Kristen Wells, PhD, MPH
My path to becoming an epidemiologist has certainly not been linear, but I have enjoyed the twists and turns along the way! I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware in agriculture with a concentration in entomology. After spending several years as a cell and molecular biologist at a small biotech company in northern Virginia, I moved to Atlanta where I completed a Master of Public Health in environmental and occupational health at Emory University. After graduation, I moved back to Virginia where I served as the Environmental Health Coordinator for the Lead-Safe Virginia Program at the Virginia Department of Health. Realizing that I missed the investigative nature of hard science, I accepted a job in the Center for Environmental Studies at VCU, where I spent several years coordinating a large nationwide occupational pesticide exposure study. I earned my Ph.D. in Epidemiology from VCU in 2010.
My research interests include the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for estimating historic and current environmental exposures, spatial modeling of disease, and multivariate modeling techniques. In addition to my research and work with the GSP, I teach introductory epidemiology in the School of Nursing and environmental epidemiology and intermediate epidemiology in the Department of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine.
In addition to work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Chris, and our 3 daughters, Madelyn, Sara and Emily. In my spare time, I enjoy whole food cooking, baking, swimming, running, and watching college football.