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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Population
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Women’s Mental Health Across the Life Course Through a Sex-Gender Lens

Workshop Steering Committee Members

Debra Umberson (Chair) is professor of sociology and director of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Umberson's research focuses on social factors that influence population health with a particular emphasis on aging and life course change, marital and family ties, and gender and racial variation in health disparities. Her recent research, supported by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator in Health Policy Research Award and the National Institute on Aging, examines how marital relationships affect health-related behavior and health care, and how those processes vary across gay, lesbian, and heterosexual unions. She is the past editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior and current chair of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. Dr. Umberson is an elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the 2015 recipient of the Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Aging and the Life Course and the 2016 recipient of the Leonard I. Pearlin Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Sociological Study of Mental Health from the American Sociological Association's Section on Mental Health. In her newest research, she focuses on black/white differences in exposure to the death of family members across the life course and the implications for long-term health and mortality disparities. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University.

Hortensia Amaro
 is Dean's Professor of Social Work and Preventive Medicine, and associate vice provost of Community Research Initiatives at the University of Southern California. She has dramatically advanced the understanding of substance abuse disorder treatment, HIV prevention and other urgent public health challenges through a distinguished career that has spanned scholarly research, translation of science to practice, top-level policy consultation and service on four Institute of Medicine committees. Before joining USC in 2012, Dr. Amaro was with Northeastern University for 10 years, serving as associate dean and distinguished professor of health sciences and counseling psychology of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, and as founder and director of the university's Institute on Urban Health Research. For 18 years prior to that, she was professor in the Boston University School of Public Health and in the Department of Pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine. She has received numerous awards, most recently the APHA Elizabeth Beckman Professors Who Inspire Award (2014) and the Sedgwick Memorial Medal for Public Health Service (2015). She has authored more than 140 scholarly publications, many widely-cited, and she has made landmark contributions to improving behavioral health care in community-based organizations by launching addiction treatment programs that have helped thousands of families and informing practice in agencies around the world. Dr. Amaro is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (2010) and currently serves on the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. In the past she has served on the the HMD Standing Committee on Integrating New Behavioral Health Measures in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Data Collection Programs and the HMD Workshop Steering Committee on Integrating New Measures of Trauma and Recovery (chair) into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Data Collection Programs. Dr. Amaro received her doctorate in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and was awarded honorary doctoral degrees in humane letters by Simmons College and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Lisa F. Berkman is the director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS) and the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is an internationally recognized social epidemiologist whose work focuses extensively on social and policy influences on health outcomes. Her research orients toward understanding inequalities in health related to socioeconomic status, different racial and ethnic groups, and social networks, support and isolation. Dr. Berkman is the principal investigator of the Health and Aging Study in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI), a program project funded by the National Institute on Aging. HAALSI aims to study the drivers and consequences of HIV and non-communicable diseases in an aging population in Agincourt, South Africa. She is currently a member of the Conseil Scientifique de l’Institut de Recherche en Sante Publique (IReSP) in France and a member of NAM. She has been actively involved since 1994 on the GAZEL study, a cohort of 20,000 French employees of EDF-GDF, the large natural gas-electricity company.In May 2017, Dr. Berkman was appointed faculty director of the Ph.D. program in population health sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is author or co-author of several books and 300 publications/chapters. In 2003, she co-edited (with Ichiro Kawachi) