Muge Akpinar-Elci, M.D., MPH

Dean and Professor, School of Public Health
Dean Muge Akpinar-Elci


Dr. Akpinar-Elci has been building a research portfolio on global environmental and occupational health and its impacts among vulnerable communities. Examples of these research efforts include:

  • Evaluating occupational respiratory diseases among hairdressers in Turkey
  • Investigating occupational health and safety problems of microwave popcorn production workers and agricultural workers throughout the Midwestern United States
  • Developing solutions for environmental and occupational health problems of nutmeg production workers in Grenada
  • Implementing a World Health Organization (WHO)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Needle-stick Injury Prevention Program throughout the Caribbean
  • Focusing on pressing climate change issues in global health

All of these research projects focused on community-oriented problems and producing sustainable solutions for vulnerable communities globally.

Dr. Akpinar-Elci conducted and participated in several research projects on occupational health with various institutions, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and CDC/National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Previously Dr. Akpinar-Elci was the director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Collaborating Center for Environmental and Occupational Health in Grenada, which focused on the impact of climate change in the Caribbean. 

Professional memberships

  • Virginia Public Health Association 2015- present
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) 2010 -present
  • Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) 2014- present
  • American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2012- present
  • Turkish Occupational Medicine Association (IMUD) 2013- present
  • Grenada Medical Association 2008-2013
  • Turkish Medical Association 1998-present


