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

About Dr. Villalonga Olives:

Dr. Villalonga-Olives is a social epidemiologist who holds a PhD in Biomedicine with specialities in Epidemiology and Public Health. She completed her BsC in Sociology and MsC in Sociology and Health 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., and has been a guest lecturer at Yale School of Public Health in the U.S. and University of Tarapacá, Chile. 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. She is a member of the scientific committee of the 22nd International Epidemiology Association World Conference of Epidemiology that will be held in Melbourne (Australia). She is a member of the international expert group on operationalizing social capital interventions in forced displacement situations lead by the United Nations.

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  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 her manuscripts received young investigator awards at international conferences.  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 twice. 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. She has also served as a member of scientific and organizing committees at several international events. She currently serves as an academic guest editor for the Scientific Journals Plos One and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Contact Information:

Ester Villalonga Olives, MSc, 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