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International Geospatial Health Research: Creating Synergies

Creating Synergies, a four-day symposium on International Geospatial Health Research, will be held from April 22 (Wednesday) to April 25 (Saturday) at the AAG 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The symposium seeks to explore new research frontiers in geospatial health research and foster international networks to share this information across borders and generate research synergies. It builds on multiple AAG Geography and Health Initiatives of the past decade, such as the AAG Initiative for an NIH-wide Geospatial Infrastructure for Health Research. The symposium also builds on several recent AAG health initiatives and grants with the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, as well as an international forum organized to launch an International Geospatial Health Research Network.

The symposirum is sponsored by the AAG, the International Geospatial Health Research Network, the AAG Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group (HMGSG), and the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS). 

Paper and Panel Sessions

There will be 55 sessions running on four concurrent tracks from Wednesday (April 22) to Saturday (April 25) with about 275 paper/panel presentations by leading health and medical researchers, geographers, and GIScientists. Information about the Opening and Closing Plenaries of the Symposium is as follows:

Opening Plenary: Symposium on International Geospatial Health Research (Session 2238)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 10 a.m.-11:40 a.m.
Acapulco, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

Chair: Douglas Richardson, Association of American Geographers


  • Douglas Richardson, Geospatial Helath Research Initiatives at the AAG: Creating Synergies
  • Mei-Po Kwan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Introduction: The International Geospatial Health Research Network
  • Marie Lynn Miranda, Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
  • Bethany Deeds, NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • David Berrigan, NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Discussant: Yonette Thomas, Association of American Geographers


Closing Plenary: Symposium on International Geospatial Health Research (Session 4538)

Friday, April 24, 2015, 3:20 p.m.-5 p.m.
Acapulco, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

Chair: Mei-Po Kwan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • Sara McLafferty, University of Illinois
  • David Lopez-Carr, UC Santa Barbara
  • Wenzhong SHI, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • David Balshaw, NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Discussant: Michael F. Goodchild, University of California - Santa Barbara

Please click here to download a copy of the Symposium on Geospatial Health Research Schedule. Please be sure to double check the schedule with the AAG online program for any last minute changes.


The International Geospatial Health Research Symposium steering committee chairs and members are:

Chair: Mei-Po Kwan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Co-Chairs: Martin Dijst (Utrecht University), Douglas Richardson (AAG); Bing Xu (Tsinghua University)

Committee members:
David Balshaw (U.S. National Institutes of Health - NIEHS)
David Berrigan (U.S. National Institutes of Health - NCI)
Bert Brunekreef (Utrecht University)
Yanwei Chai (Peking University)
Bin Chen (Beijing Normal University)
Xiang Chen (Arkansas Tech University)
Eric Delmelle (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Xiaoli Ding (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Ling Bian (University at Buffalo, State University of New York)
Bethany Deeds (U.S. National Institutes of Health - NIDA)
Michael Emch (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
George Gao (National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, China)
Mike Goodchild (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Sue Grady (Michigan State University)
Anthony Grubesic (Drexel University)
Bo Huang (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Geoffrey Jacquez (University at Buffalo, State University of New York)
Youngho Kim (Korea University)
Poh Chin Lai (University of Hong Kong)
Nina Lam (Louisiana State University)
Jiyeong Lee (University of Seoul)
Yee Leung (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Erik Lebrek (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands)
Hui Lin (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Marianne Linde (TNO, the Netherlands)
Becky Loo (University of Hong Kong)
Johnathan Mayer (University of Washington)
Sara McLafferty (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Jeremy Mennis (Temple University)
Alan Murray (Drexel University)
Tomoki Nakaya (Ritsumeikan University)
Tijs Neutens (Ghent University)
Lilian Pun (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Zihe Rao (Tsinghua University)
Mark Rosenberg (Queen's University)
Gerard Rushton (University of Iowa)
Clive Sabel (University of Bristol)
John Shi (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Elisabeth Root (University of Colorado)
Tim Schwanen (Oxford University)
Xun Shi (Dartmouth University)
Shu Tao (Peking University)
Zaria Tatalovich (U.S. National Institutes of Health - NCI)
Fahui Wang (Louisiana State University)
Jifeng Wang (Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Shaowen Wang (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Chris Webster (University of Hong Kong)
Michael Widener (University of Cincinnati)
David Wong (University of Hong Kong)
Xinyue Ye (Kent State University)
Eun-Hye Enki Yoo (University at Buffalo, State University of New York)
Chenghu Zhou (Chinese Academy of Sciences)