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BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Ruben Juarez is HMSA Distinguished Endowed Professor at the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization and the Department of Economics at the University of Hawaii. He is also a Director and co-founder of the Maui Wildfire Exposure Study, the Pacific Alliance Against COVID-19 and the CEO of Hawaii Integrated Analytics.

Dr. Juarez is an economist known for his interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches, integrating microeconomics, behavioral economics, and network economics with public health initiatives to drive meaningful change. Since earning his Ph.D. in Economics from Rice University in 2008, Dr. Juarez has made significant contributions to both academic research and community health.


Academic Contributions: Dr. Juarez's main research focuses on theoretical and applied economics, with numerous publications in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Economic Theory, Games and Economic Behavior, Economic Theory, Vaccines, the American Journal of Public Health, JAMA, Frontiers. His work addresses complex economic problems and has provided impactful studies on cost-sharing, mechanism design, and network economics. His interdisciplinary approach has led to applying advanced theories to practical issues, particularly in the realm of health economics.

Community Engagement and Leadership: Dr. Juarez has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to community health and resilience, particularly among underserved populations. He co-founded the Pacific Alliance Against COVID-19, an initiative that provided vital COVID-19 testing and education to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, significantly improving health outcomes and vaccination rates in these communities. He also co-leads the Hawaii Social Epigenomics of Early Diabetes Cohort to understand why and how diabetes originates in younger adults of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and uses social network interventions to enable prevention. He also co-directs the UHERO Statewide Rapid Survey to undertand social determinants of health across Hawaii. 

Maui Wildfire Health Study: One of Dr. Juarez's most recent and notable projects is the Maui Wildfire Exposure Study. This project is the most comprehensive Social and Biomonitoring after a disaster in Hawaii to addresses the short- and long-term health impacts of the 2023 Maui wildfires, focusing on physical and mental health challenges faced by the affected communities. The study provides crucial data to participants and to inform public health interventions, emphasizing the need for early interventions to mitigate long-term health risks associated with environmental disasters.

Multidisciplinary Collaborations: Dr. Juarez collaborates with researchers across various fields to improve health and well-being. His partnerships with the John A. Burns School of Medicine and numerous community organizations exemplify his commitment to a multidisciplinary approach. These collaborations address complex health issues through a holistic method, combining economic analysis with medical research and community outreach.

 

Support for Latino Communities: Dr. Juarez is instrumental in supporting Hawaii's hidden Latino community. Through his work as co-founder and treasurer of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, the Mexican Consulate and various other nonprofits, he addresses the needs of this often uncounted and underserved population. His efforts have provided critical resources and support, significantly improving the community's overall well-being.

Awards and Boards: Dr. Juarez's innovative work has earned numerous research grants from prestigious institutions, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Hawaii Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, and Kaiser Permanente. Besides Dr. Juarez's roles in non-profit boards, he also holds editorial roles in several scientific journals, including Scientific Reports, Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, and Mathematical Social Sciences.

Personal Philosophy: Dr. Juarez ventures into areas that prioritize direct community engagement and well-being. His dedication to societal improvement and innovative, multidisciplinary methods highlight his profound commitment to societal change.

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PROFESSIONAL PATH

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Microeconomics

2004 - 2008 Ph.D. in Economics

Rice University, Houston, Texas

Game Theory and Behavior

Network Economics

Health Economics

1999 - 2004 B.S. in Mathematics

CIMAT - Universidad de Guanajuato

2008 - 2014 Assistant Professor in Economics

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

2020 - Present  Professor in Economics

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

2014 - 2020 Associate Professor in Economics

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

2022 - Present HMSA Endowed Professor at UHERO

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

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