Emily Barrett, PhD, MA (she/her/hers)
Emily Barrett, Ph.D., is a professor and director of the Epidemiology concentration in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Dr. Barrett is also a member of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, where she co-directs the Maternal-Child Environmental Health Lab and the Human Exposures and Outcomes Research Core. Dr. Barrett received her doctoral degree in biological anthropology from Harvard University and completed post-doctoral training at the Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities at University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Barrett's primary research focus is on the early origins of health and disease and how exposures early in life shape our subsequent health and developmental trajectories. She leads two ongoing National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded pregnancy cohort studies, 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 United States children. 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 National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, the largest study of the health and well-being of United States children. In TIDES, Dr. Barrett and colleagues are studying how prenatal exposure to specific chemicals impact 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 Multiple Principal Investigators team.