Profile: Joseph Oppong

Joseph Oppong, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Health Sciences Center (Fort Worth), University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA. Joseph’s research interests center on infectious disease ecology, structural adjustment and health. Joseph was Chair of MGSG from 2002 to 2005. He is currently a member of the steering committee for the IGU Commission on Health and Environment

Joseph Oppong earned his BA (honors) degree at the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1982. He migrated to Canada for graduate studies because the University of Alberta provided generous graduate support and Canadian immigration was exceptionally student-friendly. Joseph graduated with an MA (Geography) in 1986, and PhD in 1992. In 1990, he journeyed to the University of Iowa, where he taught as a visiting instructor for a year. The following year, he was hired as an instructor at Alberta, pending completion of his dissertation. He has been at North Texas since 1992.

Joseph was exposed to medical geography through his doctoral dissertation research, where he employed location-allocation methodology to improve geographic access to health care facilities in developing countries. His interest in disease ecology was sparked by early misrepresentations and over-generalizations about HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Joseph has an impressive publication record, including several books and over 25 articles. He recently worked with Ezekiel Kalipeni and A. Zerai to edit a special issue of Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 64, Issue 5 (2007) entitled, HIV/AIDS, gender, agency and empowerment issues in Africa. His latest research combines techniques of genotyping from molecular biology with GIS. Molecularly clustered strains of mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) indicate recent and ongoing transmission of the disease. Mapping genotypes of mycobacterium TB can provide information for targeting intervention and control strategies to disrupt TB transmission. This research, conducted in Tarrant County, Texas, will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Professional Geographer. Joseph is also working on computational epidemiology — using computer simulations — to examine infectious disease diffusion. Another recent research focus is race/ethnicity and HIV/AIDS in Texas. Joseph is an advisor for the Dallas County Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Committee and serves as a board member of AIDS Services of North Texas. He also organized the Eleventh International Medical Geography Symposium in Ft. Worth in 2005.

Joseph may be contacted at oppong@nullunt.edu.

Updated: February 2007