HERE Center

Our Center Researchers

Lisa Chaudhari, PhD - Health Science


Lisa Chaudhari Profile

HERE Center, Co-Director

Telephone: 818-677-4081





Dr. Lisa Chaudhari is a co-director for the HERE Center where she is able to put her interdisciplinary background into action to reduce health disparities in the San Fernando Valley. This position offers her many wonderful opportunities to work with community partners, students, faculty, and other stakeholders in the San Fernando Valley on and array of health equity topics and actions. Her Center work, teaching, and research focus on the nexus of health and wellbeing, the environment, and culture, with each project highlighting one particular area.

The Health and Hazards Project at the Center enables her to examine multiple environmental factors that pose threats and hazards to Valley residents engaging in environmental, health, and social justice perspectives. She has co-developed a Toxic Tour series for various audiences on the San Fernando Valley, examining specific health hazards (e.g. natural gas leaks and blowout) affecting different Valley neighborhoods. She has also worked with Visión y Compromiso and promotores from the San Fernando Valley Network on a series of charlas/community conversations and town halls throughout the Valley to identify health needs through community voices to inform HERE Center actions and programming. On a brighter note, a new project she is co-leading focuses on mapping health assets in the community through an interactive project on local ecological knowledge that brings to light and action the diverse biocultural knowledge and practices that abound throughout the Valley through gardens and other botanical activities.

Her qualitative work focuses on ethnographic, biocultural, and phenomenological projects internationally and locally. While directing the larger bi-national project, she conducted research among Mexican Pimas triangulating the culture, biomedical, and environmental connections (e.g. community perspectives on their environment, biological samples, and remotely-sensed image findings), with results helping inform local health interventions to address diabetes and obesity in this community. Another project included co-leading a sustainability assessment project with various units across campus on a global health project while working directly with Tibetan refugees in Mainpat, India. Her research focused on health and cultural changes among Tibetan refugees as they have experienced dramatic shifts in their local knowledge systems and practices.

At CSUN, she teaches in Health Sciences, Sustainability and Queer Studies programs at CSUN. She sees value of implementing high-impact practices of service learning into the classroom. Students engage with community or campus partners through experiential learning project to explore heavy topics such as climate crisis, human health, and sustainability through garden and green space projects (partners include Breathe Southern California, CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability, among others). Students gain invaluable experiences putting into practice class content in ways that tangibly affect the community partners and residents (e.g. developing a webinar with expert panelists on the wildfire and human health effects). She values bringing opportunities for her students to engage with their community through specific class content to help students explore their capabilities during their CSUN careers.



  • Giraldo, M., Chaudhari, L.S., and deHeer, H. 2021. Geospatial network analysis of the health environment in a rural Mexican community. Southwestern Geographer - under review
  • Blackman, K. C. A., Smiley, S., Valentine, W., Chaudhari, L., Kwan, P., Cotton-Curtis, W., Saetermoe, C., and Chan, T. (2021). The Earliest Food Deserts: Availability of Infant and Follow-on Formula, and Lactation Support Products among Stores in Black and Non-Hispanic White Zip Codes in Los Angeles County. Maternal and Child Health Journal.
  • Brown, B., Chaudhari, L.S., Curtis, E., & Schulz, L.O. 2018. Service Learning with Tibetan Refugees in India: A Small University's Experience has been accepted by the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.
  • Schulz, L.O., & Chaudhari, L.S. 2015. High risk populations: The Pimas of Arizona and Mexico. Current Obesity Report 4(1):92-98.
  • Esparza-Romero, J., Valencia, M.E., Urquidez-Romero, R., Chaudhari, L.S., Hanson, R.L., Knowler, W.C., Ravussin, E., Bennett P.H., & Schulz L.O. 2015. Environmentally-driven increases in type 2 diabetes and obesity in Pima Indians and non-Pimas in Mexico over a 15-year period: The Maycoba Project. Diabetes Care 38(11):2075-2082.
  • Urquidez-Romero, R., Esparza-Romero, J., Chaudhari, L.S., Begay, R. C., Giraldo, M., Ravussin, E., Knowler, W. C., Hanson, R. L., Bennett, P. H., Schulz, L. O., & Valencia, M. E. 2013. Study design of the Maycoba Project: Obesity and diabetes in Mexican Pimas. American Journal of Health Behavior 38(3):370-378.
  • Morera, O. F., Warren, M., Chaudhari, L. S, & de Heer, H.D. 2013. At risk or not: Comparing normative and criterion-referenced Body Mass Index standards among Mexican American children. Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion 63(2).
  • Chaudhari, L.S., R.C. Begay, & L.O. Schulz. 2013. Fifteen years of change in the food environments in the rural Mexican community: The Maycoba Project. Rural and Remote Health 13(3).
  • Chaudhari, L.S. 2012. How the Maycoba Project informs new discoveries in diabetes and obesity. NAU Global.
  • Giraldo, M.A., L.S. Chaudhari, and L.O Schulz. 2012. Land-use and land-cover assessment for the study of lifestyle change in a rural Mexican community: The Maycoba Project. International Journal of Health Geographics 11(1)27.
  • de Heer, H. D., L.S. Chaudhari, & O. F. Morera. 2012. “Everyone gets healthier: Impact and spillover of an after-school physical activity and health education program along the U.S.-Mexico border.” in Health and nutrition in elementary schools (Volume III): collection of nutrition and population health. Edited by A. Medrano (in Spanish), Chapter 14. Cuidad Juarez, Mexico: Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez.
  • Begay, R.C., & L.S. Chaudhari, J. Esparza, R. Romero, and L. Schulz. 2011. An exploration of gardens in Maycoba, Mexico: Change in the environment of a population genetically prone to diabetes. International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society 1(3):89-102.
  • Chaudhari, L. S. 2009. Mapping health care networks integrating ethnographic data and GIS. International Cartographic Conference, Santiago, Chile 2009.
  • Chaudhari, L.S. & Jayne Jacobs. 2009. “A Thematic English as a Second Language Curriculum for Parents of School-Aged Children.” Atlanta, GA: Catholic Charities Publications.
  • Chaudhari, L.S. 2009. “U.S. School System Handbook for Newcomer Refugee Families.” Atlanta, GA: Catholic Charities Publications.