Elizabeth Tung, MD, MS is a practicing internist and social epidemiologist in the Section of General Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago. She completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, her medical doctorate at New York Medical College, her residency in Internal Medicine at Brown University, and her masters degree in Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Tung’s research is based in the Chicago School of Urban Sociology’s “neighborhood effects” approach. She has a special interest in examining intersections between race, place, and poverty, and their implications for urban health inequity. Dr. Tung’s emphasis and expertise on neighborhood effects also stems from first-hand experiences working with community-based health organizations in East St. Louis, Chinatown New York, and Providence, in addition to her work on the South and West Sides of Chicago. These experiences have prompted a firm dedication to addressing social risk factors and eradicating health inequity.
Her current research focuses on two main areas of inquiry. First, Dr. Tung studies community violence as a social risk factor for adverse health outcomes, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. She applies geospatial analytical tools to bridge the worlds of social epidemiology and clinical practice, and is currently funded by an NIH/NHLBI career development award (1K23HL145090-01) for the study: “Violence as a Social Risk Factor for Cardiometabolic Diseases: Neighborhood Dynamics from Structure to Self.”
Second, Dr. Tung studies racial/ethnic inequities in access to and use of health and healthcare resources. She has interrogated topics such as trauma deserts, implicit bias, retail redlining, and spatial mismatch. Her research in this area is grounded in a policy framework to address structural determinants of neighborhood disadvantage, as well as an ethical framework to reform healthcare financing and its fundamental malalignment with need.