Dr. Erik Nelson joined the Department of Public Health in June.
The BYU Public Health Department is excited to welcome Dr. Erik Nelson as the newest faculty member. Dr. Nelson is a research methodologist from Salt Lake City and has spent many years in the midwest as an assistant professor at Indiana University.
When Dr. Nelson studied public health at BYU as an undergraduate student, one of his mentors, Dr. Brad Neiger, inspired him to continue his education. Dr. Nelson received a master’s degree in public health and a Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota and studied spatial statistics in St. Louis.
Dr. Nelson’s research interests include increasing access to the HPV vaccine for underprivileged women, predicting and preventing lead exposure for children, working with the NAACP to help minority populations, and discovering how the environment, physical activity, and stress influence health.
Dr. Nelson and his wife, Jenny, were high school sweethearts. They have seven children under the age of thirteen and love to spend time together outdoors. The Nelsons love water skiing, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and board games.
When Dr. Nelson isn’t working, he loves playing ice hockey, repairing old cars, and drinking ice-cold Coca-Cola. His life motto is, “More friends, more fun,” and he lives that by including everyone around him at work or at home.
Dr. Nelson is excited to be back at BYU. He said, “I’m excited to not need to hold back or hide the most meaningful part of me—which is that I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ.” He is also excited to help mentor students at BYU in the way that his mentors helped him and has many opportunities for students to get involved. He said, “I’m excited to work with intelligent, hungry students who want to do good.”