Rafael Pérez-Figueroa, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
151 Washington Ave.
Bowman Hall Room 356
Lexington, KY 40536
Contact: | 859.562.2624



Research Fellowship, Hispanic Drug Abuse
Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse (NIDA)
University of Southern California


Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Public Health
NYU Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity
New York University


MPH, Global Health Leadership
New York University


Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre Y Maestra, Dominican Republic



Dr. Rafael E. Pérez-Figueroa is an Assistant Professor of Health, Behavior, and Society at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. He studies health disparities among historically and contemporary underserved populations. He does this by engaging in theoretically driven research that seek to disentangle the effects of different social determinant of health on the outcomes of these populations. Most of his scholarly work focuses on public health issues related to HIV/AIDS prevention and care, healthcare utilization, substance use and abuse, harm reduction, and mental health. He uses a community-based approach to study these issues, focusing on the interplay between social, structural, and environmental factors that influence health systems in which disparities are embedded. He emphasizes on conducting research work and public health practice that directly aligns to the translation, diffusion, and adoption of evidence-based health strategies into community practice and settings. His work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, and Prevention Science, among other high-impact journals. He is a research fellow on Hispanic Drug Abuse from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a faculty fellow of the New York University Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity. In 2017, his NLM/NIH funded work “Amigos y Amantes” with the Prevention Collaborative received the Health Innovation Award on Health Literacy and Health Education from the Center for Health Innovation at Adelphi University.

Research Interests:
  • Health disparities
  • Substance use and abuse
  • Harm reduction
  • Global health
  • Implementation science
Published Work: