Lisa M. Bodnar, PhD, MPH, RD

Professor, Epidemiology


5129 Public Health, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
R-znvy: obqane@rqp.cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-4587
Fax: 967-179-2842
Web site:

Ellen Mooney, ryz664@cvgg.rqh, 967-179-6808

Personal Statement

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.


1998 | B.S.P.H. Summa Cum Laude with Highest Honors, Nutrition | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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

2002-2004 | Postdoctoral Fellowship (reproductive biology) | Magee-Womens Research Institute and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


EPIDEM 2921:  Grant Writing, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health. Primary Instructor.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Optimal pregnancy weight gain
  • Diet patterns and adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes
  • Reproductive consequences of obesity
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Perinatal epidemiology

Research Support

Current grant support as Principal Investigator

  • Informing National Guidelines on Diet Patterns that Promote Healthy Pregnancy Outcomes (R01 HD102313). NIH/NICHD, 2020 to 2025. Role: Principal Investigator with Ashley Naimi.
  • Innovative Approaches to Inform Evidence-based Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines (R01 HD094777). NIH/NICHD, 2018 to 2022. Role: Principal Investigator with Jennifer Hutcheon.

Completed grant support as Principal Investigator

  • Informing Evidence-based Maternal Weight Gain Guidelines for Twin Pregnancies (R01 NR014245). NIH/NINR, 2013 to 2018. Role: Principal Investigator with Jennifer Hutcheon.
  • Innovative Approaches to Inform Evidence-based Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines (R01 HD072008). NIH/NICHD, 2013 to 2018. Role: Principal Investigator with Jennifer Hutcheon.
  • Maternal Vitamin D Status and Preterm Birth (U01 DP003177). CDC, 2011 to 2015.
  • Maternal Obesity, Weight Gain, and the Black-White Disparity in Stillbirth (R21 HD067851). NIH/NICHD, 2011 to 2014.
  • Maternal Obesity, Weight Gain, and the Black-White Disparity in Pregnancy Outcome (R21 HD065807). NIH/NICHD, 2011 to 2013.
  • Vitamin D: A Link to Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes (R01 HD056999). NIH/NICHD, 2008 to 2014.
  • Perinatal Depression and Maternal Nutritional Status (K01 MH074092). NIH/NIMH, 2006 to 2010.

Honors and Awards

2021 | Carol J. Rowland Hogue Mid-Career Award, Society for Epidemiologic Research.

2020 | Member, the National Academies of Medicine Committee on Scoping Existing Guidelines for Feeding Recommendations for Infants and Young Children Under Age 2.

2017 | Outstanding Alumnus Award, Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2016-2018 | Member, Pregnancy Work Group, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Foundational Review Project on the Diet and Health for Pregnancy and Birth to 24 months.

2015 | The Mary Lewis Endowment Lectureship, Michigan State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

2013 | Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award (Junior Scholar), the University of Pittsburgh.

2012 | Young Professional Achievement Award. The Coalition for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology.

2008-2009 | Member, Institute of Medicine Committee to Reevaluate Weight Guidelines during Pregnancy.

2006 | American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Young Investigator Award.

2006 | NCDEU New Investigator Award. National Institute of Mental Health.

2005 | Member, 53rd Annual Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Work Group on Obesity and Reproductive Health.

2005 | Dannon Institute Nutrition Leadership Institute participant. Dannon Institute.

2003 | Irene McLenahan Young Investigator Award. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

2003 | A. Hughes Bryan Outstanding Doctoral Award. Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2002 | Abraham Lilienfeld Student Prize. Society for Epidemiologic Research.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications have been taken from over 180 publications. The complete List of Published Work can be found in My Bibliography.


