Nkiruka Atuegwu, PhD (Affiliate)

Assistant Professor


Research Overview

My research has emphasized the risk factors associated with e-cigarette use and the impact of e-cigarette use on health outcomes and future drug use. My research goals are to create improved predictive models of tobacco use and addiction especially in youth and young adults, to identify risk factors for tobacco use and populations vulnerable to tobacco use. My previous projects include using patient specific quantitative imaging data to create mathematical models of tumor growth and treatment response, and designing and developing an image-guided orbital endoscopic system.


Doctor of Philosophy, Biomedical Engineering Vanderbilt University 2008
Master of Applied Statistics Pennsylvania State University 2016
Master of Science, Biomedical Engineering Vanderbilt University 2005
Bachelor of Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering Rutgers University 2002

Recent Publications

1. Atuegwu NC, Oncken C, Laubenbacher RC, Perez MF, Mortensen EM. Factors Associated with E-Cigarette Use in U.S. Young Adult Never Smokers of Conventional Cigarettes: A Machine Learning Approach. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Oct 5;17(19). doi: 10.3390/ijerph17197271. PubMed PMID: 33027932; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7579019.

2. Bentivegna K, Atuegwu NC, Oncken C, DiFranza JR, Mortensen EM. Electronic Cigarettes Associated With Incident and Polysubstance Use Among Youth. J Adolesc Health. 2020 Jul 5;. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.05.026. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32641242.

3. Atuegwu NC, Perez MF, Oncken C, Mead EL, Maheshwari N, Mortensen EM. E-cigarette use is associated with a self-reported diagnosis of prediabetes in never cigarette smokers: Results from the behavioral risk factor surveillance system survey. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Dec 1;205:107692. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107692. Epub 2019 Oct 28. PubMed PMID: 31707269; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6893144.

4. Perez MF, Atuegwu NC, Oncken C, Mead EL, Mortensen EM. Association between Electronic Cigarette Use and Asthma in Never-Smokers. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019 Nov;16(11):1453-1456. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201904-338RL. PubMed PMID: 31404509; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6945466.

5. Perez MF, Atuegwu NC, Mead EL, Oncken C, Mortensen EM. Adult E-Cigarettes Use Associated with a Self-Reported Diagnosis of COPD. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Oct 16;16(20). doi: 10.3390/ijerph16203938. PubMed PMID: 31623202; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6843470.

6. Bentivegna K, Atuegwu NC, Oncken C, Mead EL, Perez MF, Mortensen EM. E-cigarette Use Is Associated with Non-prescribed Medication Use in Adults: Results from the PATH Survey. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Oct;34(10):1995-1997. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-05093-5. PubMed PMID: 31190256; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6816664.

7. Atuegwu NC, Perez MF, Oncken C, Thacker S, Mead EL, Mortensen EM. Association between Regular Electronic Nicotine Product Use and Self-reported Periodontal Disease Status: Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Apr 9;16(7). doi: 10.3390/ijerph16071263. PubMed PMID: 30970567; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6479961.

Contact Information
Mailing Address263 Farmington Avenue Farmington, Connecticut 06107