Education ScD in Society, Human Development, and Health with a concentration in Social Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health BS in Biology, Bennett College
Sharrelle Barber serves as course designer for Health Advocacy, Community Organizing, and Innovation, and she has also consulted on the development of the MPH program’s Health Equity Change Project. Her areas of expertise include social determinants of health inequalities, cardiovascular epidemiology, and community health. Her research focuses on the intersection of “place, race, and health” and examines the role of structural racism (i.e., concentrated economic disadvantage and residential segregation) in shaping health and racial/ethnic health inequalities among Blacks with a focus on the Southern United States and Brazil. To that end, she has conducted a series of empirical investigations in the Jackson Heart Study based in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil), a multisite cohort study based in six urban centers across Brazil.
Her current research interests involve understanding the role of structural racism, including concentrated economic disadvantage and racial residential segregation, in shaping cardiovascular disease risk and onset among African Americans with a particular focus on residential environments in the Southern United States. To that end, she has conducted both qualitative and quantitative research in several Southern communities including rural, eastern North Carolina; Mobile, Alabama; and Jackson, Mississippi. Barber is currently working on several projects that examine residential segregation and CVD risk in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) and the ELSA-Brasil.
In addition to her role at Simmons University, Barber is an assistant research professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. As one with a strong passion for social justice, Barber is committed to conducting research that broadens our understanding of the role residential environments play in shaping health and contributing to health inequities among racial/ethnic minority groups both domestically and abroad. Ultimately, she hopes to work with communities through research and advocacy to address the underlying structural determinants of health through social and economic policy initiatives.