Vice-Chair of Research, Epidemiology
Associate Professor (with tenure), Epidemiology
Associate Professor (with tenure), Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
5129 Parran Hall, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Primary Phone: 967-179-4587
I am nutritional and perinatal epidemiologist, and the goal of my research is to discover the healthiest nutritional and behavioral practices for pregnant women and their children. I have been actively involved in maternal weight and weight gain research for over a decade. My participation on the 2009 Institute of Medicine Committee to Reevaluate Weight Gain Guidelines during Pregnancy stimulated my interest in determining gestational weight gain ranges that will optimize maternal and child health. Along with Jennifer Hutcheon at the University of British Columbia, I am a PI of two new NIH-funded studies that use innovative methodologies in the study of multiple adverse outcomes simultaneously to inform future evidence-based weight gain guidelines for singleton (R01 HD072008) and twin pregnancies (R01 NR014245). I am also engaged in research aimed at evaluating the importance of maternal vitamin D deficiency in adverse pregnancy outcomes. My research group is currently using a contemporary pregnancy cohort to test the replicability of our recent papers demonstrating associations between maternal vitamin D status and the risk of spontaneous preterm birth, preeclampsia and small-for-gestational-age birth in a multi-center U.S. study (R01 HD056999; U01 DP003177). My research approach is grounded in the application of the best methods available for reducing biases commonly found in epidemiologic studies.
1998 | B.S.P.H. Summa Cum Laude with Highest Honors, Nutrition | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Thesis: Maternal Folate Status and Birth Outcomes
1998 | Dietetic Internship | University of North Carolina Hospitals
1999 | M.P.H., Nutrition | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2002 | Ph.D., Nutrition; Epidemiology minor | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Dissertation: Predictors of Iron Status during Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period
2002-2004 | Postdoctoral Fellowship (reproductive biology)
EPIDEM 2560: Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Primary Instructor.
Ongoing Research Support
Innovative Approaches to Inform Evidence-Based Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines (R01 HD072008); NIH/NICHD; 09/17/13 – 05/31/17; Co-PI: Hutcheon
Informing Evidence-based Maternal Weight Gain Guidelines for Twin Pregnancies (R01 NR014245); NIH/NINR; 08/01/13- 06/30/17; Co PI: Hutcheon
Pregnancy Weight Gain Charts for Canadian Women: Developing a Novel Tool to Establish Optimal Gestational Weight Gain for Maternal and Child Health; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; 2014 - 2017; Co-PI: Multiple
Relationship of Loss of Control Eating to Excessive Gestational Weight Gain (R01 HD068802); NIH/NICHD; 03/01/12 – 02/28/17; PI: Levine
Comparison of two Screening Strategies for Gestational Diabetes (R01 HD079647); NIH/NICHD; 2014 - 2019; PI: Davis
Completed Research Support (Principal Investigator - past four years)
Maternal Vitamin D Status and Preterm Birth (U01 DP003177); CDC; 09/30/11 – 09/29/14
Maternal Obesity, Weight Gain, and the Black-White Disparity in Pregnancy Outcome (R21 HD065807); NIH/NICHD; 06/01/11 – 05/31/13
Maternal Obesity, Weight Gain, and the Black-White Disparity in Stillbirth (R21 HD067851); NIH/NICHD; 10/01/11 – 09/30/13
Maternal Obesity, Weight Gain, and the Black-White Disparity in Infant Health (#9181); Foundation Grant; 09/30/11 – 09/29/13
Vitamin D: A Link to Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes (R01 HD056999); NIH/NICHD; 09/30/08 – 07/31/13
1998 | Joseph Edozien Outstanding Undergraduate Award. Department of Nutrition, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
1998 | Delta Omega Undergraduate Award for Excellence. University of North Carolina School of Public Health Theta Chapter of Delta Omega, the public health honors society.
1998 | James Henley Thompson and Evelyn Barnett Thompson Undergraduate Research Award. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
1998 | Public Health Service Award. University of North Carolina School of Public Health.
2002 | Abraham Lilienfeld Student Prize. Society for Epidemiologic Research.
2003 | A. Hughes Bryan Outstanding Doctoral Award. Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
2002 | Naomi R. Koehler Endowment for Professional Development in Nutrition and Women’s Health. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
2003 | Irene McLenahan Young Investigator Award. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
2004 | Paul M. Rike, MD Fellowship Award. Magee-Womens Research Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
2005 | Dannon Institute Nutrition Leadership Institute participant. Dannon Institute.
2005 | Member, 53rd Annual Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Work Group on Obesity and Reproductive Health.
2006 | NCDEU New Investigator Award. National Institute of Mental Health.
2006 | American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Young Investigator Award.
2008-2009 | Member, Institute of Medicine Committee to Reevaluate Weight Guidelines during Pregnancy.
2010 | Society for Epidemiologic Research Poster Session First Prize Winner.
2012 | Young Professional Achievement Award. The Coalition for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology.
2013 | Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award (Junior Scholar), the University of Pittsburgh.
2015 | The Mary Lewis Endowment Lectureship, Michigan State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
(In reverse chronological order)
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