photo of Azure Thompson

Azure Thompson, DrPH, MPH

Assistant Professor
Department of Community Health Sciences

Background and Expertise:

Azure B. Thompson is an Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health. Dr. Thompson holds a DrPH and MPH in sociomedical sciences from Columbia University and a B.A. in journalism from Howard University. She also has predoctoral and postdoctoral training in drug abuse and mental health. Her research centers on the social determinants of substance use and mental health, particularly among women in urban settings. She has used quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to examine multilevel determinants (individual, interpersonal, organizational, and institutional/social) of racial differences in age patterns of substance use and related mental health conditions. Her research was one of the first to document the shift in cigarette smoking onset in the US from the adolescent to young adult years. She is currently conducting studies exploring marginalization and substance use. In her research, she has found that young adult Black women who use drugs are more likely than young adult black women who do not to experience social (e.g., discrimination) and economic (e.g., unemployment) exclusion (i.e., marginalization). In one area of her research on marginalization she will be examining among black women with histories of drug use experiences of primary marginalization by the criminal justice system and secondary marginalization—defined as members of an already socially disadvantaged group regulating the behaviors of and resources to group members behaving outside of perceived norms—by black political organizations. Through this research, she seeks to inform the development of programs and policies that contribute to the elimination of health disparities, particularly those related to addiction.    

Courses Taught:

  • Sex, Gender, Race and Ethnicity in Health (CHSC 5203)
  • Urban Health Issues (CHSC 5205)

  • Introduction to Research Methods (CHSC 5300)

  • Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health Practice (CHSC 7201)