Yorghos Apostolopoulos
Associate Professor, Health and Kinesiology
Office#: 314B Blocker
Mail Stop: 4243
Office Phone: (979) 845-1774
E-mail:
Primary Emphasis Area: Health Education
Vita: View Document
Short Bio
I am an associate professor of population health and founding director of the Complexity & Computational Population Health Group. I also hold an adjust professor post with Radboud University in the Netherlands.

My areas of expertise blend occupation health and social epidemiology with chronic disease prevention and complex systems science. My research has been supported by various funding sources and has led to over 140 peer-reviewed published manuscripts and conference presentations. I am currently working on the ground-breaking book "Complex Systems and Population Health: A Primer," which introduces an integrative complex-systems paradigm to the population health sciences, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2019.
Grounded in ecosocial, syndemic, and complex systems frameworks, my research examines how social structure shapes excess chronic syndemicity and pronounced population health inequalities across socioeconomic and occupational lines and temporal scales. I use statistical, mathematical, and computational modeling and simulation to deconstruct critical transitions of chronic syndemics; examine whether, how, which, and why tipping points generate these syndemics; detect early-warning signals to anticipate dramatic syndemic shifts; and identify impactful and equitable preventive interventions to strengthen population health resilience.
Contributions to Science
Complex systems science in prevention and population health disparities research.
Complex systems science in occupational health and safety research and practice.
Transport work environment, sleep disorders, and cardiometabolic syndemicity.
Health and social inequalities among minority, immigrant, and other underserved populations.
Current Research Projects
Cardiometabolic and sleep health disparities of commercial transport operators in North America.
Cardiometabolic syndemicity of rural racial minorities and low-wage Hispanic immigrants in the U.S.
Cardiometabolic prevention among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations in the European Union.
Alcohol misuse prevention among college students and young adults.
Completed Funded Research (selected)
1. "Sleep Disorders and Associated Comorbidities/Hazards Among Long-Haul Truck Drivers" (Principal Investigator).
Objectives: Grounded in ecosocial and occupational stress theories, we will assess the complex pathways among the multilevel trucking occupational context, sleep disorders, and associated comorbidities and occupational hazards among truck drivers. Funding source: Office of Research and Economic Development, University of North Carolina Greensboro, North Carolina, 2011-2013.
2. "Trucker Networks, Drug use, and Disease Transmission" (Principal Investigator).
Objectives: To study the sex and drug exchanges among social and risk networks of long-haul truckers and their potential role in the acquisition and dissemination of sexually transmitted and bloodborne infections. Funding source: NIH, 2002-2006.
3. "Indigenous Institutions, Social networks and HIV Risk in Borana, Ethiopia" (Principal Investigator).
Objectives: To examine how indigenous institutions, family social structuring, gender relations, compromised health, medical-care interventions, population mobility, conditions in transit and border milieux, conditions in urban/rural settings, and social-network structures render populations vulnerable to the acquisition and dissemination of sexually transmitted and bloodborne infections. Funding source: CDC, 2004-2006.
4. "The Social Organization of High-Risk Sexual Behaviors at Truckstops: Evaluation and Intervention Strategies" (Principal Investigator).
Objectives: (1) To investigate the social organization of sexual and substance misuse patterns among trucker risk networks in the southwest; (2) to explore their sociocultural and physical contexts and potential role in disease dissemination; and (3) to develop preventive intervention programs for truckstops and inner-city areas for the reduction of STI/HIV risks. Funding source: Arizona State University, Division of Research, Tempe, Arizona 2000-2002.
Publications (selected recent manuscripts)
Apostolopoulos, Y., K. Hassmiller Lich, and M.K. Lemke (Eds.) (2019, in progress). Complex Systems and Population Health: A Primer. New York: Oxford University Press.
Apostolopoulos, Y., M.K. Lemke, A.E. Barry, and K. Hassmiller Lich (2017). Moving college drinking prevention research forward-Part I: Introducing a complex systems paradigm. Addiction, doi:10.1111/add.13955.
Apostolopoulos, Y., M.K. Lemke, A.E. Barry, and K. Hassmiller Lich (2017). Moving college drinking prevention research forward-Part II: New directions grounded in community-based system dynamics modeling. Addiction, doi:10.1111/add.13953.
Apostolopoulos, Y., M.K. Lemke, A. Hege, S. Sonmez, H. Sang, D.J. Oberlin, and L. Wideman (2016). Work and chronic disease: Comparison of cardiometabolic risk markers between truck drivers and the general U.S. population. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58, 1098-1105.
Hege, A., Y. Apostolopoulos, M. Perko, S. Sonmez, and R. Strack (2016). The work organization of long-haul truck drivers and the association with body mass index. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58, 712-717.
Lemke, M.K., Y. Apostolopoulos, A. Hege, L. Wideman, and S. Sonmez (2017). Work organization, sleep, and metabolic syndrome among long-haul truck drivers. Occupational Medicine, 67, 274-281.
Lemke, M.K., Y. Apostolopoulos, A. Hege, S. Sonmez, and L. Wideman (2016). Sleep quality as a better predictor of safety-relevant performance than sleep duration among long-haul truck drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 97, 79-86.
Lemke, M.K., A. Hege, Y. Apostolopoulos, S. Sonmez, and L. Wideman (2017, in press). Work organization and sleep among long-haul truck drivers and other transport workers: Implications for safety. Journal of Transport and Health.
Sonmez, S., Y. Apostolopoulos, M.K. Lemke, Y.C. Hsieh, and W. Karwowski (2017, in press). Complexity of occupational health in the hospitality industry: Dynamic simulation modeling to advance immigrant worker health. International Journal of Hospitality Management.
Wideman, L., D.J. Oberlin, S. Sonmez, J. Labban, Y. Apostolopoulos, and M.K. Lemke (2016). Obesity indices are predictive of elevated C-reactive protein in long-haul truck drivers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 59, 665-675.
Publications (journal articles, books, book chapters)*

1. Apostolopoulos, Y., Sonmez, S., Hege, A., & Lemke, M. K. (in press). Work strain, social isolation and mental health of long-haul truckers. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health. (In Press)

2. • Sönmez, S., Y. Apostolopoulos, M.K. Lemke, Y.C. Hsieh, and W. Karwowski (2017). Complexity of occupational health in the hospitality industry: Dynamic simulation modeling to advance immigrant worker health. International Journal of Hospitality Management.

3. Apostolopoulos, Y., M.K. Lemke, A.E. Barry, and K. Hassmiller Lich (2017). Moving college drinking prevention research forward-Part II: New directions grounded in community-based system dynamics modeling. Addiction, doi:10.1111/add.13953.

4. Apostolopoulos, Y., M.K. Lemke, A.E. Barry, and K. Hassmiller Lich (2017). Moving college drinking prevention research forward-Part I: Introducing a complex systems paradigm. Addiction, doi:10.1111/add.13955.

5. Hsieh, Y.C., S. S[246][246]nmez, Y. Apostolopoulos, and M.K. Lemke (2017). Perceived workplace mistreatment: The case of Latina hotel housekeepers. Work, 56, 55-65.

6. Lemke, M.K., Y. Apostolopoulos, A. Hege, L. Wideman, and S. Sönmez (2017). Work organization, sleep, and metabolic syndrome among long-haul truck drivers. Occupational Medicine, 67, 274-281.

7. Wideman, L., D.J. Oberlin, S. Sonmez, J. Labban, Y. Apostolopoulos, and M.K. Lemke (2016). Obesity indices are predictive of elevated C-reactive protein in long-haul truck drivers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 59, 665-675.

8. Lemke, M.K., G. Meissen, and Y. Apostolopoulos (2016). Overcoming barriers in unhealthy settings: A phenomenological study of healthy truck drivers. Global Qualitative Nursing Research

9. Lemke, M.K. and Y. Apostolopoulos (2016). Policy, work organization, and sleep health and safety of commercial drivers: Introducing a complex systems paradigm. Journal of Ergonomics 6, 152, doi:10.4172/2165-7556.1000152

10. 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

Show All

* Publication was joint-authored with students
Diss Publication was from a dissertation
ROS Publication was from a record of study

College of Education and Human Development Grants and Contracts
No current grants/contracts
Show Completed Grants/Contracts

Population Health Courses Taught (selected)
Social Epidemiology
Occupational Health
Epidemiology of Chronic Disease
Global Health
Methods/Data Analysis Courses Taught (selected)
Systems Thinking and Complexity in Population Health
Research Methods in Population Heath
Planned Methods/Data Analysis Courses
System Dynamics Modeling in Population Health Research and Policy
Courses Taught
2017 - 2018
HLTH 410, HLTH 643
2016 - 2017
HLTH 236, HLTH 410, HLTH 643
2015 - 2016
HLTH 236, HLTH 689
2014 - 2015
HLTH 354
Grant Proposal Reviewer (most recent)
Texas A&M University Division of Research, PESCA Grants Review Board, 2017.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014.
Peer Reviewer (Health Disparities Journals)
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
International Journal of Sexual Health
Health Promotion Practice
BMC Public Health
Preventive Medicine
Peer Reviewer (Infectious Diseases Journals)
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Journal of AIDS and HIV Research
International Journal of STI & AIDS
Peer Reviewer (Occupational Health Journals)
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine
International Journal of Occupational & Environmental Health
Accident Analysis & Prevention
Safety Science
Editorial Positions

Assoc Editor (2017 - ). BMC Medical Research Methodology

Media Coverage (selected)
"Two professors known nationally for research on health of commercial drivers," excerpted from article by Lanita Withers Goins, University Relations, University of North Carolina Greensboro Media Advisory, Greensboro, North Carolina. Health and Human Sciences Online, www.uncg.edu/hhs, 2013.
National press-conference keynote speaker: New findings from government-funded tobacco control and prevention research were presented at a live press conference (print, broadcast) at the Journalists' House, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2007.
NIH-funded social epidemiological research on risk networks of North American long-haul truck drivers and their role in potential STI/HIV transmission became the target of the Traditional Values Coalition. I was interviewed by Discover Magazine ("Forbidden Science: What can studies of pornography, prostitutes, and seedy truckstops contribute to society?" by Barry Yeoman), 2004.
NIH-funded research on sexual, drug, and other risk networks of North American long-haul truck drivers and their potential role in disease dissemination attracted media attention with extensive references and citations (Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, GovExec.com, Traditional Values Coalition website, SFGate.com, Politics & Science website (Congressman Waxman), APA online, The Scientist, eTrucker, Arizona Republic, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and Atlanta Journal Constitution), 2002-04.
Work on spring break of American college students and STI/HIV risk taking as well as relevant presentation of findings at the International Conference of Travel Medicine attracted the attention of the Italian press, Di Messaggero newspaper, Venice, Italy, 2000.
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