Population Health Branch (PHB)

Melissa Smarr, Ph.D. is a Health Scientist Administrator in the Population Health Branch. Melissa joined NIEHS in July 2020 and her broad research portfolio includes reproductive health, metabolic health across the life course, environmental epidemiology, environmental health disparities and environmental justice.

Melissa received her doctorate in Environmental Health Sciences (specializing in occupational and environmental epidemiology) from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She then completed a two-year intramural postdoctoral fellowship with the Epidemiology Branch in the Division of Intramural Population Health Research within the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, followed by a promotion to a Research Fellow in the Office of the Director.

Prior to joining PHB, Melissa was a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. During her time at Emory, Melissa was a Co-Investigator with the P30 HERCULES Exposome Research Center and the P50 Center for Children’s Health, the Environment, the Microbiome, and Metabolomics. Her previous research collaborations focused on understanding and measuring environmental exposures (air pollution, personal care products, and pesticides) in the context of endocrine disruption and reproductive, prenatal, maternal and children’s health among vulnerable populations. As a Faculty Fellow in the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Melissa developed and taught the Environmental Justice: Theory and Public Health Practice course and served as a mentor for the Break the Cycle of Children’s Environmental Health Disparities program. Selected recognitions include Pediatric Research Early Career Investigator Spotlight; 2018 NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health Centers Annual Meeting Early Stage Investigator awardee; Top 10% of Journal Peer Reviewers for Human Reproduction (2015-2017).

Areas of Specialty:

  • Diabetes
  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Environmental health disparities
  • Environmental justice
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Reproductive health (males, couples, miscarriage/loss)