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Environmental Factor

Environmental Factor

Your Online Source for NIEHS News

November 2018

Jackson lands Harvard fellowship

NIEHS epidemiologist Chandra Jackson, Ph.D., is one of 15 new JPB Environmental Health Fellows at Harvard.

portrait of Chandra Jackson Jackson’s disparities research has been published in academic journals, as well as major media outlets such as US News & World Report and The New York Times. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS epidemiologist Chandra Jackson, Ph.D., head of the NIEHS Social and Environmental Determinants of Health Equity research group, was named a JPB Environmental Health Fellow by Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Fifteen winners of the highly competitive fellowship were announced Oct. 1.

Over a three-year period, these fellows will receive up to $240,000 each, as well as mentoring and training in methods, new technologies, leadership, and scientific communication. Jackson will be affiliated with both NIEHS and Harvard during the fellowship.

The fellowship program recognizes promising junior faculty who are committed to developing solutions and supporting policy changes that address environmental, social, and economic health disparities in the United States.

Transdisciplinary opportunity

“I am looking forward to truly novel opportunities to engage in more transdisciplinary research to address environmental health disparities, because the fellows are coming from a variety of different but highly relevant disciplines,” said Jackson. “It is unlikely that I would have interacted with these outstanding faculty members from different disciplines without this fellowship.”

Jackson, who joined the Epidemiology Branch in 2017, is an Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator and holds a joint appointment with the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

“This is the latest in a series of prestigious awards and honors for Dr. Jackson,” said NIEHS Scientific Director Darryl Zeldin, M.D. “We knew when we recruited her from Harvard as a Stadtman Investigator a couple of years ago that she would be a star. She has already exceeded our expectations.”

Jackson studies how physical and social environments affect racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in sleep health, and how in turn, sleep health affects the risk of chronic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Her goal is to provide scientific evidence that informs policies and practices to improve population health while addressing preventable, unjust, and costly health disparities.

Jackson recently published a study showing that sleep disparities disappeared or lessened when blacks and whites had comparable living conditions.

Jackson holds a Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Master’s degree in Cardiovascular Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship.

“I am thrilled to return to my alma mater as an NIEHS tenure-track investigator,” said Jackson. “This fellowship presents a great opportunity to leverage the resources at both institutions to improve health and address health disparities.”

Citation: Gaston SA, Jackson II WB, Williams DR, Jackson CL. 2018. Sleep and cardiometabolic health by government-assisted rental housing status among black and white men and women in the United States. Sleep Health 4(5):420–428.

(Marla Broadfoot, Ph.D., is a contract writer for the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)

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