I am a National Institute on Aging Postdoctoral Fellow at the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development working with Terrie E. Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi.
I work at the intersection of genetics, the social and behavioral sciences, and public health. My research program focuses on the developmental genetic epidemiology of chronic disease and social gradients in health in later-life. My work leverages cutting edge genome science and longitudinal data from population-based cohorts to identify mechanisms that cause accelerated health decline in older age. I take a life-span approach that encompasses research on cohorts of children, young and middle-aged adults, and older adults. My goal is is to understand why socioeconomically disadvantaged populations suffer increased morbidity in older age and earlier mortality, and to devise strategies for intervention to mitigate these health inequalities.
My dissertation research investigated the developmental genetic epidemiology of obesity and smoking. As a postdoctoral fellow at Duke, I am continuing to pursue this work while expanding the scope of my research to consider other chronic health problems, including asthma. Next steps in these projects will focus on the second half of the life course to ask how genetic risks relate to the onset and progression of age-related disease. A key focus in this work will be to identify environmental exposures, both during childhood and throughout the life course, that may act to buffer or to exacerbate the effects of genetic risks.