Deborah Salvo, PhD

Photo of Deborah Salvo

Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences

Dr. Deborah Salvo is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School Of Public Health in Austin. She is also an Adjunct Researcher and Faculty Member at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP). Dr. Salvo joined UTHealth School of Public Health in January, 2015 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living. Prior to this, she worked as a Biomedical Research Associate at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. She earned her PhD in Biomedical Sciences (Nutrition and Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Public Health track) from Emory University in 2013, and served as the Co-Principal Investigator for the IPEN study in Mexico (IPEN: International Physical Activity Environment Network).

Her research interests center in the reduction of health disparities and promotion of health equity through the understanding the context-specific relations between physical activity and the built environment; documenting and ameliorating spatial health disparities; and using and improving objective measures to quantify physical activity and built environment features. Dr. Salvo is an active member of a global network of researchers working jointly to advance the understanding of the relation between physical activity and urban environments. She is particularly committed to advancing this field of study among Latinos in the US, Mexico and Latin America at large. Dr. Salvo has served as invited expert and/or faculty in several international technical meetings, panels, and research courses. She was a contributing author for the recently published Second Lancet Series on Physical Activity (2016), presenting the latest science on physical activity and public health. Throughout her career, Dr. Salvo has facilitated successful collaborations between INSP and Emory University, the CDC, the CDC Foundation, and Stanford University.

Current Projects:

  1. TRAIN Study: Travel Related Activity In Neighborhoods. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health.
  2. Diversity Supplement to TRAIN: Development and optimization of Geographic Information Systems techniques for studies of physical activity and the built environment.
  3. GAVA Evaluation Project: Go Austin! Vamos Austin!. Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living.
  4. Dell Pilot Study: Identifying the correlates of recreation and transportation bicycling in the US South: Redefining Bikeability.
  5. Stanford LACE Mapping Project. LACE: Latin American Cancer Epidemiology consortium (multi-country initiative).

Download CV

Current Projects

Houston TRAIN Study

Thumbnail image for Houston TRAIN Study

The Houston TRAIN (Transportation Related Activity in Neighborhoods) Study will examine the short and long-term effect of a new light rail transit (LRT) system on adults’ physical activity in Houston, Texas.

GO! Austin / ¡VAMOS! Austin (GAVA)

Thumbnail image for GO! Austin / ¡VAMOS! Austin (GAVA)

GAVA is a coalition of residents, community leaders and nonprofits dedicated to improving the health of children in Dove Springs and 78745.

Recent Publications

Transit Use and Physical Activity: Findings from the Houston Travel Related Activity in Neighborhoods (TRAIN) Study

(Knell G, Durand CP, Shuval K, Kohl HW III, Salvo D, Sener I, Pettee Gabriel K; Preventative Medicine; 2017)

Intrapersonal and environmental correlates of bicycling in United States adults

(Porter, A., Salvo, D., Pérez, A., Reininger, B., Kohl, H.W.; Preventative Medicine;

Health by Design: Interweaving Health Promotion into Environments and Settings

(Andrew E. Springer, Alexandra E. Evans, Jaquelin Ortuño, Deborah Salvo, Maria Teresa Varela Arévalo; Frontiers in Public Health 5; 2017)

Weather is not significantly correlated with destination-specific transport-related physical activity among adults: a large-scale temporally matched analysis

(Durand CP, Zhang K, Salvo D; Preventive medicine; 2017)

Associations of Physical Activity, Sedentary Time, and Screen Time With Cardiovascular Fitness in United States Adolescents: Results from the NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey (NNYFS)

(Porter AK, Matthews KJ, Salvo D, Kohl III HW; Journal of Physical Activity and Health; 2017)

Recent News

Pop-Up Parks: Get Green Fast

Thumbnail image for Pop-Up Parks: Get Green Fast

Pop-up parks are uniquely different than traditional parks, since urban features, like storefronts, restaurants, and offices, surround them.