Tamarra James-Todd

Dr. James-Todd was a panelist for the Forum’s discussion on Hormone-Altering Chemicals.

As an an epidemiologist, Tamarra James-Todd’s research takes a three-way approach to studying and improving women’s reproductive and long-term health by: 1) evaluating the role of environmental chemicals on adverse maternal health outcomes; 2) assessing racial/ethnic disparities in environmental chemical exposures and adverse health outcomes; and 3) developing pregnancy and postpartum interventions to improve women’s chronic disease risk.

Dr. James-Todd’s research focuses on the role of environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals in pregnancy and their effect on a number of relevant pregnancy complications. She also conducts research evaluating both non-pregnant and pregnant populations and assess sources of exposures to certain types of environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals. This work has led her to explore the role of black hair care products on risk of certain conditions, such as early age at menarche, as well as other personal care products that contain environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals. In collaboration with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she works on identifying reproductive risk factors of subsequent development of type 2 diabetes and its complications. For this, she has assessed the effect of preterm birth on future development of type 2 diabetes in large cohort studies, including the Nurses’ Health Study II and the Black Women’s Health Study. She has also designed a number of interventions to reduce future risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women following a pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes. She also conducts translational research in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes. For this work, she published one of the first studies documenting a rapid decline in blood glucose control during the postpartum period in women with type 1 diabetes, despite excellent blood glucose control during pregnancy. This work has major implications for a woman’s future risk of diabetes complications.

B.S., Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University, 2000
M.P.H., International Health, 2002
Ph.D., Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 2008