Recent Publications:  Pregnancy Weight Gain 


Bodnar LM, Himes KP, Hutcheon JA. Optimal Gestational Weight Gain. JAMA. 2019 Sep 17; 322 (11):1106-07. PMID: 31529002. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Khodyakov D, Parisi SM, Himes KP, Burke JG, Hutcheon JA. Rating the seriousness of maternal and child health outcomes linked with pregnancy weight gain. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2020 Nov 20. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 33216402. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Himes KP, Abrams B, Lash TL, Parisi SM, Eckhardt CL, Braxter BJ, Minion S, Hutcheon JA. Gestational Weight Gain and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Twin Pregnancies. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2019 Nov; 134 (5):1075-1086. PMID: 31599828. PubMed.


Hutcheon JA, Bodnar LM. Good Practices for Observational Studies of Maternal Weight and Weight Gain in Pregnancy. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2018 Mar; 32 (2):152-160. PMID: 29345321. PubMed.


Recent Publications:  Dietary Intake and Maternal and Child Health


Bodnar LM, Jimenez EY, Baker SS. Plant-Based Beverages in the Diets of Infants and Young Children. JAMA Pediatrics. 2021 Feb 22. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 33616636. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Cartus AR, Kirkpatrick SI, Himes KP, Kennedy EH, Simhan HN, Grobman WA, Dufffy JY, Silver RM, Parry S, Naimi AI. Machine learning as a strategy to account for dietary synergy: an illustration based on dietary intake and adverse pregnancy outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2020 Jun 1; 111 (6):1235-1243. PMID: 32108865. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Simhan HN, Parker CB, et al. Racial or Ethnic and Socioeconomic Inequalities in Adherence to National Dietary Guidance in a Large Cohort of US Pregnant Women. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017 Jun; 117 (6):867-877. PMID: 28320597. PubMed.


Recent Publications:  Maternal Obesity 


Yu YH, Bodnar LM, Himes KP, Brooks MM, Naimi AI. Association of Overweight and Obesity Development Between Pregnancies With Stillbirth and Infant Mortality in a Cohort of Multiparous Women. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2020 Mar; 135 (3):634-643. PMID: 32028483. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Siminerio LL, Himes KP, Hutcheon JA, Lash TL, Parisi SM, Abrams B. Maternal obesity and gestational weight gain are risk factors for infant death. Obesity. 2016 Feb; 24 (2):490-8. PMID: 26572932. PubMed.


Lemon LS, Naimi AI, Abrams B, Kaufman JS, Bodnar LM. Prepregnancy obesity and the racial disparity in infant mortality. Obesity. 2016 Dec; 24 (12):2578-84. PMID: 27891829. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Pugh SJ, Lash TL, Hutcheon JA, Himes KP, Parisi SM, Abrams B. Low Gestational Weight Gain and Risk of Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in Obese and Severely Obese Women. Epidemiology. 2016 Nov; 27 (6):894-902. PMID: 27682365. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Parks WT, Perkins K, Pugh SJ, Platt RW, Feghali M, Florio K, Young O, Bernstein S, Simhan HN. Maternal prepregnancy obesity and cause-specific stillbirth. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015 Oct; 102 (4):858-64. PMID: 26310539. PubMed.


Recent Publications:  Vitamin D and Perinatal Health


Bodnar LM, Platt RW, Simhan HN. Early-pregnancy vitamin D deficiency and risk of preterm birth subtypes. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2015 Feb; 125 (2):439-47. PMID: 25569002. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Simhan HN, Catov JM, Roberts JM, Platt RW, Diesel JC, Klebanoff MA. Maternal vitamin D status and the risk of mild and severe preeclampsia. Epidemiology. 2014 Mar; 25 (2):207-14. PMID: 24457526. PubMed. 


Bodnar LM, Klebanoff MA, Gernand AD, Platt RW, Parks WT, Catov JM, Simhan HN. Maternal vitamin D status and spontaneous preterm birth by placental histology in the US Collaborative Perinatal Project. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2014 Jan 15; 179 (2):168-76. PMID: 24124195. PubMed.

Lisa M. Bodnar