Personal profile

Teaching and educational interests

Dr. Eugene Lengerich believes that students and trainees learn best when fully engaged in ongoing public health and translational team-based research. His research team applies theoretic, methodologic, and analytic rigor to real-world opportunities in public health and clinical medicine. He has high expectations of students and trainees. His past mentees have become well-funded investigators, academic leaders, and public health professionals.

For Penn State, Dr. Lengerich teaches graduate courses in epidemiology, health disparities research, evidence-based public health, outbreak investigation, and community-based research. He serves as Faculty Director of the Graduate Program and Certificates in Homeland Security - Public Health Preparedness Option. Established in 2006, the Option develops the capability of students to prevent, protect against, quickly respond to, and recover from health emergencies. In addition, Dr. Lengerich supports the life-long learning of the general community by developing resources that facilitate personal and public health decision-making. One of these resources is LionVu, a GIS-enabled visualization tool and data portal for generating hypotheses and characterizing health risk in Pennsylvania. In addition, he enjoyed helping to develop and disseminate The Science of COVID-19 to support high school teachers and students understand the epidemiology and public health aspects of SARS-COV-2 during the recent pandemic.

Research interests

Dr. Eugene Lengerich joined Penn State in 1998, after training in the CDC’s pre-eminent Epidemic Intelligence Service and Preventive Medicine Residency programs. During this training, he conducted research on the health effects of environmental hazards as well as bacterial and parasitic disease outbreaks. After leaving the CDC, he served as State Chronic Disease Epidemiologist for North Carolina where he was challenged to conducted federally-funded tobacco control research in a state that was a leading tobacco-producing state! His community-based research at Penn State uniquely draws from his training and experience to examine the theory, implementation, and outcomes of behavioral, clinical, and public interventions to reduce risk and respond to outbreaks. A second line of research is examination of geospatial differences in health risks, access and outcomes. His team was the first to use multi-state cancer registry data for Appalachia and he continues to examine spatial disparities in behavioral and social determinants of health. In related research, he has led the development and testing of GIS-based tools and methods to visualize and communicate health information. Having been raised on a mixed-product farm in Ohio and currently operating a small farm that has been in the family for 50+ years, he has passion for research with rural and Appalachian populations. His research has received funding from the NIH, CDC, HRSA, Armstrong Foundation, American Cancer Society, and Pennsylvania Department of Health.

For the Penn State Cancer Institute, he is Associate Director for Health Disparities and Engagement and Director of the Office for Cancer Health Equity (OCHE). The OCHE leverages community engagement through health care provider, volunteer and community-based networks throughout Pennsylvania. These networks - consisting of health educators, community health workers, promotoras, and navigators - magnify the impact of an individually-based, localized approach to research. The goal is to support dissemination and implementation research.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Preventive Medicine, Residency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Epidemiology (Epidemic Intelligence Service), Post-degree training, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


MS, Penn State University Park


VMD, University of Pennsylvania


External positions

Member, Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium - Population Science Working Group

2020 → …

Executive Committee, Appalachian Translational Research Network

2018 → …

Member, American Society of Preventive Oncology

2015 → …

Member - Editorial Board, Preventing Chronic Disease



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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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