Belinda Needham

Associate Professor of Epidemiology


My research focuses on health disparities. In general, members of socially disadvantaged groups have worse mental and physical health than those who have higher social status. My work seeks to identify, explain, and reduce racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, and sexual orientation health disparities. My primary research goals are to use novel approaches to assess health disparities across the life course and to identify the social structural, psychological, behavioral, and physiological mechanisms by which social disadvantage leads to health disparities. I am currently Multiple PI of an R01 award from NIMHD to examine race/ethnic differences in DNA methylation as a mechanism underlying racial/ethnic disparities in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. I am also multiple PI of an R21 award from NIMHD to examine whether second-hand exposure to the Flint Water Crisis during pregnancy exacerbated racial/ethnic disparities in birth outcomes in Michigan.