Non_Amy headshot

Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University

[Note: I will be moving to the Anthropology Department at University of California, San Diego in August, 2015.]

I am a molecular anthropologist with an interest in the genetic and sociocultural contributors to racial and social inequalities in health. Currently, I am investigating how social experiences can become biologically embedded early in life to affect health throughout the life course. To do this, I am exploring epigenetic mechanisms, or modifications to the genome, that can link early adverse environmental exposures with altered gene expression, potentially resulting in long-term consequences for adult health and disease. In a current project, I am exploring levels of methylation in a number of stress-response genes in children raised in orphanages relative to those raised in foster care settings in Bucharest, Romania. My newest project is an investigation of the biological embedding of stress experiences of children of Mexican-born immigrants living in Nashville. In past research, I have also explored the role of African genetic ancestry and sociocultural measures of race and socioeconomic status in explaining racial inequalities in blood pressure, both in Puerto Rico and in the US.

Visit the research and publication pages to learn more about my past and current work.

New project on ancient epigenetics underway! Stay tuned…



Upcoming Symposiums

April 15-17, 2015 –

Mar 29, 2015 – St Louis, MO American Association of Physical Anthropology Symposium: Rethinking Racial Health Dispaities: The genetic anthropologist’s contribution to debates over health inequalities –

Research in the News

November 30th, 2012

August 13, 2012

Expansion of MHS department at Vanderbilt

June 15, 2012

Racial Disparities in Hypertension Related to Education, not Genetic Ancestry