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Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences

I am a nutritional and perinatal epidemiologist, and the goal of my research is to discover the healthiest weight and dietary patterns that promote the health of pregnant women and their children. Through a strong research portfolio of federal funding, I have contributed to scientific advances in our understanding of optimal weight gain recommendations during pregnancy, evaluation of pregnancy diet patterns using novel machine learning methods, the reproductive consequences of maternal obesity, and the role of vitamin D deficiency in adverse birth outcomes. I have contributed my experience to several national panels that set guidelines for nutrition during pregnancy, including the Institute of Medicine Committee to Reevaluate Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines, the National Academies of Medicine Committee on Scoping Existing Guidelines for Feeding Recommendations for Infants and Young Children Under Age 2, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services Pregnancy Working Group that provided evidence for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. My research has been used in 9 reports of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, as well as key recommendations, practice guidelines or action statements from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the U.S. Preventive Task Force, and the American Public Health Association, along with international agencies, including the World Health Organization. I also host a podcast called "Shiny Epi People," the goal of which is to humanize epidemiologists and other public health professionals. Guests from diverse backgrounds share personal or professional barriers, losses, anxieties, triumphs, and lessons learned. Vulnerability, empathy, joy, and laughter are priorities. I have published over 50 episodes, and each episode has over 1,000 downloads.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences