About Nicole M. Gatto, PhD


Dr. Nicole Gatto is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Population Medicine in the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University. Dr. Gatto earned her Master’s in Public Health from the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA and her PhD in Epidemiology from the Department of Preventive Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. She subsequently completed a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at UCLA as well as a one-year internship in communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Dr. Gatto also holds certifications in Public Health (CPH), SAS and Geographical Information Science (GIS).

Dr. Gatto’s research has focused on environmental, occupational and genetic risk factors for cardiovascular and neurological diseases, specifically Parkinson’s disease and dementias/cognitive dysfunction.  

Dr. Gatto teaches at the undergraduate and graduate level, and has guest lectured in numerous academic and community settings. 

Dr. Gatto is actively involved in community work and has served on various boards. In 2009, Dr. Gatto co-founded the Milagro Allegro Community Garden, a vibrant and thriving community space that integrates urban, farming, art and education in Northeast Los Angeles. In 2010, inspired by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, with colleagues Dr. Gatto developed LA Sprouts, a nutrition and gardening intervention aimed at reducing the risk of childhood obesity.

Currently, Dr. Gatto teaches EPDM 588 “Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology” for the Department. Dr. Gatto is a native Angeleno who is inspired by the work of Wangari Maathai who founded the Green Belt movement in Kenya, and Alice Waters who created the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, CA.