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Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Faculty Profile

  • Emily Barrett, PhD

  • Associate Professor

  • Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology

  • CV


Pregnancy; hormones; environmental chemicals; endocrine disruptors; psychosocial stress; developmental origins of health and disease; perinatal epidemiology; sex differences; fertility

Dr. Emily Barrett holds an AB in Biology and English from Amherst College and a PhD in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of California-Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. As an early stage faculty member at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, she was a scholar in the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women''s Health''s BIRCWH (K12) program. Dr. Barrett joined the Rutgers faculty in 2016 where she is Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Director of the Epidemiology concentration at the Rutgers School of Public Health. She is a resident faculty member at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute where she co-directs the Human Exposures and Outcomes Core.

Research Interests
Dr. Barrett studies the early origins of health and disease, or how exposures early in life shape our subsequent health and developmental trajectories. Because gestation is a particularly sensitive period when body systems are first forming, insults or exposures during this period may have profound downstream effects. Dr. Barrett is particularly interested in how prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals and psychosocial stressors impact pregnancy and children’s development. She leads two ongoing pregnancy cohort studies, TIDES (R01ES25169) and UPSIDE (R01HD083369, R01ES029275, R01NR17602), both of which are part of the NIH’s Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, the largest study of the health and well-being of U.S. children. In TIDES, Dr. Barrett and colleagues are studying how prenatal exposure to these chemicals impacts reproductive and neurodevelopment, and whether the effects may differ in boys and girls. In UPSIDE, Dr. Barrett and colleagues examine the biological pathways by which prenatal psychosocial stressors impact children’s development, with an emphasis on sex steroid, inflammatory, and placental pathways. As a secondary research focus, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Barrett and collaborators established the Rutgers Corona Cohort study, for which she serves as co-Director of the Epidemiology Core. Most recently, this collaboration has led to NJ HEROES TOO, a NIH-funded effort to expand access to COVID-19 testing among underserved communities in New Jersey, for which Dr. Barrett serves on the MPI team.

Research Highlights

Assessment of exposure to environment chemicals during pregnancy in relation to reproductive development, neurodevelopment, and growth in childhood;

Examination of maternal psychosocial stress in relation to sex differences in offspring;

Joint exposures to chemical and non-chemical stressors during pregnancy;

Exploration of placental morphology and function in relation to prenatal exposures and postnatal outcomes; and

COVID-19 in health care workers

Select Publications
Eick, S., Barrett, E., van 't Erve, T., Nguyen, R., Bush, N., Milne, G., Swan, S., Ferguson, K. (2018) "Association between prenatal psychological stress and oxidative stress during pregnancy.", Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology Vol. 32

Bornehag, C., Lindh, C., Reichenberg, A., Wikström, S., Unenge Hallerback, M., Evans, S., Sathyanarayana, S., Barrett, E., Nguyen, R., Bush, N., Swan, S. (2018) "Association of Prenatal Phthalate Exposure With Language Development in Early Childhood.", JAMA Pediatrics Vol. 172

Barrett, E., Vitek, W., Mbowe, O., Thurston, S., Legro, R., Alvero, R., Baker, V., Bates, G., Casson, P., Coutifaris, C., Eisenberg, E., Hansen, K., Krawetz, S., Robinson, R., Rosen, M., Usadi, R., Zhang, H., Santoro, N., Diamond, M. (2018) "Allostatic load, a measure of chronic physiological stress, is associated with pregnancy outcomes, but not fertility, among women with unexplained infertility.", Human Reproduction Vol. 33

Barrett, E., Sathyanarayana, S., Mbowe, O., Thurston, S., Redmon, J., Nguyen, R., Swan, S. (2017) "First-Trimester Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration in Relation to Anogenital Distance, an Androgen-Sensitive Measure of Reproductive Development, in Infant Girls.", Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 125

Scholarly Activities
Grant Reviewer, National Institutes of Health

Editorial Board, Hormones and Behavior (journal)

Editorial Board, Fertility and Sterility (journal)

Associate Editor, Human Reproduction (journal)