Public Seminars

Global Disability Research Group Seminar Series

focusing on cross-disciplinary global disability research.
To join the mailing list for this seminar series please e-mail your details to Ellie Cole.

Global Health (IGH) Symposia

Members of the department contribute to IGH public meetings which bring together expertise on global health issues from all faculties within UCL.
Contact: Sarah Ball, Tel: (internal x82 72 2352)

2011 Seminar Series

Speaker: Professor Jennifer Dowd, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Hunter College, School of Public Health, City University of New York (CUNY), Faculty Associate at the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR)

Title: ‘Are health inequalities infectious?’

Date & Time: Friday 10 June 1pm-2pm

Venue: G37 & G38


While socioeconomic gradients in health are well established, the biological mechanisms underlying these associations are not well understood.  This talk will provide an overview of recent work investigating how latent infections such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), may link social factors, stress, and disease.  Using nationally representative data from the U.S., we have found socioeconomic differences in the burden of multiple infections, and found that these differences arise in childhood.  We have also found associations between adult education and income levels and CMV IgG antibody levels, and our on-going work hopes to learn more about how infections may interact with stress to contribute to the earlier aging and onset of chronic disease associated with lower socioeconomic status. 

Jennifer Dowd is currently Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Hunter College, School of Public Health, City University of New York(CUNY), and Faculty Associate at the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR).  From 2006-2008, Jenn was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, the University of Michigan.  She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in August 2004, where she specialized in Economics and Demography, with a focus on socioeconomic inequalities in health. Her dissertation tested several mechanisms linking economic status and health outcomes, including the role of maternal health behaviors during pregnancy in explaining childhood health inequalities, as well as the role of biological markers of stress in explaining educational and income gradients in older adults. She also worked as a Health Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, DC on issues regarding children’s health insurance and Medicaid availability for persons with mental illness.    Her current research focuses on the interaction of social and biological factors over the life course, in particular how stress and immune function may impact later life health outcomes.   Prior to her graduate work, Jenn received a B.A. in Politics and Spanish from Washington and Lee University and served as a Luce Scholar at the Rural Development Foundation in East Java, Indonesia.

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