Ester Villalonga Olives, MSc, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Ester Villalonga-Olives, PhD

About Dr. Villalonga Olives:

Dr. Villalonga-Olives is a social epidemiologist who holds a PhD in biomedicine. She completed her BsC and MsC in sociology at the University of Barcelona, including a long international stay at the Università degli Study di Trieste in Italy. She received her PhD with International Doctor Distinction from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and completed stays at the London School of Economics in the UK and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. During her PhD studies, she received an award from the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE) to study at the European Epidemiology Program in Florence, Italy, and performed on-site public health interventions serving non-governmental organizations in India and Cuba.

Dr. Villalonga-Olives has served as a teaching and research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the U.S., where she is a visiting scientist, and has been a guest lecturer at Yale School of Public Health. She has been a research scientist in the Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology at the University Medical Center of the Georg-August-University of Goettingen in Germany. She is the past president of the European Young Epidemiologists group (2010-2014) and currently serves as the European delegate of the Early Career Epidemiologists worldwide group and is a member of the International Epidemiology Association board.

Research Interests:

Dr. Villalonga-Olives’ research interests are related to the study of the social determinants of health, with an emphasis on social capital, health inequalities and a focus on the design of health interventions. She has a background in psychometrics and has worked with patient reported outcomes -especially Health-Related Quality of Life- and has developed a patient reported outcome to assess bridging social capital. Her work is also centered on the investigation of the relationship between social capital and health outcomes such as Health-Related Quality of Life with a focus on underserved and vulnerable populations such as immigrants and children. The techniques that she has used include mixed methods, structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling and Rasch analysis.

Some of the articles included in part of Dr. Villalonga-Olives’ dissertation in biomedicine have received young investigator awards at international conferences. She has also served as a member of scientific and organizing committees at several international events. In 2008 and 2013, she received Awards of Excellence from the International Society for Quality of Life Research in recognition of superior achievements for her work related to Health-Related Quality of Life. In 2016, she received an Award of Excellence for the best methodological paper published in Gaceta Sanitaria in 2015 for her work related to the measurement of social capital. In 2018, she has been nominated as outstanding reviewer for Health & Place and has served as an academic guest editor for the Scientific Journal Plos One.

Contact Information:

Ester Villalonga Olives, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
220 Arch Street, 12th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-4930
Email: ester.villalonga@rx.umaryland.edu