Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

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Dr. Ryan Petteway – A People’s Social Epidemiologist

Assistant Professor
Office: PSU – URBN 470N

Dr. Ryan Petteway – A People’s Social Epidemiologist

Assistant Professor
Office: PSU – URBN 470N


Ryan Petteway came to Portland to join the OHSU-PSU School of Public health with a goal: “It’s all about moving the perspective structural factors.”

“Portland—and the Northwest in general—is ripe for such movement, based on its progressive and engaged population, surrounded largely by underserved rural populations and the region’s history of discrimination,” Professor Petteway states. Case law, political decisions, and social factors all play their role and demand action, but it’s also about supporting and amplifying voices that have been historically excluded.

“Our health is socially and politically predetermined,” so inclusive political process and social action are at the core of rooting out these problems.

Ryan Petteway is an assistant professor in the School of Public Health. He conducts participatory research at the nexus of public health, public housing, and “placemaking,” making use of information and communication technologies to democratize and enhance research and practice processes.

Petteway’s current work examines place, health, and embodiment among public housing residents — with the aim of facilitating permanent mechanisms for including the voice of residents within local placemaking decisions and processes. Underlying this work are core notions of power, inclusion, and accountability in public health research and practice, and avenues for participatory urban governance. In this spirit, he’s currently developing a STEM-based high school curriculum focused on the social determinants of health, health equity, and participatory research.

Prior to his doctoral training, Petteway served as social epidemiologist and chief epidemiologist at the Baltimore City Health Department.

Education, Degrees

B.A., University of Virginia, 2006
M.P.H., University of Michigan, 2008
Dr.P.H., University of California, Berkeley, 2015

Awards and Honors

2014-15, Roselyn Lindheim Fellowship in Environmental Design and Public Health
2014-15, University of Californi, Berkeley Mentored Research Fellowship
2014-15, Mayhew and Helen Derryberry Fellowship in Public Health
2011-2014, Kaiser Permanente Dr.P.H. Community Leadership Fellowship
2007-8, Master’s Training in Racial Health Disparities Award


The People’s Social Epi Project, 2014-2017 (PI): An Intergenerational Study of Place, Embodiment, and Health via Participatory Action Research with Residents of Public Housing
NIH/NCEH, UE1, 2011-2014 (PI): Baltimore City Health Impact Assessment Capacity Development
Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, 2011 (Co-PI): Baltimore Men’s Health Assessment Project
United Way of Central Maryland, 2010-2012 (Co-PI): Baltimore Virtual Supermarket Project
Kresge Foundation, 2010 (PI): Project Food for Thought: Youth Perspectives on a Baltimore Food Desert

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