Peer-reviewed journal articles

(†) My role is Lead Faculty/ Senior Author

  •  Mishoe S, Akpinar-Elci M, Poston R, Adams Tufts K, Thompson B. Nursing, Physical Therapy and Cytotechnology Students’ Attitudes Toward Teamwork Before and After Participation in an Interprofessional Education Experience. Health, Interprofessional Practice and Education 2021 DOI:
  • (†) Achike, M, Akpinar-Elci, M. The Role of Maternal Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index in Breastfeeding Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Breastfeeding Medicine Journal, 2021 DOI:
  • (†) Claiborne D, Durgampudi D, Patel P, Akpinar-Elci M. Dental Hygiene and Public Health Students’ Perception of an Online Interprofessional Education Applied Learning Activity. Journal of Dental Education, 2021 DOI:
  • (†) Banaee S, Claiborne D, Akpinar-Elci M. Occupational Health and Safety Practices among Dental Hygienists Before and During COVID-19 Pandemic. WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 2021, DOI:10.3233/WOR-205319
  • (†) Hirschauer S, Karp R, Kekeh M, Akpinar-Elci, M. Service-Learning Study-Abroad and Europe’s Migration Crisis – A Case Study. Intercultural Education Journal. 2021 DOI: 10.1080/14675986.2020.1859992
  • (†) Galadima H, Adunlin G, Hughes MS, Cropp CD, Lucero L, Akpinar-Elci M. Racial Disparities in the Treatment of Young-onset Colorectal Cancer Patients: A Hospital Cancer Registry Study Cancer Epidemiology. Cancer Epidemiology, 2021 DOI: org/10.1016/j.canep.2021.101911
  • (†) Sirjani H, Akpinar-Elci M. Impact of Educational Intervention on Knowledge of Opioid Prescribing among Healthcare Providers: A Systematic Review. Virginia Journal of Public Health 2020, 4 (3): 44-59
  • Redican K, Akpinar-Elci M. Integrating One Health into Professional Preparation Education for Public Health and Health Education Specialist. American Journal of Health Education, 2020 DOI: 10.1080/19325037.2020.1844099
  • Kekeh, M., Akpinar-Elci, M., Nguyen, M., & Welch, N. Innovative Framework for Academic and Public Health Departments’ Partnership on Preparing Future Practitioners- Preliminary Data. Collaborations. Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice 2020, 3(1): 13. 1-9 DOI: 33596/coll.59
  • Al-Taiar A, Rahman A, Alsabah R, Shaban L, AlBaloul A, Banaee S, Akpinar-Elci M. Vitamin D levels in relation to low back pain during adolescence. British Journal of Nutrition 123 (11): 1302-1311
  • (†) Hirschauer S, Karp R, Kekeh M, Akpinar-Elci, M. Migration and Integration in Germany –A Multi-and Transcultural Critical Experiential Learning Approach Toward 21st Century Global Civic Skills. Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education 2019. 11(2):16-30
  • (†) Alemu, BT, Hoch M, Van Lunen B, Akpinar-Elci, M. A multilevel modeling analysis of predictors of neonatal hypoglycemia among diabetic and non-diabetic mothers. Int Public Health J 2019;11(3):00-00.
  • Olayinka, O., Olayinka, O.O., Alemu, B., Akpinar-Elci, M., Grossberg, G. Toxic Environmental Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review. Aging Medicine and Healthcare 2019;10 (1):4-17. DOI:10.33879/AMH.2019.1727
  • (†) Claiborne D., Daniel S., Akpinar-Elci, M, Bennington L. Pediatric Oral Health Practices among Nurses: A Pilot Study. Pediatric Nursing. 2019: 45(1); 1-6
  • (†) Alemu, BT, Beydoun H, Hoch M, Van Lunen B, Akpinar-Elci, M. Predictors of Hospitalization Cost in Infants with Hypoglycemia. J Pediatr Neonatal Biol 2018: 2(1); 1-6
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Bidaisee S, Durgampudi P, Radix R, Rodriquez-Guzman J, Nguyen M, Elcio C. Needlestick injury prevention training among health care workers in the Caribbean. Pan American Journal of Public Health, DOI: 10.26633/RPSP.2018.93
  • (†)Welsch LA, Hoch J, Poston RD, Paradi VA, Akpinar-Elci, M. Interprofessional education involving didactic TeamSTEPPS® and interactive healthcare simulation: A systematic review. J Interprof Care, 2018. DOI: 10.1080/13561820.2018.1472069
  • Akpinar-Elci, M., Rose S., Kekeh M. Well-being and Mental Health Impact of Household Flooding in Guyana, the Caribbean. Marine Technology Society Journal, 2018; 52 (2), 18-22. DOI:
  • McManus MC, Cramer R, Boshier M, Akpinar-Elci M, Van Lunen B. Mental Health and Drivers of Need in Emergent and Non-Emergent Emergency Department Use: Do Living Location and Non-Emergent Care Sources Matter? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018 13;15 (1). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15010129.
  • (†) Olayinka O, Kekeh M, Sheth-Chandra M, Akpinar-Elci, M. Big Data Knowledge in Global Health Education. Annals of Global Health, DOI:
  • (†) Alemu, BT, Cramer, RJ, Carlisle KR, Akpinar-Elci, M. A Theoretical Analysis of Health Beliefs of Physical Activity among Women with Previous Gestational Diabetes. Social Theory & Health. American Journal of Health Education, 2017 DOI: 10.1080/19325037.2017.1335627
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Randall M, Nguyen M, Bidaisee S, Rodriquez-Guzman J, Elci OC. Assessment and Evaluation of Occupational Health and Safety Legislation in the Caribbean. PAHO Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2017; 41:26
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Bidaisee S, Nguyen MT, Elci OC. Occupational exposure and respiratory health problems among nutmeg production workers in Grenada, the Caribbean. Int J Occup Environ Health, DOI: 10.1080/10773525.2017.1280948
  • (†) Blando, J, Nguyen, M, Sheth-Chandra, M, Akpinar-Elci, M. Virginia Air Quality: Trends, Exposure, and Respiratory Health Impacts. Virginia Journal of Science, 2016; 66(3), 371-388
