. Dr. Nguyen uses a variety of different data sources (including Big Data) and approaches (including quantitative and qualitative research methods) to advance our understanding of social determinants of health. Dr. Nguyen also leads the interdisciplinary research collaborative, Big Data for Health Equity (BD4HE). BD4HE is comprised of faculty, trainees, and students from universities across the U.S committed to advancing theories, methods, and findings related to the use of Big Data for health equity research. The group investigates the impact of the social, cultural, and built environment on health disparities and identify levers for change. An overarching objective of the group is to provide a formal space for training, mentorship, and collaboration.

    She is the principal investigator of a R01, K99/R00, and American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship examining the impact of discrimination and racial bias on health disparities. In her American Heart Association funded postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Nguyen examined U.S. trends in encounters of health care discrimination overall and stratified by race/ethnicity and investigated the relationship between health care discrimination and biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk. Through her NIMHD K99/R00 funded research, she developed a place-level measure of racial climate from Twitter data and examined its association with birth and cardiovascular outcomes. This research project 1) compared the Twitter derived measure with existing national measures of racial attitudes and discrimination, 2) examined longitudinal trends in the relationship between place-level racial sentiment and adverse birth outcomes, and 3) investigated allostatic load, a measure of cumulative burden of chronic stress, as mediator in the pathway between place-level racial sentiment and birth outcomes. Her recently awarded R01 builds upon the K99/R00 project to use online and social media data track and detect changes in area-level racial bias and identify local and national race-related events, determine the influence of changes in area-level racial bias on changes in adverse birth outcomes, and identify protective factors to buffer the impact of racism on adverse birth outcomes.

    Dr. Nguyen received her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, her MSPH in Epidemiology from UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and her ScD in Social Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

    Research Interests:
    •Social media, big data, machine learning
    •Discrimination and racism and its impact on health
    •Social determinants of health
    •Race and socioeconomic health disparities

