Philippa Clarke

Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health
Research Professor, University of Michigan Institute for Social Research


Dr. Clarke received her Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Toronto in 2000. Her research interests are in social epidemiology, social gerontology, life course perspectives, models of disability, and population health. Her research examines the role of the built and social environment for disability, cognitive function, and social participation. She has used various methods to capture characteristics in the built environment, including the use of secondary data sources (e.g., Census, NETS), in-person neighborhood audits (using Systematic Social Observation), and virtual web-based neighborhood audits (using Google Street View). She has compared the reliability and validity of these different methods, publishing one of the first papers on the use of Google Street View for this purpose. She also directs the National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA) ( a nation-wide repository of publicly available contextual data spanning close to two decades. The goal of NaNDA is to minimize redundancy in the creation of contextual measures across federally funded research projects and to promote the examination of spatial contexts as they relate to health inequalities in other survey, cohort, or clinical data.