Miguel Ángel Lopez, PhD, MPH, RDN, LDN

P{hD  student MIguel Lopez, wearing a suit, smiling, in a park, greenery behind him

Education & Affiliations

PhD, Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
MPH, Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
BS, Nutritional Science, Texas Christian University (TCU)


Miguel Ángel López is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) trained in epidemiology. He received his Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutritional Science from Texas Christian University (TCU) and completed his Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, where he recently successfully defended his PhD dissertation in the department of Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences. His research interests surround understudied determinants of nutrition-related outcomes, with a focus on the Latinx community and food (in)security. Prior to moving to New Orleans, Dr. López worked as an RDN in his hometown, Fort Worth, TX and focused on promoting dietary behavior change among Spanish-speaking patients living with nutrition-related diseases, like type II diabetes and hypertension.  Since joining Tulane University, Dr. López' work has narrowed in on advancing knowledge surrounding the United States' observed and perceived food and nutrition environment and the social structures that perpetuate inequities among Latinx people. Recently, Dr. López worked on a project surveying households with minors on formal- and informal- food assistance program use and food (in)security in a low-income district of Lima, Peru. At present, Dr. López is part of a USDA-funded research project building a systematic review on tools used to measure structural violence and its association with nutrition-related outcomes in the United States. He hopes to begin a career soon working on advancing the food security, nutritional health, and promoting health equity of historically marginalized communities.

Research Areas

  • Food Insecurity
  • Nutritonal Epidemiology
  • Nutritional Inequities
  • Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs

Honors & Awards

  • 2022: NIH, Tulane Program to Advance Representation in Minority Health Research Training Grant
  • 2020: Tulane, Sprinting to the Front Lines, Emergency COVID-19 Program Relief 
  • 2019: HRSA, Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Leadership Training Grant
  • 2018: NIH, Tulane Program to Advance Representation in Minority Health Research Training Grant
  • 2017:  NIH, Minority Health and Health Disparitioes International Research Training Grant
  • 2015: TCU, Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) Grant
  • 2014: TCU, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
  • 2013: GMS, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Millennium Scholars Program


  • Chaparro MP, Lopez MA, Hernandez J, Brewer JD, Santos MP, Paz-Soldan VA. The association between the observed and perceived neighbourhood food environment and household food insecurity in a low-income district in Lima, Peru. Journal of Nutritional Science. 2022;11. doi:10.1017/jns.2022.88
  • Willits-Smith A, Lopez MA, O'Malley K, Rose D. Self-Selected Diets in the US Show a Reduction in Carbon Footprints Over Ten Years. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2022;6(Supplement_1):83-83. doi:10.1093/cdn/nzac050.013
  • Brewer JD, Santos MP, Lopez MA, Paz-Soldan VA, Chaparro MP. Use of Formal and Informal Food Resources by Food Insecure Families in Lima, Peru: A Mixed-Methods Analysis. Journal of Community Health. 2021;46(6):1069-1077. doi:10.1007/s10900-021-00989-y
  • Rose D, Vance C, Lopez MA. Livestock Industry Practices that Impact Sustainable Diets in the United States. The International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food. 2021;27(1). doi: 10.48416/ijsaf.v27i1.87
  • Santos MP, Brewer JD, Lopez MA, Paz-Soldan VA, Chaparro MP. Determinants of food insecurity among households with children in Villa el Salvador, Lima, Peru: the role of gender and employment, a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2022;22(1). doi:10.1186/s12889-022-12889-4
  • Chaparro MP, Lopez MA. Food insecurity and food consumption among children who receive federal food assistance. Appetite. 2022;178:106268. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2022.106268

Dissertation Info

Death by English: Navigating an Anglo-centered Food and Nutrition Environment as a Linguistically Isolated Latino Adult Living in the United States. 

  • Lopez MA, Fuster M, Fleckman JM, George A, Chaparro MP. The association between language use and food insecurity among Hispanic adults residing in the USA depends on nativity. Public Health Nutrition. Published online 2023:1-9. doi:10.1017/s1368980023000885