Center for Health Equity


Get to know the team: Ryan Ramphul, PhD

Published: February 14, 2024

Ryan Ramphul, PhD, pictured at the Annual Public Health Association Expo.
Ryan Ramphul, PhD, pictured at the Annual Public Health Association Expo.

Center for Health Equity faculty, Ryan Ramphul, PhD, joined UTHealth Houston School of Public Health in October 2020. 

Ramphul, who works as a spatial epidemiologist brings extensive experience in geospatial mapping, GIS (geographic information systems) analysis, and urban planning. He previously worked for an affiliate healthcare provider as a senior project manager leading the Community Benefits Department. His team strategically mapped out the use of funds for community investment projects such as park renovations. 

Working in healthcare research, he saw the impact that the built environment has on health. This cultivated his interest in pursuing a doctorate to further analyze the ties between health and non-medical drivers.  

After successfully completing his doctorate in 2020 and joining the School of Public Health faculty, he applied mapping skills to track COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic. 

In March 2023, Ramphul led the “Spatial Analysis and Health Symposium” featuring faculty and specialists from various universities, research centers, and health care systems. Speakers highlighted visualizations featuring COVID-19 incidence, the impact of built environment on health, surveillance data, and mortality data related to homelessness.  

Ramphul’s current work includes mapping food security in collaboration with the City of San Antonio. This extensive project includes surveying members across the city, hosting conversations to understand their experience, and leading focus groups and community conversations with populations at higher risk of experiencing food insecurity (disabled, formerly incarcerated, and single adults ages 18-59).  The interactive report and map for this project can be found here.  

Ramphul’s research interests align with investigating the relationships between social factors and health outcomes like cancer, diabetes, and food insecurity in Greater Houston.