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Nguyen M, Tate D, Mishoe S. Review of Global Health Certification Programs in the United States. Education for Health Journal, 2016 DOI:
  • (†) Alemu BT, Troy SB, Beydoun HA, Akpinar-Elci M, Cunningham TD. Determinants of Elevated Alkaline Phosphatase in Patients Infected with HIV. South Med J, 2016: 109(8): 487-91. DOI: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000500.
  • (†) Cramer RJ, Akpinar-Elci M. Unclear Suicide Prevention Effects, Insufficient Large-Scale Testing of Suicide Prevention Programs. J Adolesc Health. 2016;59(1):128. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.04.001 (Letter to the Editor)
  • Behr J, Diaz R, Akpinar-Elci, M. Health Service Utilization and Poor Health Reporting in Asthma Patients. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2016: 13(7): 645
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Pasquale DK, Abrokwah M, Nguyen M, Elci OC. United Airways Disease Among Crop Farmers. Journal of Agromedicine, 2016, DOI: 10.1080/1059924X.2016.1179239
  • (†) Olayinka O, Akpinar-Elci M. Development of Occupational Health Measures for National Health Security Preparedness Index. Public Health, 2016, DOI: 3389/fpubh.2016.00079 (Commentary)
  • (†) Sharpe J, Akpinar-Elci M. Interprofessional Collaboration Between Dental Hygienists and Registered Nurses. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 2016: 90:5 (Letter to the Editor)
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Nguyen M, Bidaisee S, Elci OC. Pesticide Exposure in the Caribbean: A Case from Nutmeg Processing, The Journal of Environmental Health 2016: 78: 62-64
  • (†) Allen M, Akpinar-Elci M. Changing Discourses in Climate Health: An Anti-disciplinary Perspective. EcoHealth, 2015, DOI: 10.1007/s10393-015-1083-7 (Letter to the Editor)
  • (†) Bilgen O, Kenerson J, Akpinar-Elci M, Hattery R, Hanson L. The Search for High Impact Diagnostic and Management Tools for Low and Middle-Income Countries: A Self-Powered Low-Cost Blood Pressure Measurement Device Powered by a Solid-State Vibration Energy Harvester. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 2015: 17: 8: 644-650
  • Akpinar-Elci, M.; Coomansingh, K.; Blando, J.; Mark, L. Household Bush Burning Practice and Related Respiratory Symptoms in Grenada, The Caribbean. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. 2015. DOI: 10.1080/10962247.2015.1070773
  • (†) Nakagawa J, Akpinar-Elci M. Reply to Letter to the Editor, “Response to Medical Students’ Attitudes towards Female Sex Workers”. The International Journal of Medical Students, 2015; 3:1: 74-77
  • Macpherson C, Akpinar-Elci M. Caribbean Heat Threatens Health, Wellbeing, and the Future of Humanity. Public Health Ethics, DOI:10.1093/phe/phv008
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Martin F, Behr J, Diaz R. Saharan Dust, Climate Variability and Asthma in Grenada, The Caribbean. International Journal of Biometeorology, 2015. DOI: 10.1007/s00484-015-0973-2
  • (†) Nakagawa J, Akpinar-Elci M, Medical students’ knowledge and attitudes toward female sex workers and their occupational risks factors. Int J Med Students, 2014; 2: 3:104-108
  • (†) Stoltzfus J, Carter J, Akpinar-Elci M, Matu M, Kimotho V, Giganti M, Langat D, Elci OC. Interaction between climatic, environmental, and demographic factors on cholera outbreaks in Kenya. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 2014; 3:37 DOI:10.1186/2049-9957-3-37
  • (†) Shah P, Macpherson C, Akpinar-Elci M. Impact of undertreated Sickle Cell Pain in The Caribbean. The West Indian Medical Journal, 2014; 1 (2): 63-66
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Elci. OC. Microwave Popcorn Production Workers and Smoking. Critical Review in Toxicology 2014: 44 (7):638-9 (Letter to the Editor)
  • Macpherson C, Chiochankitmun N, Akpinar-Elci M. Hospice and palliation in English-speaking Caribbean. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 2014; 23 (3): 341-348.
  • Pinkerton K, Rom W, Bayram H, Carlsten C, Jaakkola J, Bayram H, Sigsgaard T, Akpinar-Elci M, Costa D. Climate Change and Global Public Health. Turk Toraks Journal 2013; 14: 115-22
  • Akpinar-Elci M, White SK, Siegel PD, Park JH, Visotcky A, Kreiss K, Cox-Ganser JM. Markers of Upper Airway Inflammation Associated with Microbial Exposure and Symptoms in Occupants of a Water-Damaged Building. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2013; 56 (5) : 522-530
  • Macpherson C, Akpinar-Elci M. Impact of Climate change on Caribbean life. Am J Public Health, 2012, DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301095 (Letter to the Editor)
  • (†) Solomon R, Giganti M, Weiner A, Akpinar-Elci M. Water safety education among primary school children in Grenada. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 2012 DOI: 10.1080/17457300.2012.717083
  • Pinkerton K, Rom W, Akpinar-Elci M, Bayram H, Brandli O, Hollingsworth J, Kinney P, Margolis H, Martin W, Smith K, Takaro T, Upahyay D, Wegman L; An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report: Climate Change and Human Health. Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2012: 9 (1); 3-8
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Elci OC, Odabasi A. United airways disease among florists. Chest Disease Reports, 2011; 1(10): 22-24
  • Elci OC, Akpinar-Elci M, Siddiqui N. The concept of public health and its value in medicine. The Grenada Medical Journal, 2011; 3 (1): 19-21
