UT School of Public Health San Antonio founding chair Gimeno receives $250,000 UT System Faculty STARs award

David Gimeno Ruiz de Porras, PhD, MSc, LPsy

David Gimeno Ruiz de Porras, PhD, MSc, LPsy, professor and founding chair in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at The UT School of Public Health San Antonio at UT Health San Antonio, in collaboration with UTSA, received a UT System Faculty Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) award in the amount of $250,000 to help provide critical resources and support the research endeavors of The UT School of Public Health San Antonio, which welcomes its inaugural cohort this fall.

Gimeno, a trained psychologist and social and occupational epidemiologist with a Master of Science in Occupational Hazards Prevention and a PhD in Public Health plans to use the funds to enable access to state-of-the-art equipment to enhance and facilitate collaborative projects across the institution. “We plan to use this award to develop real-time mobile air quality monitoring capacity to map air pollution in San Antonio and strengthen community collaborations across non-profit organizations and public and private sectors,” Gimeno said. “Further, this award will allow students to gain hands-on learning and applied skills in environmental and occupational health sciences to help mitigate and avoid the health effects of environmental risks on our planet.”

“I was drawn to UT Health San Antonio because the new UT School of Public Health San Antonio touts itself as ‘the people’s school,’” Gimeno said. “We need to emphasize the idea of ‘thinking globally and acting locally.’ The ability to build its academic program and commitment to providing an enriching academic experience and focus on community engagement aligns with my desire to address health disparities and improve public health. The strategic location in San Antonio, with its rich cultural heritage and growing population, makes it an ideal place to live, work and contribute to impactful research and education in the health sciences and public health.”

Before joining The UT School of Public Health San Antonio in fall 2023, Gimeno was a professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) School of Public Health in the  Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences and the director of the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, the NIOSH Education and Research Center at UTHealth Houston, where he had led doctoral training programs in occupational epidemiology and Total Worker Health©. Prior to that, Gimeno was a Senior Research Fellow on the Whitehall II study in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London Medical School, where he further developed his research expertise in the social and cultural determinants of occupational injuries and illnesses.

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