Sociology Faculty

Alicia R. Riley

Research Interests

Social causes of health inequities; Structural racism; Systems of racialization and social stratification and health; Im/migrant health; Aging and the lifecourse; COVID-19; Mortality disparities; State and local policy related to the social determinants of health.

Biography, Education and Training

Postdoctoral Scholar, Department Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UC San Francisco

PhD in Sociology, University of Chicago

MA in Sociology, University of Chicago

MPH in Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

MA in Latin American Studies, Stanford University

BA w/ Honors in Human Biology, Stanford University

Honors, Awards and Grants

2021 // Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Sciences, Postdoctoral Award

2019 // NSHAP Fellows Program, Invited Fellow (2019-2021)

2018 // Excellence in Course Design, Chicago Center for Teaching, Honorable Mention

2018 // First Place Poster, International Conference on Aging in the Americas

2018 // Pozen Center Prize Lectureship in Human Rights, University of Chicago

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications:


Riley, Alicia R., Linda J. Waite, Kathleen A. Cagney. Forthcoming “Novel Insights From Interviewer Assessments of Personal Attributes, Home Environment, and Residential Context in NSHAP” The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.


Wrigley-Field, Elizabeth, Mathew V. Kiang, Alicia R. Riley, Magali Barbieri, Yea Hung Chen, Kate A. Duchowney, Ellicott C. Matthay, David Van Riper, Kirrthana Jegathesan, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, and Jonathon P. Leider. Forthcoming. “Geographically-targeted COVID-19 vaccination is more equitable and averts more deaths than age- based thresholds alone.” Science Advances.


Murchland, Audrey R., Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Lanyu Zhang, Tali Elfassy, Leslie Grasset, Alicia Riley, Rebecca Wong, Mary Haan, Richard N. Jones, Jacqueline M. Torres, and M. Maria Glymour. 2021. “Estimating the Effects of Mexico to U.S. Migration on Elevated Depressive Symptoms: Evidence from Pooled Cross-National Cohorts.” Annals of Epidemiology. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2021.08.014.


Riley, Alicia R., Yea-Hung Chen, Ellicott C. Matthay, M. Maria Glymour, Jacqueline M. Torres, Alicia Fernandez, and Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo. 2021. “Excess Deaths among Latino People in California during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Social Science and Medicine - Population Health. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2021.100860

Media coverage: Newsy, Telemundo, Univision 


Chen, Yea-Hung, Maria Glymour, Alicia Riley, John Balmes, Kate Duchowny, Robert Harrison, Ellicott Matthay, and Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo. 2021. “Excess Mortality Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic among Californians 18–65 Years of Age, by Occupational Sector and Occupation: March through October 2020.” PLOS ONE.

Media coverage: Science, Nature News, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Huffington Post, LA Times, SF Chronicle, The Guardian, San Jose Mercury News, California Healthline, KQED, Scripps National News, Quartz, Sacramento Bee, Reuters, La Opinion 


Matthay, Ellicott C., Kate A. Duchowny, Alicia R. Riley, Sandro Galea. 2021. “Projected all-cause deaths attributable to COVID-19-related unemployment in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health e1-4. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2020.306095

Media coverage: LA Times, SF Chronicle, KQED, Newsy, Scripps National News, HealthDay, Yahoo News, KCBS, KHSU, Gizmodo, APHA Highlights


Riley, Alicia R., Daniel Collins, Jake Grumbach, Jacqueline Torres and Rita Hamad. 2021. “Association of US state policy orientation with adverse birth outcomes: a longitudinal analysis” J Epidemiol Community Health. doi: 10.1136/jech-2020-214858


Maecken, Jana, Alicia R. Riley, and Maria Glymour. 2020. “Cross-National Differences in the Association Between Retirement and Memory Decline” The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. gbaa223.


Stuart, Forrest, Alicia R. Riley, and Hossein Pourreza. 2020. “A human-machine partnered approach for identifying social media signals of elevated traumatic grief in Chicago gang territories” PLOS ONE 15(7):e0236625.


Riley, Alicia R. 2020. “Advancing the Study of Health Inequality: Fundamental Causes as Systems of Exposure.” Social Science and Medicine - Population Health, Volume 10.


Riley, Alicia R. 2018. “Neighborhood Disadvantage, Residential Segregation, and Beyond—Lessons for Studying Structural Racism and Health.” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 5(2): 357-365.


Riley, Alicia, Louise C. Hawkley, and Kathleen A. Cagney. 2016. “Racial Differences in the Effects of Neighborhood Disadvantage on Residential Mobility in Later Life.” The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 71 (6): 1131–40.


Other Publications:


Riley, Alicia R. 2021. “Review of ‘Population Health in America’" Social Forces.


Riley, Alicia R., Kate Duchowny and Ellicott C. Matthay. “Forget the debate over public health versus jobs – the same people suffer the most either way” The Conversation, April 19, 2021. (Republished in The Telegraph)


Riley, Alicia R. “The key to students returning to school is not the science - it is the resources” Cal Matters, Guest Commentary. October 13, 2020.


Riley, Alicia and Leticia Cazares. “Structural racism is shaping the Latino COVID-19 experience in San Diego County” The San Diego Union Tribune. Commentary. August 13, 2020.



Teaching Interests

Population health; Social context of health inequalities; Analyzing health data