Naomi Thyden

School of Public Health
Alumni MPC Population Health Predoctoral Trainee
MPC Primary Research Areas
Research Interests

Institutional policies and fundamental causes of racial health disparities. 


Naomi is a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology with a focus on structural racism, and public health policy. She was as an epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health for three years. She joined the MPC as a graduate student member in 2017, was on the MPC Advisory Board in 2020-2021, and became a Population Health Predoctoral Fellow in 2021.

Naomi’s time in public health practice made it clear that there is a need for research that informs solutions to health disparities. Her research focuses on structural racism, specifically in higher education and in public health surveillance. She is currently working on projects using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), Moving to Opportunity, and High School & Beyond.


1. Thyden, N. H., Schmidt, N. M., & Osypuk, T. L. (2020) The Unequal Distribution of Sibling and Parent
Deaths by Race and its Effect on Attaining a College Degree. Annals of Epidemiology, 45, 76-82.   

2. Schmidt, N. M., Thyden, N. H., Kim, H., & Osypuk, T. L. (2020). Do peer social relationships mediate
the harmful effects of a housing mobility experiment on boys’ risky behaviors? Annals of Epidemiology,
48, 36-42.e3.

3. Taylor, N., Choi, K., & Forster, J. (2015). Snus Use and Smoking Behaviors: Preliminary Findings From a
Prospective Cohort Study Among US Midwest Young Adults. American Journal of Public Health, 105(4),
683-685. PMCID: PMC4358180