My research interests evolved from a career in public health that transformed into a passion for understanding and interrupting the intergenerational effects of poverty, trauma and other psychosocial adversities.
My research has included quasi-experimental studies to estimate home visiting effectiveness as a strategy to improve early recognition and treatment of developmental delays, to reduce pediatric unintentional injury and increase utilization of pediatric primary care.
My main focus is the epidemiology of early adversity and in particular, social and behavioral epigenomics. My research objectives are to elucidate the psychosocial and biological mechanisms that mediate the effects of early adversity on child development and behavior. Long-term, my goal is to translate this knowledge into new tools and strategies to better stratify risk and to optimize the impact of prevention programs, such as early childhood home visiting.
I have demonstrated the intergenerational effects of parental trauma on child development across multiple domains. This led to the discovery of epidemiologic associations between the early environment and offspring epigenetic differences associated with child social-emotional functioning. Next steps are to identify and characterize epigenomic predictors of elevated developmental and behavioral risk in vulnerable populations.
My research is supported by several sources, including:
- National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01-MD013006)
- Cincinnati Children's Trustee and ARC awards
- The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children
- Every Child Succeeds
I’m the director of evaluation and epidemiologic research for the Every Child Succeeds program, based at Cincinnati Children's. I’ve been a researcher for more than 14 years and began my work at Cincinnati Children's in 2012.
Prevention programs; trauma; child development
Quasi-experimental evaluation of early childhood home visiting; data linkage; intergenerational effects of psychological trauma; epigenetics (DNA methylation)
Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Child Abuse Prevention