A photo of Alonzo (Ted) Folger, PhD.

Alonzo T. Folger, PhD, MS


  • Director of Evaluation and Epidemiologic Research, Every Child Succeeds
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

About

Biography

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.

Publications

Pregnancy and Infant Development (PRIDE)-a preliminary observational study of maternal adversity and infant development. Bowers, K; Ding, L; Yolton, K; Ji, H; Nidey, N; Meyer, J; Ammerman, RT; Van Ginkel, J; Folger, A. BMC Pediatrics. 2021; 21.

Association between maternal adverse childhood experiences and neonatal SCG5 DNA methylation-effect modification by prenatal home visiting. Folger, AT; Nidey, N; Ding, L; Ji, H; Yolton, K; Ammerman, RT; Bowers, KA. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2021.

Protein Enrichment of Donor Breast Milk and Impact on Growth in Very Low Birth Weight Infants. Fu, TT; Kaplan, HC; Fields, T; Folger, AT; Gordon, K; Poindexter, BB. Nutrients. 2021; 13.

Parent Perspectives on Co-located Parent Coaching Services within Pediatric Primary Care. Eismann, EA; Vaughn, LM; Vilvens, HL; Page, E; Folger, AT; Huynh, J; Shapiro, RA. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 2021; 30:1965-1978.

Association of Age of Enrollment in Early Intervention with Emergent Literacy in Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Meinzen-Derr, J; Altaye, M; Grove, W; Folger, AT; Wiley, S. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2021.

Substance Use and Utilization of Prenatal and Postpartum Care. Nidey, N; Kair, LR; Wilder, C; Froehlich, TE; Weber, S; Folger, A; Marcotte, M; Tabb, K; Bowers, K. Journal of Addiction Medicine. 2021.

Mental Health Epigenetics: A Primer With Implications for Counselors. Jones, DE; Park, JS; Gamby, K; Bigelow, TM; Mersha, TB; Folger, AT. 2021; 11:102-121.

Co-located Parent Coaching Services Within Pediatric Primary Care: Feasibility and Acceptability. Eismann, EA; Folger, AT; Shapiro, RA; Sivertson, S; Brown, K; Wesseler, SA; Huynh, J. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 2021; 35:53-63.

Kindergarten Readiness in Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Who Received Early Intervention. Meinzen-Derr, J; Wiley, S; Grove, W; Altaye, M; Gaffney, M; Satterfield-Nash, A; Folger, AT; Peacock, G; Boyle, C. Pediatrics. 2020; 146.

Combinations of adverse childhood events and risk of postpartum depression among mothers enrolled in a home visiting program. Nidey, N; Bowers, K; Ammerman, RT; Shah, AN; Phelan, KJ; Clark, MJ; Van Ginkel, JB; Folger, AT. Annals of Epidemiology. 2020; 52:26-34.

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