  • Elci OC, Akpinar-Elci M. Occupational exposures and laryngeal cancer among nonsmoker, nondrinker men. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. 2009; 15 (4): 370-373
  • Akpinar-Elci M., Siegel P.D., Cox-Ganser J.M., Stemple K.J., White S.K., Hilsbos K., Weissman D.N. The respiratory inflammatory response of occupants in a water-damaged office building. Indoor Air. 2008; 18(2):125-30.
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Yucesoy B, Elci OC, Weissman D.N. The practical application of cytokine in occupational respiratory diseases. Recent Patents in Inflammation & Allergy Drug Discovery, 2007, 1:100-107 [Invited Review]
  • Elci O.C., Akpinar-Elci M. The trend of small cell lung cancer among young men. Lung Cancer, 2007, 57:34-36.
  • Akpinar-Elci M., Stemple K.J., Elci O.C., Dweik R.A., Kreiss K., Enright P. Exhaled nitric oxide measurement in microwave popcorn production plant workers. The International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2006, 12:106-110
  • Akpinar-Elci M., Fedan K., Enright P. FEV6 as a surrogate for FVC in detecting airways obstruction and restriction in workplace. European Respiratory Journal 2006, 27:374-377
  • Akpinar-Elci M., Stemple K.J., Enright P, Fahy JV., Bledsoe TA, Kreiss K, Weissman DN. Induced sputum evaluation in microwave popcorn production workers. Chest, 2005, 128: 991-997
  • Akpinar-Elci M., Travis WD, Lynch DA, Kreiss K. Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome in popcorn production plant workers. European Respiratory Journal 2004, 24: 298-302
  • Akpinar-Elci M., Elci O.C., Odabasi A. Work-related asthma-like symptoms among florists. Chest, 2004, 125:2336-39
  • Elci O.C., Akpinar-Elci M. Occupational exposures, anatomic location, and geographic distribution of laryngeal cancer. Cancer Causes and Control, 2004, 15:429-30
  • Elci O.C., Akpinar-Elci M., Alavanja M., Dosemeci M. Occupation and the risk of lung cancer by histologic types and morphologic distribution: A case-control study in Turkey. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease, 2004, 59:183-8
  • Elci O.C., Akpinar-Elci M., Blair A. Dosemeci M. The risk of laryngeal cancer by occupational chemical exposure in Turkey. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2003, 45: 1100-06
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Elci O.C. Importance of work intensity on respiratory problems of hairdressers. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2002, 59: 649-50
  • Akpinar-Elci M., Cimrin A.H., Elci O.C. Prevalence and risk factors of occupational asthma among hairdressers in Turkey. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2002, 44: 585-590
  • Elci O.C, Akpinar-Elci, Blair A., Dosemeci M. Occupational Dust Exposure and The risk of laryngeal cancer in Turkey. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2002, 28: 278-284
  • (†) Deveci F, Akpinar M, Celikten E. Efficiency of noninvasive mechanical ventilation acute respiratory in sufficiency due to COPD. Journal of Turkish Tuberculosis and Thorax Society, 2002; 50; 286-293
  • Akpinar M., Bilaceroglu S., et al. Efficiency of cyclic alternating chemotherapy in small cell cancer. Journal of Turkish Tuberculosis and Thorax Society, 2001; 49: 395-400
  • Bilaceroglu S. Akpinar M, et al. Therapeutic efficacy of adjunctive intravenous magnesium sulfate in acute asthma. Journal of Turkish Tuberculosis and Thorax Society, 2001; 49: 193-202
  • Cimrin A, Akpinar M, et al. Formaldehyde asthma of a health worker (case report) Journal of Turkish Tuberculosis and Thorax Society, 2000; 48: 66-69
  • Akpinar M., Buyuksirin M, et al. A case of bronchogenic carcinoma and concomitant Swyer-James syndrome. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease, 1999; 54 (3): 228-230
  • (†) Gayaf Acitas M, Celikten E, Bilaceroglu S, Perim K, Akpinar M, Guldaval F. Diagnostic value of fiberoptic bronchoscopy in malignant pleural effusions undiagnosed by conventional methods. Journal of Turkish Tuberculosis and Thorax Society 1999; 47 (4): 415-423
  • (†) Esin SE, Payzin B, Akpinar M, et al. EDTA induced pseudothrombocytopenia: A case report. The Turkish Journal of Hematology and Oncology, 1999, 9(4): 222-225
  • Buyuksirin M., Akpinar M, et al. Creatine-kinase in exudative pleural effusions. Journal of Izmir Ataturk Training Hospital, 1998, 36 (2): 29-32
  • (†) Guldaval F, Akpinar M, Bilaceroglu S., et al. Diagnostic value of bronchial aspiration in lung cancer and comparison with endobronchial biopsy. Journal of Izmir Ataturk Training Hospital, 1997, 21(2): 10-16
  • Buyuksirin M., Akpinar M, et al. Hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy in lung cancer. Journal of Izmir Atatürk Training Hospital, 1997, 35: 31-34
  • Akpinar M., Perim K., et al. The diagnostic value of four tumor markers for diagnosis lung cancer. Turkish Respiratory Journal, 1996, 20: 511-516
  • Bozyaka G., Akpinar M, et al. Calcium and vitamin D metabolism in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. Medical Journal of Izmir Hospital, 1996, 2:67-70
  • Apaydin M., Akpinar M, et al. Chest x-ray finding of PCP in AIDS patients. Journal of Diagnostic and Invasive Radiology, 1996, 2: 37-40
  • Akpinar M, Ari H. Passive Smoking. Journal of Izmir Ataturk Training Hospital 1995, 23: 544-547
  • Buyuksirin M., Tasdogen N., Akpinar M, et al. Saber- Sheath trachea (case report). Journal of Izmir Ataturk Training Hospital 1995, 9:36-39
  • Akpinar M, Celikten E, et al. A retrospective review of miliary tuberculosis cases. Journal of Izmir Chest Diseases Hospital, 1994, 8: 13-16

