Associate Professor and Program Director, Undergraduate Programs
Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department
Kacey C. Ernst, PhD MPH joined the faculty in 2008 as an infectious disease epidemiologist. Her primary projects examine the environmental determinants of vector-borne disease transmission and control; primarily dengue and malaria. Current research projects include an examination of insecticide treated bednet use in western Kenya. Comparisons between determinants of use and effectiveness in highland and lowland areas are underway. She is also working with investigators in entomology to examine the role of Ae. aegypti population dynamics in the potential expansion of dengue from northern Mexico to southern Arizona under climate change scenarios.
Locally, Dr. Ernst takes an active role in working with the local health departments to examine questions related to vaccine preventable diseases. Her work seeks to understand the reasons behind increasing vaccination exemption rates in Arizona and the development of programs to increase vaccination uptake.
2006 - PhD Epidemiology - University of Michigan
2001 - MPH Epidemiology - University of Michigan
1997 - B.A. Chemistry/ Biology - Lawrence University
Dr. Ernst joined the faculty of the College of Public Health in 2008. She has begun developing projects related to the epidemiology of infectious diseases with partners at Arizona Department of Health Services as well as investigators in the Departments of Geography and Biology. She also plans to continue research on the ties between environment and vector-borne diseases. Her doctoral dissertation research focused on malaria in the highlands of western Kenya. She resided in Kenya for over two years designing and administering a case-control study that examined environmental, behavioral and socio-economic determinants of malaria. Her work also included assessments of the spatial and spatio-temporal patterns of malaria cases.