Portrait of Nicole Gatto
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  • Degrees
    PhD, Epidemiology, USC
    MPH, Community Health Sciences/Epidemiology, UCLA
    BA, Biological Psychology, UC Berkeley
  • Research Interests
    Epidemiology, Risk factors for cardiovascular and neurological diseases,
    Parkinson’s disease, Cognitive dysfunction

Nicole Gatto is an associate professor and director of the PhD in Health Promotion Sciences Program at the School of Community and Global Health at Claremont Graduate University and a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Loma Linda. Previously she served as an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Population Medicine in the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University.

Gatto’s research has focused on environmental, occupational, and genetic risk factors for cardiovascular and neurological diseases, specifically Parkinson’s disease and dementias/cognitive dysfunction. In 2009, she co-founded the Milagro Allegro Community Garden, a vibrant and thriving community space that integrates urban farming, art, and education in Northeast Los Angeles. In 2010, inspired by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and working with colleagues, Gatto developed LA Sprouts, a nutrition and gardening intervention aimed at reducing the risk of childhood obesity. Her other research interests have included cancer, aging, kidney disease, and diabetes.

Gatto earned her Master’s in Public Health from the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA and her PhD in Epidemiology from the Department of Preventive Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. She subsequently completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in environmental neuroepidemiology at UCLA, as well as a one-year internship in communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Gatto also holds certifications in Public Health (CPH), statistical analysis systems (SAS), and Geographical Information Science (GIS).

A recipient of the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (2014), Gatto is a member of professional societies that include the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology, the American Public Health Association, and the Society of Epidemiology and is a past member of the American Heart Association. Gatto has also served as a reviewer for prominent public health journals, including Environmental Health Perspectives, International Journal of Cancer, and Diabetes Care.

Gatto is a native Angeleno who is inspired by the work of Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt movement in Kenya, and Alice Waters, creator of the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California.

Co-authored with J. Sinsheimer, M. Cockburn, L.A. Escobedo, Y. Borderlon, B. Ritz. “Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms and Parkinson’s Disease in a Population with High Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure.” Neurological Sciences 352 (2015): 88–93.

Co-authored with D. Deapen, S. Stoyonoff, R. Pinder, S. Narayan, Y. Bordelon, B. Ritz. “Reproductive Factors and Parkinson’s Disease in the California Teachers Study.” Parkinsonism Related Discord 20 (2014): 1149–156.

Co-authored with V.W. Henderson, H. Hodis, J.A. St. John, F. Lurmann, J.C. Chen, W.J. Mack. “Air Pollution and Cognitive Function in Healthy Adults in Los Angeles.” Neurotoxicology 40 (2014): 1–7.

Co-authored with R. Varma, M. Torres, F. Segal-Gidan, T.Y. Wong, P.L. Johnson, W.J. Mack. “Retinal Microvascular Abnormalities and Cognitive Function in Middle-aged and Older Latino Adults in Los Angeles.” Ophthalmic Epidemiology 19 (2012): 127–36.

Co-authored with E.E. Ventura, L.T. Cook, L.G. Gyllenhammer, J.N. Davis. “LA Sprouts: A Garden-Based Nutrition Intervention Impacts Motivation and Preferences for Fruits and Vegetables in Latino Youth.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 116 (2012): 913–20.

Co-authored with Y. Bordelon, M. Gatz, B. Ritz. “Personality Characteristics and Motor Skills attributed to Occupations in Parkinson’s Disease.” Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology 24 (2011): 18–25.

Environmental & Occupational Health
Emerging Chronic & Infectious Diseases Worldwide