Profile: Akihiko Michimi

Dr. Akihiko Michimi, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, GISc Center of Excellence, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, USA. Aki’s research interests focus on spatial epidemiology, disease ecology, urban-rural health disparities, GIS applications in health, and quantitative methods.

Aki was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan and came to the U.S. as a transfer student in the mid 1990s. He received his BA at the University of Oregon in 1996, MA at California State University, Los Angeles in 2004, and PhD at the University of Connecticut in 2008, all in geography. While at Oregon, Aki focused on human/cultural geography, but his interest gravitated toward health/medical geography at the graduate level. His doctoral research examined temporal and spatial patterns of cardiovascular disease in the United States and England using multiple national health surveillance databases. Over the past several years, he gained experiences in managing and analyzing large health outcome data sets drawn from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and Health Survey for England (HSE), and he continues to explore health of human populations at a variety of scales. Broadly trained as a human geographer, Aki has a wide range of research interests which lie in the areas of human-environment perspectives, such as human migration patterns, food consumption, and regional development. His recent work has been published in Urban Geography and Health Place.

Aki is currently a post-doctoral research fellow working under the direction of Dr. Michael Wimberly on the USDA funded project that investigates the influences of physical and social environments on the prevalence of obesity in rural America. This project examines the development of obesogenic environments in relation to a number of risk factors, with a goal of understanding the determinants of obesity prevalence in rural communities. Their work has appeared recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, International Journal of Health Geographics, and Rural Connections. A web-based GIS/web atlas summarizing research outcomes is also published at

Aki may be contacted at

Updated: February 2011