Faculty Spotlight: Deborah Salvo

“I hate driving!”

Deborah Salvo, the newest faculty addition to the PRC, rides her street bike to work from her University City home.  Growing up in Mexico City, she became accustomed to the social interaction that biking or public transportation can provide. The car culture of many American cities, including St. Louis, doesn’t lend itself to that social mix.

“Cars isolate us from society,” she said. “You miss people on the street.”

Salvo’s affinity for active transportation fits right in with her research focus on how urban design influences health and contributes to health disparities in different ways around the world. She’s currently measuring the impact of a large-scale bike-sharing program in Mexico City, looking at outcomes involving physical activity, injury, quality of life, social equity and mobility.

“When implemented in a big way, these kinds of programs really do make a difference,” she said.  “They help people who don’t have access to the nice areas of town, and help efficient commuting, an area where problems always affect poorer people the most.”

Salvo came to the Brown School from the University of Texas School of Public health, where she was an assistant professor of epidemiology. She continues to serve as an adjunct researcher and faculty member at the Nutrition and Health Research Center at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico.

The transition to the PRC has been smooth, in large part because of her previous work with colleagues Ross Brownson, Amy Eyler and Rodrigo Reis. “It feels very familiar, very natural,” she says. She’s still getting the hang of St. Louis, but already has fallen in love with Forest Park. A self-described “soccer fanatic,” she’s currently looking for a recreational soccer team to join.

Preferably, one she can reach on two wheels.

Learn more about Deborah here.

Check out our other student, staff, and faculty spotlights.