faculty profile

James Muchira   PhD, MSN

Assistant Professor


Dr. Muchira is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, specializing in population health and cardiology research. His research goes beyond traditional heart disease risk factors, examining the effects of neighborhood and social stressors on intergenerational transmission of cardiovascular risk in parents and their children. Dr. Muchira's research shows that heart-healthy parents, especially mothers, can confer nearly 10 additional years of life free from cardiovascular disease to their children. Using the multi-exposure (exposome) framework, he conducts in-depth studies on how various exposures contribute to heart disease. His work aims to unravel the complex mechanisms by which social determinants of health and broader planetary health factors affect heart disease and related chronic conditions. Additionally, he is a co-founder of CHEEL, the Climate, Health, and Energy Equity Lab, at the Wond'ry, Vanderbilt's Innovation Center, and a faculty affiliate of Vanderbilt University's Center for Research on Inequality and Health. Currently, Dr. Muchira collaborates with community organizations to implement a holistic 360-Degree Care Model through a systems alignment approach, addressing the health equity and social needs of vulnerable communities.


  • PhD, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • MSN, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • BSN, University of Eastern Africa, Baraton

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Mother-child heart health
  • Environmental exposures
  • CVD-inflammatory markers
  • Air quality

Academic Interests

  • Social determinants of health
  • Exposome
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Clinical trials
  • CVD epigenetics

Current Projects

  • Family-based assessment of neighborhood-level environmental stressors (area deprivation index, neighborhood stress, household chaos and air pollution)
  • Measuring inflammatory markers (leptin, CRP and adiponectin) and aortic stiffness and central aortic blood pressure

Representative Publications


Muchira JM, Gona PN, Mogos MF, et al. Association of Parental Cardiovascular Health With Disability-Adjusted Life Years in the Offspring: Results From the Framingham Heart Study. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2023;16(1):e008809. doi:10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.121.008809

Muchira, J. M., Gona, P. N., Mogos, M. F., Stuart-Shor, E., Leveille, S. G., Piano, M. R., & Hayman, L. L. Parental cardiovascular health predicts time to onset of cardiovascular disease in offspring. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2022;29(6):883-891. doi:10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa072

Ziegler C, Muchira J. Climate Change: The Ultimate Determinant of Health. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. Published online June 20, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.pop.2023.04.010

Muchira JM, Mogos MF, Park C, Logan J, Piano MR. A Mother-Child Dyadic Approach to Evaluating Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease in Young Children: A Feasibility Study. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. Published online September 2, 2022.doi: 1097/JCN.0000000000000944. doi:10.1097/JCN.0000000000000944

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:


Book Chapters

Hayman, L. L & Muchira, J.M (2019). Primordial/Primary Prevention: Implications and Challenges for Families and Children (3rd edition, p.841-847). Lifestyle Medicine. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, Boca Raton, FL, USA.


  • European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
  • Journal of American Heart Association
  • British Medical Journal (BMJ) open
  • Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, PLOS One

Professional Organizations

  • American Heart Association
  • Sigma Theta Tau International
  • Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association


  • Jonas Policy Scholar, American Academy of Nursing - 2021/2022
  • Honorable Mention, The 2021 Postdoc of the Year Award, from the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs - 2021
  • Winning Abstract Award for Original Research category, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA's 27th Annual Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium) - 2021
  • 2020 Research Article of the Year Award-American Heart Association Council of Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing - 2020
  • Anne Kibrick Graduate Nursing Award Winner (Merit-based award) - 2019
  • Winning Abstract Award, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA's 24th Annual Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium)-2018
  • PhD Nursing Program Outstanding Leadership Award - 2017
  • Merit-based Awards-Lynch Foundation Fund Nursing Fellowship - 2015 - 2019