Senior Advisor to the Director and Scientific Review Officer

Alfonso R. Latoni, Ph.D., is on Detail serving as Senior Advisor to the Division Director and Scientific Review Officer. He will serve as Research Integrity Officer and will oversee or serve as D.E.R.T. Liaison to Special Projects, including but not limited to:

  1. Subject Matter Expert for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) activities related to the East Palestine train derailment.
  2. Subject Matter Expert to the Climate Change and Health Partner Project with the National Science Foundation and the University of Colorado.
  3. Coordinating an NIH-wide effort on Climate Change and Health referral guidelines and RCDC coding.

Latoni comes from the Scientific Review Branch, where he has served as Branch Chief for the past ten years. Prior to joining NIEHS in 2013, Latoni was Deputy Chief of Review in the Scientific Review Branch of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2008 to 2013. From 2005 to 2008, he served in the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at NIH, where he was a Scientific Review Officer in the Health of the Population Integrated Review Group, and later in the Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes Integrated Review Group, where he was responsible for the Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging Study Section. From 2002 to 2005, he served in the NIA Scientific Review Office as the Scientific Review Administrator of the Behavior and Social Science of Aging Study Section.

Prior to joining the NIH, Latoni worked at American Sociological Association (ASA) from 2000 to 2002, as Program Director of the ASA Minority Affairs Program and the ASA Minority Fellowship Program, which was then supported by a T32 Institutional Research Training grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Previously, from 1986 to 2000, he was Associate Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Applied Social Research at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez (UPRM), Departamento de Ciencias Sociales y Centro de Investigación Social Aplicada (CISA).

Latoni’s primary research interests were at the intersection of social and economic health inequalities and disparities among underrepresented populations, with particular emphasis on the underclass, the elderly, and the homeless. During his doctoral studies, he conducted fieldwork research in several Central American and Caribbean countries, which were at the time undergoing significant social and political change, to examine new and emerging public health systems, as well as innovative and participatory social experiments regarding the delivery of basic health care services. While at the UPRM, he was responsible for the formation and curriculum development of undergraduate courses in the sociology of health and well-being, social economy and social policy; as well as contemporary sociological theory and the history of sociological thought. As a researcher in CISA, his primary projects were dedicated to training undergraduate students in diverse themes of applied social research, conducting fieldwork studies, and mentoring CISA’s research assistants in their training and preparation for postgraduate studies.

Latoni received his B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, his M.A. in Latin American Studies (social and economic development) from Georgetown University, and his Ph.D. in Sociology (social economy and social policy) from Boston College.