Juan Leon, PhD MPH

Juan Leon, PhD MPH

Contact Information:
Rollins School of Public Health
1518 Clifton Road NE. Room 736
Atlanta, GA 30322
tel: 404-727-7443

Title Position: Assistant Professor

Department: Hubert Department of Global Health | Epidemiology | Environmental Health | Infectious Disease – School of Medicine

Past Work in Hispanic/Latino Health:

U.S.: Dr. Leon has developed a health directory for the United States Latino population called the Health Resource Guide for Latinos. He has also created an online module called the Continuing Medical Education Module (CME) that teaches health providers about neglected parasitic infections; the CME will be online soon.

Latin America: Dr. Leon's work in Latin America takes three forms: research, teaching and service. His main research focus is parasitic diseases and enteric viruses that cause gastrointestinal disease in the Americas, in vulnerable populations. His research includes applied laboratory and field research studies. Dr. Leon's teaching includes mentoring through his research, field work, and capacity building in Latin America with students in Mexico, Bolivia, and Brazil. His service and dedication to the communities he works with is demonstrated through projects such as the information guides and workshops he has created for different populations on a variety of health topics. For example, in Bolivia he focuses on topics such as nutrition and diarrheal disease.

Current Work in Hispanic/Latino Health:

Projects: Dr. Leon is currently working in Mexico to understand routes of microbial contamination of fresh vegetables and fruits in order to prevent produce outbreaks. In Bolivia, Dr. Leon is working on understanding whether malnutrition worsens the effect of the rotavirus vaccine. In the U.S., Dr. Leon's domestic research includes understanding the prevalence of parasitic diseases among immigrant Latin Americans, such as especially Chagas. Dr. Leon is also working with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to understand how Latin Americans in the U.S. access care through the American health system, especially when they are at risk for parasitic diseases.

In the future, Dr. Leon plans to continue working with food safety on the U.S.-Mexico- border, vaccination and nutritional status in Bolivia; health system evaluation in Brazil, and access to care of immigrant Latin Americans in the US.

Opportunities for Students

Dr. Leon encourages student's involvement in faculty research and works with an estimated 30 trainees. The team consists of undergraduates, masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral students in addition to staff and faculty members. Dr. Leon mentors about 10 masters of public health students every year on summer practicum aboard such as Mexico and Bolivia and in domestic projects covering topics relating to parasitic (e.g. Chagas disease) or enteric virus (e.g. norovirus or rotavirus).

Relevant Courses:

Course Title:Course Offered:Description
GH 542: Evidence Based Strategic Planning Spring In this class, Dr. Leon partnered with Lifting Latino Voices Initiative, an Atlanta community partner focused on improving Latino's reproductive and sexual health.
GH 516: Global Perspectives in parasitic diseases Fall In this class, Dr. Leon discusses various parasites, including some concentrated in Latin America.
GH 501: Global Challenges and Opportunities Fall In this class, Dr. Leon discusses health topics that are of concern to Latino populations.

Partner Organizations:

United StatesLatin America
Hispanic Health Coalition of GA in Atlanta, GA, USA Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in Bolivia
Lifting Latino Voices Initiative in Atlanta, GA, USA Centro de Promoción Rural y Educación Jesus Maria (CEPRUJEM) in Bolivia
Saint Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, GA, USA Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon in México
Migrant Farmworkers in South GA, USA Centro de Atención Integral a Menores y Adolescentes in Bolivia
  Fundacion Produce in Mexico
  Faculdade da Saúde e Ecologia Humana (FASEH)  in Brazil