Dr. Thompson is a Professor, tenured, in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and jointly appointed in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health in the Rollins School of Public Health. She is a member of Emory’s Network for Evaluation and Implementation Sciences at Emory University (NEISE). She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses. Her areas of research and education are focused on air pollution, climate change, and implementation science. She is a member of the Emory Climate Research Initiative established by Provost Ravi Bellamkonda to bring together faculty with diverse expertise to advance climate-related research and curricula across the Emory campus.

Dr. Thompson received her BSN, MSN and FNP degrees from San Francisco State University. She received her MS and PhD degrees in Environmental Health Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in2008. Before coming to Emory in 2017, Dr. Thompson was on faculty in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Thompson worked for 18 years as a nurse and family nurse practitioner at La Clinica de la Raza, a community clinic that primarily serves Spanish-speaking patients in Oakland, California. In 2014, she began volunteering as a family nurse practitioner at the Street Level Health Project, a clinic in East Oakland providing free comprehensive medical care to primarily undocumented, uninsured patients.

Areas of Expertise

Global Health
Environmental Health
Climate Change
Implementation Science
Maternal And Infant Health Midwifery
Public Health Public Health Nursing
Vulnerable Populations


  1. Smith DJ, Mizelle E, Leslie S, Li G, Stone S, Stauffer P, Lewis G, Rodden L, McDermott-Levy R, & Thompson LM. Interventions to Reducethe Impact of Climate Change on Health in Rural Communities: A Systematic Review. Environmental Research: Health, 2023 March; 1(3). DOI 10.1088/2752-5309/acbbe6.
  2.  Bardales Cruz M, Saikawa E, Hengstermann M, Ramirez A, McCracken JP, and Thompson LM. Plastic Waste Generation and Emissions from the Domestic Open Burning of Plastic Waste in Guatemala. Environmental Science: Atmospheres. 2023doi:10.1039/D2EA00082B.
  3. Clasen TF, Chang HH (co-first authors), Thompson LM, Kirby MA, Balakrishnan K, Díaz-Artiga A, McCracken JP, Rosa G, Steenland K, Younger A, Aravindalochanan V, Barr DB, Castañaza A, Chen Y, Chiang M, Clark ML, Garg S, Hartinger S, Jabbarzadeh S, Johnson MA, Kim DY, Lovvorn AE, McCollum ED, Monroy L, Moulton LH, Mukeshimana A, Mukhopadhyay K, Naeher LP, Ndagijimana F, Papageorghiou A, Piedrahita R, Pillarisetti A, Puttaswamy N, Quinn A, Ramakrishnan U, Sambandam S, Sinharoy SS, Thangavel G, Underhill LJ, Waller LA, Wang J, Williams KN, Rosenthal JP, Checkley W, Peel JL; HAPIN Investigators. Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Biomass for Cooking and Effects on Birth Weight. New England Journal of Medicine. 2022 Nov 10;387(19):1735-1746. PMID: 36214599.
  4. Younger A, Alkon A, Harknett K, Jean Louis R, Thompson LM. Adverse Birth Outcomes Associated with Household Air Pollution from Unclean Cooking Fuel in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review. Environmental Research 2022 Mar; 204 (Pt C): 112274. PMID: 34710435.
  5. Hengstermann M, Diaz-Artiga A, Otzóy-Sucúc R, Ruiz-Aguilar AM, Thompson LM. Developing visual messages to support liquefied petroleum gas use in intervention homes in the Household Air Pollution Intervention Network (HAPIN)trial in rural Guatemala. Health Education and Behavior. 2021 Oct;48(5):651-669. PMID:33733893.
  6. Williams K, Thompson LM (co-first authors), Sakas Z, Hengstermann M, Quinn A, Diaz-Artiga A, Thangavel G, Puzzolo E, Rosa G, Balakrishnan K, Peel J, Checkley W, Clasen T, Miranda J, Rosenthal J, Harvey S, and HAPIN Investigators. Designing a comprehensive behaviour change intervention to promote and monitor exclusive use of liquefied petroleum gas stoves for the Household Air Pollution Intervention Network (HAPIN) trial. BMJ Open, 2020 Sep 29, 10(9), e037761.
  7. Thompson LM, Diaz-Artiga A, Weinstein, JR, Handley MA. Designing a behavioral intervention using the COM-B model and the Theoretical Domains Framework to promote gas stove use in rural Guatemala: A formative research study. BMC Public Health, 2018, 18(1), 253. PMCID: PMC5813324
  8. Smith KR, McCracken JP, Weber MW, Hubbard A, Jenny A, Thompson LM, Balmes J, Diaz A, Arana B, Bruce N.(2011). Effect of reduction in household air pollution on childhood pneumonia in Guatemala (RESPIRE): A randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2011 Nov 12; 378(9804):1717-26. PMID: 22078686

