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Alexis J. Handal, PhD

Associate Professor

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Contact Information

Phone: (505) 925-7391

Academic Career

Handal earned a BA in biochemistry and molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She earned an MPH in epidemiology-international health and a PhD in epidemiological sciences from the University of Michigan, where she was a Rackham Merit Fellow and a doctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health. Handal, a Fulbright scholar, has also received fellowships from: the Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research at the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Md.; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy; and the New Mexico Center for the Advancement of Research, Engagement and Science on Health Disparities.

Teaching/Research Interests

Handal’s research spans environmental epidemiology, reproductive epidemiology, and child health and development among Latinos and indigenous populations in the U.S. and Latin America.

Her research approach uses a health equity lens examining how occupational stress, toxic exposures and difficult social environments relate to maternal health and child development.


  • Environmental Epidemiology
  • Social Epidemiology
  • Reproductive Epidemiology
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Occupational Health
  • Global Health
  • Community-based Participatory Research
  • Public Health
  • Health Inequities
  • Social Determinants of Health

Practice and Research Pages

Professional Memberships

  • American Public Health Association
  • International Epidemiological Association
  • International Society for Children's Health and the Environment (founding member)
  • International Society for Environmental Epidemiology
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research


NIH/NIEHS Voices from the Field
(NIH/NIEHS December 2015) ─ This month, we spoke with Alexis J. Handal, Ph.D., of the University of New Mexico, about building sustainable partnerships and overcoming challenges in the field while conducting community-based research.

Healthy or Not: Some Hispanic children suffer from malnutrition
(Valley Star January 2014 ) ─While much of the focus has been on reducing obesity rates in the Rio Grande Valley, a recent study found that Hispanic children in the “healthy weight” range suffer from higher rates of chronic malnutrition than overweight or obese Hispanic children.