Dr. Michael Kenneth Lemke
Dr. Michael Kenneth LemkeAssistant ProfessorSocial Sciences
Dr. Lemke joined the Health and Behavioral Science program in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Houston-Downtown in 2018. Prior to joining UHD, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, and he then served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. Dr. Lemke teaches several courses in the HBS program, including Medical Terminology, Environmental Health, Biostatistics, Principles of Epidemiology, and Special Projects in Health and Behavioral Science.
Dr. Lemke engages in population and safety research, with a focus on chronic disease and acute injury prevention. Most recently, his work has focused on complex systems perspectives and syndemic theoretical frameworks in COVID-19 research and prevention. As of May 2020, Dr. Lemke has 29 peer-reviewed publications and 17 peer-reviewed conference presentations and papers. He is a co-editor (and author of two chapters) of the Oxford University Press book "Complex Systems in Population Health: A Primer." This volume is the first comprehensive complex systems science book in the population health sciences.
Degrees EarnedPh.D., Community Psychology, Wichita State University (2013)
M.A., Community Psychology, Wichita State University (2012)
B.A., Psychology, Georgia State University (2009)
- HEA 2303 Medical Terminology
- HEA 3307 Environmental Health
- HEA 3310 Behavior, Health, and Wellness
- HEA 3312 Biostatistics
- HEA 3314 Principles of Epidemiology
- HEA 4301 Special Projects in Health and Behavioral Science
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, Texas (September 2019 - Present)
Assistant Professor,Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas (September 2017 - August 2018)
Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Health Education, Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas (January 2015 - August 2017)
Visiting Lecturer, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia (August 2014 - December 2014)
Dr. Lemke is a population health scientist and community psychologist with training in qualitative, quantitative, and complex systems science approaches, along with diverse experience as a researcher, educator, and consultant across academic, corporate, and national policy-related settings. His research uses transdisciplinary and multiparadigmatic conceptual and theoretical frameworks and employs multiple methodological and analytical approaches, including qualitative and quantitative techniques, participatory group model building, and system dynamics and agent-based modeling and simulation. Dr. Lemke's research activities have increasingly sought to innovatively and synergistically integrate qualitative, quantitative, and complex systems science approaches to uncover the dynamically complex causal forces which underlay population health outcomes and identify high-leverage preventive actions.
Dr. Lemke's areas of research concentration are broadly in population health and health disparities research, with a focus on chronic disease and acute injury prevention. A significant part of these activities falls within occupational health disparities, with an emphasis on commercial drivers. His scholarship has also advocated for new perspectives, grounded in complex systems science, in public and population health research and action.
Lemke, M. K. (2020). Model thinking and computational modeling to improve our mental models in population health research. Complex systems and population health: A primer. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Patterson, M., Lemke, M. K., & Nelon, J. (2020). Complex systems in a nutshell: Foundational concepts and theories. Complex systems and population health: A primer. New York, NY: Oxford University Press..
Lemke, M. K., & Apostolopoulos, Y. (2019). New directions in occupational roadway safety grounded in complex systems theory and simulation modeling. Focus on systems theory research. Hauppaugue, NY: NOVA Science Publishers.
Lemke, M. K., Apostolopoulos, Y., & Sönmez, S. (in press). A novel COVID-19 based truck driver syndemic? Implications for public health, safety, and supply chains. American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
Lemke, M. K., Apostolopoulos, Y., & Sönmez, S. (in press). Syndemic frameworks to understand the effects of COVID-19 on commercial driver stress, health, and safety. Journal of Transport & Health.
Lemke, M. K., & Apostolopoulos, Y. (2016). Public policy, work organization, and sleep health and safety of commercial drivers: The need for a complex systems paradigm. Journal of Ergonomics, 6(1), 152-156.
Lemke, M. K., Apostolopoulos, Y., Hege, A., Newnam, S., & Sönmez, S. (2018). Can subjective sleep problems detect latent sleep disorders among commercial drivers? Accident Analysis & Prevention, 115, 62-72.
Lemke, M. K., Apostolopoulos, Y., Hege, A., Sönmez, S., & Wideman, L. (2016). Understanding the role of sleep quality and sleep duration in commercial driving safety. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 97, 79-86.
Lemke, M. K., Hege, A., Perko, M., Sönmez, S, & Apostolopoulos, Y. (2015). Work patterns, sleeping hours, and excess weight of commercial drivers. Occupational Medicine, 65(9), 725-731.
Apostolopoulos, Y., Lemke, M. K., Barry, A. E., & Hassmiller Lich, K. (2018). Moving college drinking prevention research forward - Part I: Introducing a complex systems paradigm. Addiction, 113(2), 353-362.
Apostolopoulos, Y., Lemke, M. K., Barry, A. E., & Hassmiller Lich, K. (2018). Moving college drinking prevention research forward - Part II: New directions grounded in community-based system dynamics modeling. Addiction, 113(2), 363-371.
Apostolopoulos, Y., Hassmiller Lich, K., Lemke, M. K., & Barry, A. E. (2018). A complex-systems paradigm can lead to evidence-based policymaking and impactful action in substance misuse prevention - a rejoinder to Purshouse et al. (2018). Addiction, 113(2), 1155-1156.
Apostolopoulos, Y., Lemke, M. K., Hosseinchimeh, N., Harvey, I. S., Hassmiller Lich, K., & Brown, J. (2018). Embracing causal complexity in health disparities: Metabolic syndemics and structural prevention in rural minority communities. Prevention Science, 19(8), 1019-1029.
Hege, A., Lemke, M. K., Apostolopoulos, Y., & Sönmez, S. (2019). The impacts of work organization, job stress, and sleep on the health behaviors and outcomes of U.S. long-haul truck drivers. Health Education & Behavior.