Kirsten Beyer

Adjunct Associate Professor
Associate Professor, Institute for Health and Society, Medical College of Wisconsin

Website: Kirsten Beyer, Medical College of Wisconsin


PhD, Geography, University of Iowa, 2009
MPH, Global Health, University of Iowa, 2005
MS, Clinical and Translational Science (Epidemiology track), Medical College of Wisconsin, 2012

Research and Teaching Interests

Kirsten Beyer is a health geographer interested in human-environment interaction as it relates to public health, with environment conceived broadly as including the physical (built and natural) and social environments. Her work includes disease mapping, social and spatial epidemiology, and mixed methods approaches that aim to identify spatial patterns of disease and injury and understand the complex human-environment processes that create them.

Her primary research interests are in the health impacts of neighborhood environmental characteristics such as green space, redlining and residential racial segregation, and the development of community-based interventions to improve health and reduce health disparities. She focuses her work on disparities in chronic diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health) both locally and globally with ongoing projects in Milwaukee and East Africa. She has a strong interest in the role of community engagement in research and teaching and partners with local community organizations in undertaking her work. She is Director of the PhD Program in Public and Community Health, Co-Director of the Global Health Pathway for medical students, and Co-Director of the Geospatial, Epidemiology and Outcomes (GEO) shared resource of the MCW Cancer Center.

Selected Publications

Bikomeye J, Namin S, Anyanwu C, Rublee CS, Ferschinger J, Leinbach K, Lindquist P, Hoppe A, Hoffman L, Hegarty J, Sperber D and BEYER KMM. 2021. Resilience and Equity in a Time of Crises: Investing in Public Urban Greenspace Is Now More Than Ever in the US and Beyond. Int J Environ Res Public Health

BEYER KMM, Zhou Y, McGinley EL, Yen T, Laud PW, Jankowski C, Rademacher N, Namin S, Kwarteng J, Beltrán-Ponce S, Nattinger AB. 2021. Mortgage lending bias and breast cancer survival among older women in the United States. J Clin Oncol (

BEYER KMM, Laud PW, Zhou Y, Nattinger AB. Housing discrimination and racial cancer disparities among the 100 largest US metropolitan areas. Cancer. 2019 Nov 1;125(21):3818-3827. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32358. Epub 2019 Jul 9. PubMed PMID: 31287559; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6788939.

Bemanian A, BEYER KMM. Measures Matter: The Local Exposure/Isolation (LEx/Is) Metrics and Relationships between Local-Level Segregation and Breast Cancer Survival. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Apr;26(4):516-524. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0926.

Beyer K.M.M., Heller B., Bizub J., Kistner A., Shawgo E., Zetts C., and Szabo A. More Than a Pretty Place: assessing the impact of environmental education on children’s knowledge and attitudes about outdoor play in nature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2015 Feb 12;12(2):2054-2070.

Beyer K.M.M., Kaltenbach A., Szabo A., Bogar S., Nieto F.J., Malecki K.M. Exposure to neighborhood green space and mental health: evidence from the survey of the health of Wisconsin. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Mar 11(3):3453-72.