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography.


ECOLECTIVOS research project website.

Emory News Center. December 2,2022. New initiative will advance Emory climate change research and teaching. Article.

Nurses for Healthy Environments.(December 2022). The burning platform: cookstoves and plastic incineration. Interview. Podcast.

Cosier, S. (July 2022). Burning plastic affects air quality, public health. Researchers discuss implementation projects and tools used to examine contaminants, and how they work to eliminate these problems. Environmental Factor (NIEHS Online).

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments podcast on Dr. Thompson's research: https://envirn.org/podcast/season-3-9-dr-lisa-thompson-researcher-studying-indoor-air-quality-and-cookstoves/

National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/07/guatemala-cook-stoves/

HAPIN trial: http://www.hapintrial.org/

Clean Cooking Implementation Science Network (ISN): https://www.fic.nih.gov/About/Staff/Policy-Planning-Evaluation/Pages/clean-cooking-implementation-science-network.aspx

NIHR CLEAN-Air(Africa) Global Health Research Group: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/population-health-sciences/departments/public-health-and-policy/research-themes/energy-air-pollution-health/research/nihr-clean-air-africa/nihr-clean-membership/

Network for Evaluation and Implementation Sciences at Emory University (NEISE): https://emoryimplementationscience.org/


Dr. Thompson teaches in Emory’s Nursing PhD program. Her areas of teaching interest include addressing health inequalities in population health studies, environmental epidemiology, air pollution and climate change, and quantitative research methods. One of the most rewarding aspects of her career is mentoring over 25 pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows since 2008 and seeing them become independent investigators. She is the program director for the PREHS-SEEDK12 faculty training program. The Pediatric and Reproductive Environmental Health Scholars (PREHS) Southeastern Environmental Exposures and Disparities (SEED) Program is a five-year, multimillion-dollar grant awarded in December 2021 that allows Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine to develop a research training program for clinical faculty to evaluate environmental health exposures and disparities to improve health equity. She is a co-Investigator on Environmental Health Research Institute for Nurse and Clinician Scientists (EHRI-NCS). This national program will enhance the capacity of nurse scientists to conduct advanced research in environmental health.


Dr. Thompson’s research focuses on environmental health disparities that contribute to adverse maternal and child outcomes, specifically the effects of household air pollution on maternal and child health. Her contribution to nursing research is in global environmental health, specifically developing and evaluating interventions to reduce exposure to household air pollution in low-resource countries. Only a limited number of nurse scientists are actively conducting research at the intersection of nursing and global environmental health. Therefore, her influence in this field of research is unique. For the past 20 years, her research has focused on research in the area of household air pollution, starting with the first randomized stove intervention trial, the RESPIRE trial, which was conducted in Guatemala in 2002. She is a co-investigator on the HAPIN trial, the largest multi-country RCT to date on household air pollution. She is currently conducting a cluster randomized trial “ECOLECTIVOS” which is the first implementation science study to develop and evaluate community-level working groups that aim to reduce household burning of plastic waste, a common exposure in rural low-income communities globally. She works with interdisciplinary teams of environmental scientists, physicians, epidemiologists, and implementation scientists. Her publications and international presentations span the disciplines of nursing and public health.


  • Outstanding Director of Graduate Studies for the Natural Sciences, Emory University (2022)
  • International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (2021)
  • Fellow, Thought Leadership Fellow, Institute for Developing Nations, Emory University (2019)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2017)
  • Burke Family Global Health Faculty Award, UCSF Global Health Sciences (2009)
  • Henrik L. Blum Award for Distinguished Social Action, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley (2008)