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Risk and strength: determining the impact of area-level racial bias and protective factors on birth outcomes.
    NIH R01MD015716Feb 17, 2021 - Dec 31, 2025
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Place-level discrimination and birth outcomes
    NIH R00MD012615Apr 1, 2018 - Oct 31, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Place-level discrimination and birth outcomes
    NIH K99MD012615Apr 1, 2018 - Mar 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Progress and push-back: How the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd impacted public discourse on race and racism on Twitter. SSM - Population Health. 2021 Sep 1; 15:100922. Nguyen NT, Criss CS, Michaels ME, Cross CR, Michaels MJ, Dwivedi DP, Huang HD, Hsu HE, Mukhija MK, Nguyen NL, Yardi YI, Allen AA, Nguyen NQ, Gee GG. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    2. Evaluating associations between area-level Twitter-expressed negative racial sentiment, hate crimes, and residents' racial prejudice in the United States. SSM - Population Health. 2021 Mar 1; 13:100750. Nguyen NT, Huang HD, Michaels ME, Glymour GM, Allen AA, Nguyen NQ. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    3. Leveraging innovative technology to generate drug response phenotypes for the advancement of biomarker-driven precision dosing. Clin Transl Sci. 2021 05; 14(3):784-790. Oni-Orisan A, Srinivas N, Mehta K, Das JL, Nguyen TT, Tison GH, Bauer SR, Burian M, Funk RS, Graham RA, Biomarkers and Translational Tools Community Working Group of the American Society for Clinical Phar . PMID: 33421282.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    4. Whites' County-Level Racial Bias, COVID-19 Rates, and Racial Inequities in the United States. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 11 23; 17(22). Thomas MD, Michaels EK, Darling-Hammond S, Nguyen TT, Glymour MM, Vittinghoff E. PMID: 33238526.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    5. Twitter Fingers and Echo Chambers: Exploring Expressions and Experiences of Online Racism Using Twitter. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Oct; 8(5):1322-1331. Criss S, Michaels EK, Solomon K, Allen AM, Nguyen TT. PMID: 33063284.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    
    6. Exploring U.S. Shifts in Anti-Asian Sentiment with the Emergence of COVID-19. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 09 25; 17(19). Nguyen TT, Criss S, Dwivedi P, Huang D, Keralis J, Hsu E, Phan L, Nguyen LH, Yardi I, Glymour MM, Allen AM, Chae DH, Gee GC, Nguyen QC. PMID: 32993005.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    7. After "The China Virus" Went Viral: Racially Charged Coronavirus Coverage and Trends in Bias Against Asian Americans. Health Educ Behav. 2020 12; 47(6):870-879. Hanna RF, Ward TJ, Chow DS, Lagana SM, Moreira RK, Emond JC, Weintraub JL, Prince MR, Darling-Hammond S, Michaels EK, Allen AM, Chae DH, Thomas MD, Nguyen TT, Mujahid MM, Johnson RC. PMID: 32911985; PMCID: PMC7488172.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    8. The Association Between State-Level Racial Attitudes Assessed From Twitter Data and Adverse Birth Outcomes: Observational Study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2020 07 06; 6(3):e17103. Nguyen TT, Adams N, Huang D, Glymour MM, Allen AM, Nguyen QC. PMID: 32298232.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    9. State School Policies as Predictors of Physical and Mental Health: A Natural Experiment in the REGARDS Cohort. Am J Epidemiol. 2020 05 05; 189(5):384-393. Brenowitz WD, Manly JJ, Murchland AR, Nguyen TT, Liu SY, Glymour MM, Levine DA, Crowe M, Hohman TJ, Dufouil C, Launer LJ, Hedden T, Eng CW, Wadley VG, Howard VJ. PMID: 31595946.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Twitter-Characterized Sentiment Towards Racial/Ethnic Minorities and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Outcomes. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2020 10; 7(5):888-900. Huang D, Huang Y, Adams N, Nguyen TT, Nguyen QC. PMID: 32020547.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    
    11. Educational attainment and cardiovascular disease in the United States: A quasi-experimental instrumental variables analysis. PLoS Med. 2019 06; 16(6):e1002834. Hamad R, Nguyen TT, Bhattacharya J, Glymour MM, Rehkopf DH. PMID: 31237869.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. Quality and quantity: The association of state-level educational policies with later life cardiovascular disease. Preventive Medicine. 2019; 126(105750). Hamad R, Nguyen TT, Glymour MM, Vable AM, Manly JJ, Rehkof DH.
    13. Differential associations between state-level educational quality and cardiovascular health by race: Early-life exposures and late-life health. SSM Popul Health. 2019 Aug; 8:100418. Vable AM, Nguyen TT, Rehkopf D, Glymour MM, Hamad R. PMID: 31249857.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    14. Pride, Love, and Twitter Rants: Combining Machine Learning and Qualitative Techniques to Understand What Our Tweets Reveal about Race in the US. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 05 18; 16(10). Nguyen TT, Criss S, Allen AM, Glymour MM, Phan L, Trevino R, Dasari S, Nguyen QC. PMID: 31109051.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Discrimination in health care and biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk in U.S. adults. SSM - Population Health. 2019 Apr 1; 7(Am Heart J 156 6 2008):100306. Nguyen NT, Vable VA, Glymour GM, Allen AA. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    16. Trends for Reported Discrimination in Health Care in a National Sample of Older Adults with Chronic Conditions. J Gen Intern Med. 2018 03; 33(3):291-297. Nguyen TT, Vable AM, Glymour MM, Nuru-Jeter A. PMID: 29247435.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. Comparing Alternative Effect Decomposition Methods: The Role of Literacy in Mediating Educational Effects on Mortality. Epidemiology. 2016 09; 27(5):670-6. Nguyen TT, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Kawachi I, Gilman SE, Walter S, Glymour MM. PMID: 27280331.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. Are self-reported neighbourhood characteristics associated with onset of functional limitations in older adults with or without memory impairment? J Epidemiol Community Health. 2016 10; 70(10):1017-23. Nguyen TT, Rist PM, Glymour MM. PMID: 27154180.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Modifiable risk factors for nursing home admission among individuals with high and low dementia risk. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2016 Jul-Aug; 65:140-5. Rist PM, Nguyen TT, Whitmer RA, Whitmer RA, Glymour MM. PMID: 27023177.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Instrumental variable approaches to identifying the causal effect of educational attainment on dementia risk. Ann Epidemiol. 2016 Jan; 26(1):71-6.e1-3. Nguyen TT, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Kawachi I, Gilman SE, Walter S, Liu SY, Manly JJ, Glymour MM. PMID: 26633592.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 22     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Genetic vulnerability to diabetes and obesity: Does education offset the risk. Soc Sci Med. 2015; (127):150-8. Liu SY, Walter S, Marden J, Rehkopf DH, Kubzansky LD, Nguyen TT, Glymour MM. View Publication.
    22. Current state of US breastfeeding laws. Matern Child Nutr. 2013 Jul; 9(3):350-8. Nguyen TT, Hawkins SS. PMID: 22236439.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. Self-reported daily stress, squelching of anger, and the management of daily stress and the prevalence of uterine leiomyomata: the ultrasound screening study. Stress and Health. 2011; 3(27):188-194. Vines A, Nguyen TT, Ta M, Esserman, D, Baird D.
    24. Race, medicine, and the science behind BiDil: how ACE-Inhibition took the fall for the first ethnic drug. The Review of Black Political Economy. 2010; (37):115-130. Kaufman JS, Nguyen TT, Cooper RS.
    25. Response to “Calcium Channel Blocker Therapy in Black Hypertensive Patients”. American Journal of Hypertension. 2010 Mar 1; 23(3):219-219. Nguyen NT, Kaufman KJ, Cooper CR. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    26. Racial differences in blood pressure response to calcium channel blocker monotherapy: a meta-analysis. Am J Hypertens. 2009 Aug; 22(8):911-7. Nguyen TT, Kaufman JS, Whitsel EA, Cooper RS. PMID: 19498341.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
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