Dr. Erika L. Thompson
Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Education & Experience:
I received a BHS in Health Science and MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Florida. At the University of South Florida, I received my PhD in Public Health and two graduate certificates in Biostatistics and Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology. Prior to joining UNT Health Science Center, I completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship focused on women’s reproductive health at the University of South Florida.
Teaching Areas & Public Health Interests:
I am the Program Director for the Maternal and Child Health MPH Program. Additionally, I currently teach Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and Special Topics in Maternal and Child Health. As an instructor, I integrate student engagement through applied learning activities in methods-based and topic-focused courses. I’ve received the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health’s Innovative Teaching Award to develop a course component on health literacy and preventive guidelines.
Professional Activities & Awards:
I am a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and serve as a Co-Representative for the Women’s Caucus. I am also a member of the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB) and received the 2020 AAHB Judy K Black Early Career Research Award. Within our community, I am a member of the Health Equity Alliance of Tarrant County, Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County, Tarrant County Birth Equity Collaborative and Family Homelessness Committee in Tarrant County.
My research interests address sexual and reproductive health, and maternal and child health issues. Most of my research is centered on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and prevention. HPV prevention is critical for reducing cancer morbidity and mortality, specifically cervical, anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers. Using mixed-methods approaches, I have examined HPV vaccine decision-making among adults, reasons for non-vaccination among parents, school-entry policies, and alternative health care providers and settings for HPV prevention. Similarly, I study reproductive health issues, such as contraceptive needs and access among women experiencing homelessness. Finally, my work involves examining social determinants for maternal and child health issues in our community, such as housing insecurity, early childhood education and violence.