Book chapters

  • Kekeh M, Akpinar-Elci M (2021) Public Health Perspective of Racial and Ethnic Disparities During SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic. In Akhtar R. Editor. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreaks, Environment and Human Behaviour. Springer Publication, Cham. Print ISBN: 978-3-030-68119-7,
  • Dominguez V.N., Akpinar-Elci M. (2021) Coping During Covid-19 Public Health Crises. In: Akhtar R. Editor. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreaks, Environment and Human Behaviour. Springer Publication, Cham. Print ISBN: 978-3-030-68119-7,
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Sealy H. (2021) Climate Change and Public Health in the Small Island States and Caribbean Countries. In Pinkerton K and Rom W Editors. Climate Change and Global Public Health (Second Edition). Springer Publication, New York. ISBN: 978-3-030-54746-2
  • Kekeh M, Akpinar-Elci M, Allen MJ. (2019) Sea Level Rise and Costal Communities. In Akhtar R. Editor. Extreme Weather Events and Human Health. Springer Publication, New York. ISBN: 978-3-030-23772-1
  • Olayinka O, Akpinar-Elci M. (2019) Impact of Hurricanes on Mental Health. In Akhtar R. Editor. Extreme Weather Events and Human Health. Springer Publication, New York. ISBN: 978-3-030-23772-1
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Olayinka O. (2017) The impact of Climate Change and Air Pollution on the Caribbean. In Akhtar & Palagiano C Editor. Climate Change and Air Pollution. Springer Publication, New York. ISBN: 978-3-319-61346-8
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Elci OC, Civaner M. (2016) Care drain. In Have H Editor. The Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer Publication, New York. ISBN: 978-3-319-09482-3
  • Hester P, Akpinar-Elci M, Shaeffer J, Shaeffer M. (2016) On complementarity and the need for a transdisciplinary perspective in addressing infectious diseases. Trans-disciplinary perspectives on systems complexity, edited by Kahlen F, Springer publication, New York. ISBN: 978-3-319-38754-3
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Sealy H. (2014) Climate Change and Public Health in the Small Island States and Caribbean Countries. In Pinkerton K and Rom W Editors. Climate Change and Global Public Health. Springer Publication, New York. ISBN: 978-1-4614-8417-2
  • Akpinar-Elci M, Elci OC. (2011) Noninvasive health assessment methods in sick building syndrome. In Abdul-Wahab SA. Editor. Sick Building Syndrome in Public Buildings and Workplaces. Springer Publication, New York. ISBN: 3642179185
  • Elci OC, Rodrigo S, Akpinar-Elci M. (2011) Epidemiologic investigation method for sick building syndrome. In Abdul-Wahab SA. Editor. Sick Building Syndrome in Public Buildings and Workplaces. Springer Publication, New York. ISBN: 3642179185
  • Akpinar-Elci M. (2010) Saharan dust and health effects. In Karlikaya C Editor. Climate change and air pollution-related health problems in Turkey. Ministry of Health Publication Ankara. ISBN: 978-975-590-342-2


  • Occupational Medicine Fellowship, Licensed by Turkish Republic Ministry of Health, Turkey
  • Master of Public Health (MPH) in Environmental Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
  • Pulmonology and Tuberculosis Residency, Chest Diseases and Surgery Training Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
  • Medical Degree (M.D.), Dokuz Eylul University, School of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey