Office Info

924 Westwood Blvd., Suite 420, Room P

Joe Friedman


Joseph Friedman is a current MS3 at the David Geffen School of Medicine. He has completed a PhD in the Social Medicine track of the Medical Informatics PhD at UCLA, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington, focused on Global Health Metrics, and an intensive three-year data science fellowship at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. His current research focuses on mixed methods approaches, blending ethnography and data science, to measure rapidly evolving health inequalities and trace their upstream structural drivers. He has applied these techniques especially to the study of the North American overdose crisis, and to documenting rapidly emerging trends and inequalities in socially-bound causes of mortality in the United States. His first-author peer-reviewed articles have been published in journals including JAMA, Nature, The Lancet, JAMA Psychiatry, and the American Journal of Psychiatry, and his popular press writings have appeared in venues such as The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, and The Nation. He is fluent in written and spoken Spanish—including for academic and medical contexts—and has spent a collective total of five years living and working in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America.



Friedman J, Beletsky L, Jordan A. Surging Racial Disparities in the U.S. Overdose Crisis. Am J Psychiatry. 2022 Feb;179(2):166-169. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2021.21040381. PMID: 35105165; PMCID: PMC8820266.

Friedman J, Hansen H. Far From a "White Problem": Responding to the Overdose Crisis as a Racial Justice Issue. Am J Public Health. 2022 Feb;112(S1):S30-S32. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2021.306698. PMID: 35143272; PMCID: PMC8842209.


Friedman J, Syvertsen JL, Bourgois P, Bui AAT, Beletsky L, Pollini R. Intersectional structural vulnerability to abusive policing among people who inject drugs: A mixed methods assessment in California's central valley. Int J Drug Policy. 2021 Jan;87:102981. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102981. Epub 2020 Oct 28. PMID: 33129133; PMCID: PMC7940555.

Friedman J, Mann NC, Hansen H, Bourgois P, Braslow J, Bui AAT, Beletsky L, Schriger DL. Racial/Ethnic, Social, and Geographic Trends in Overdose-Associated Cardiac Arrests Observed by US Emergency Medical Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Psychiatry. 2021 May 26. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0967. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34037672.

Goodman-Meza D, Friedman J, Kalmin MM, Aguilar-Posada E, Seamans MJ, Velazquez-Moreno S, Fleiz C, Shin M, Arredondo-Sanchez J, Strathdee SA, Shoptaw S. Geographical and socioeconomic disparities in opioid access in Mexico, 2015-19: a retrospective analysis of surveillance data. Lancet Public Health. 2021 Feb;6(2):e88-e96. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30260-7. PMID: 33516291; PMCID: PMC7882061.

Friedman J, York H, Mokdad AH, Gakidou E. U.S. Children "Learning Online" during COVID-19 without the Internet or a Computer: Visualizing the Gradient by Race/Ethnicity and Parental Educational Attainment. Socius. 2021 Feb 17;7:2378023121992607. doi: 10.1177/2378023121992607. PMID: 34192146; PMCID: PMC7890417.

Friedman J, Liu P, Troeger CE, Carter A, Reiner RC Jr, Barber RM, Collins J, Lim SS, Pigott DM, Vos T, Hay SI, Murray CJL, Gakidou E. Predictive performance of international COVID-19 mortality forecasting models. Nat Commun. 2021 May 10;12(1):2609. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22457-w. PMID: 33972512; PMCID: PMC8110547.

Friedman J, Akre S. COVID-19 and the Drug Overdose Crisis: Uncovering the Deadliest Months in the United States, January‒July 2020. Am J Public Health. 2021 Jul;111(7):1284-1291. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2021.306256. Epub 2021 Apr 15. PMID: 33856885; PMCID: PMC8493145.

Akre S, Liu PY, Friedman JR, Bui AAT. International COVID-19 mortality forecast visualization: JAMIA Open. 2021 Dec 28;4(4):ooab113. doi: 10.1093/jamiaopen/ooab113. PMID: 34988383; PMCID: PMC8712244.

Friedman J, Calderon-Villarreal A, Heggebø K, Balaj M, Bambra C, Eikemo TA. COVID-19 and the Nordic Paradox: a call to measure the inequality reducing benefits of welfare systems in the wake of the pandemic. Soc Sci Med. 2021 Nov;289:114455. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114455. Epub 2021 Oct 4. PMID: 34626882; PMCID: PMC8489260.

Research Projects