Prof. Researches Public Health Impacts Of Agricultural Practices

Felicia Wu joins MSU and will use health economic and mathematical modeling techniques for research.

Published on: May 23, 2013

Michigan State University (MSU) will welcome Felicia Wu as a Hannah professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) in June.

Wu will have a lead appointment in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition along with a joint appointment in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.

Her research will focus on applying health economic and mathematical modeling techniques to understanding the public health impacts of agricultural practices, both in the United States and worldwide.

"MSU has great research strengths in areas such as food safety, international food security and nutrition, and climate change. Dr. Wu's expertise in health economics, mathematical modeling and policy complement these strengths and will help researchers at MSU determine the impacts of these globally important issues on human health and well-being," says Fred Derksen, chair of the MSU Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

New Professor Joins MSU To Research Public Health Impacts Of Agricultural Practices
New Professor Joins MSU To Research Public Health Impacts Of Agricultural Practices

Wu, a graduate of Harvard University, comes to MSU after serving as an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh since 2004.

After visiting MSU as a lecturer in the Distinguished Scholars in Toxicology Seminar Series in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Wu said she was intrigued about joining MSU.

"The intellectual energy and friendliness of this place, as well as the willingness to engage in multidisciplinary research, is wonderful," Wu said after her third visit to MSU.

Wu taught a variety of courses to undergraduate and graduate students in her nine years at the University of Pittsburgh.

"The two courses I taught the longest at Pitt are 'Introduction to Risk Sciences' and 'Environmental Risk Assessment,'" Wu says. "It's not possible to simply develop the lectures once and give them year after year. I must keep updating them with the newest information, including new methodologies in risk assessment, and new information pertaining to climate change, energy policy, and food, water and air quality."

She said she's interested in getting to know MSU students.

"My students always surprise me with their ingenuity in their projects on risk assessment applied to specific environmental issues," Wu says.