Naomi Harada Thyden

Research Interests

My research focuses on structural racism and population health. I have a history of public health practice in Maternal and Child Health and am currently doing a postdoctoral fellowship in MCH. I have done population research on racial disparities in mortality and its effect on social determinants of health such as educational attainment.


Dr. Thyden is a social epidemiologist and interdisciplinary researcher who uses causal epidemiologic methods to study the effects of structural racism on population health and mortality. Her research is policy-relevant and influenced by her years as a public health practitioner.

Dr. Thyden has first-authored articles in American Journal of Epidemiology, Social Science and Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, and Annals of Epidemiology. She is currently the Principal Investigator for a pilot grant funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) through a Subaward from the University of Minnesota’s Life Course Center. She is the recipient of the 2023 Student Award from the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS).

Dr. Thyden earned her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota Division of Epidemiology & Community Health. She is a woman of color, fourth generation Japanese American, and dedicated to examining and dismantling systems of oppression through research, teaching, mentoring, and public health practice.