Roxana Chicas, PhD, RN is an Assistant Professor, Tenure Track, in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and a Bridges to the Baccalaureate scholar. She earned an ASN from Georgia Perimeter College in 2015, a BSN from Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in 2016, and a PhD from Emory University Laney Graduate School in 2020. Dr. Chicas completed a one-year postdoctoral training in the Renal Division of the School of Medicine at Emory University.

Dr. Chicas’ research experience in occupational and environmental health, and nephrology, along with being a bilingual bicultural investigator equip her with a unique set of strengths and skills as a nurse scientist. Dr. Chicas conducted the first field-based intervention study of methods to reduce core body temperature using real-time biomonitoring equipment among farmworkers in the United States.

Dr. Chicas is a sought-after scientist with features in Bloomberg News, NPR, and The World. She has collaborated with the Center for American Progress and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environment to advocate for climate change policy solutions. She is also an advocate for immigrants and workers’ rights. Dr. Chicas is a host on the Nurses Station webcast.

Areas of Expertise

Environmental Health
Agricultural Worker Health And Safety
Community And Public Health
Immigrant Health


Chicas, R., Xiuhtecutli, N., Houser, M., Glastra, S., Elon, L., Sands, J. M., McCauley, L., & Hertzberg, V. (2021). COVID-19 and Agricultural Workers: A Descriptive Study. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 10.1007/s10903-021-01290-9. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-021-01290-9

Houser, M. C., Mac, V., Smith, D. J., Chicas, R. C., Xiuhtecutli, N., Flocks, J. D., Elon, L., Tansey, M. G., Sands, J. M., McCauley, L., & Hertzberg, V. S. (2021). Inflammation-Related Factors Identified as Biomarkers of Dehydration and Subsequent Acute Kidney Injury in Agricultural Workers. Biological research for nursing, 10998004211016070. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/10998004211016070

Chicas, R., Xiuhtecutli, N., Dickman, N. E., Flocks, J., Scammell, M. K., Steenland, K., Hertzberg, V., & McCauley, L. (2021). Cooling Interventions Among Agricultural Workers: Qualitative Field-Based Study. Hispanic health care international: the official journal of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, 1540415321993429. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1540415321993429

Chicas, R., Xiuhtecutli, N., Elon, L., Scammell, M. K., Steenland, K., Hertzberg, V., & McCauley, L. (2020). Cooling Interventions Among Agricultural Workers: A Pilot Study. Workplace health & safety, 2165079920976524. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/2165079920976524

Chicas, R., Xiuhtecutli, N., Dickman, N. E., Scammell, M. L., Steenland, K., Hertzberg, V. S., & McCauley, L. (2020). Cooling intervention studies among outdoor occupational groups: A review of the literature. American journal of industrial medicine, 63(11), 988–1007. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.23175

Chicas, R., Mix, J., Mac, V., Flocks, J., Dickman, N. E., Hertzberg, V., & McCauley, L. (2019). Chronic Kidney Disease Among Workers: A Review of the Literature. Workplace health & safety, 67(9), 481–490. https://doi.org/10.1177/2165079919843308


Nurse Urges EPA To Clean Up Pollution From Cars (September, 2021) Video, Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2021/09/24/504187/nurse-urges-epa-clean-pollution-cars/

New Study Links Climate Change to Health & Economic Risks of Outdoor Workers (August, 2021). Interview, PBS and NPR of Southwest Florida. https://news.wgcu.org/show/gulf-coast-life/2021-08-24/new-study-links-climate-change-to-health-economic-risks-of-outdoor-workers

Research shows harm of heat on Florida Farmworkers (August, 2021) Interview, PBS and NPR of Southwest Florida. https://news.wgcu.org/news/2021-08-11/research-shows-harm-of-heat-on-florida-farmworkers

Farmworkers who face extreme heat fear retaliation or deportation if they complain, says nurse. (July, 2021). Interview, The World. https://www.pri.org/stories/2021-07-21/farmworkers-who-face-extreme-heat-fear-retaliation-or-deportation-if-they

Undocumented farmworkers push Congress for protections amid historic heat. (July, 2021). Interview, ABC News. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/undocumented-farmworkers-push-congress-protections-amid-historic-heat/story?id=78742654

For Farmworkers, Heat Too Often Means Needless Death (July, 2021). Interview, Inside Climate News. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/09072021/for-farmworkers-heat-too-often-means-needless-death/

Workers Critical to U.S. Fruit Supplies Face Danger From Extreme Heat (June, 2021). Interview, Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-06-18/supply-chains-latest-workers-critical-to-u-s-fruit-supplies-face-heat-danger

The Nurses Station. (2020). Host, Emory University School of Nursing, https://www.nursing.emory.edu/pages/the-nurses-station Roxana Chicas. (June, 2020). Interview, #IAmAnImmigrant. https://www.iamanimmigrant.com/stories/roxana-chicas/

Amplify Nursing: Episode 11: Roxana Chicas (July, 2020). Interview. Amplify Nursing. https://www.nursing.upenn.edu/details/profiles.php?id=16506

Ahead of the curve: Doctoral students tackle the big questions. (October, 2019). Interview, Emory Nursing Magazine. https://news.emory.edu/features/2019/11/nursing-mag-ahead-of-the-curve-phd/index.html

Meet Roxana Chicas: Immigrant, nurse, scientist. (November, 2019). Interview, Atlanta Journal Constitution Pulse. https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/health/meet-roxana-chicas-immigrant-nurse-scientist/0kqpZo4GjDVil4KOpCD5LO/

#TPS Holders Need Permanent Protections: Roxana’s Story. (March, 2019) Video, FWD.us. https://youtu.be/Y960QXRRKnY

Atlanta nurse helping others while immigration status in limbo. (December, 2018) Interview, The Georgia Bulletin. https://georgiabulletin.org/news/2018/12/atlanta-nurse-helping-others-while-immigration-status-in-limbo/


Public Health Nursing


Dr. Chicas conducts community-engaged research with the Farmworker Association of Florida to examines occupational/environmental health hazards and kidney dysfunction among agricultural workers. Her research draws together several disciplines and utilizes innovative methodologies to analyze the health effects of environmental heat exposure and design intervention studies to protect workers from climate change. Dr. Chicas is also examining the physiological mechanisms underlying acute kidney injury, with a specific focus on the role of glucose metabolism and heat exposure using metabolomics to pinpoint critical steps in how acute kidney injury begins and advances.


2021   National Association of Hispanic Nurses Sarah Gomez Erlach Humanitarian Award

2021   Emory Alumni Association's 40 Under Forty

2020   Silver Bowl Award, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

2019   ACT PhD Dissertation Grant Award, National Association of Hispanic Nurses

2019   North Carolina NIOSH funded Occupational Safety and Health ERC Pilot Research Grant

2018   AAOHN New Investigator Research Grant Funded by Medique Products

2018   University of South Florida NIOSH funded Sunshine ERC Pilot Research Grant  

Aguilar-Cuellar-Toben (ACT) PhD Dissertation Grant Award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses

NIOSH North Carolina Occupational Safety Health Education and Research Center Pilot Grant

NIOSH University of South Florida Sunshine Education and Research Center Pilot Grant

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses New Investigator Research Grant Funded by Medique Products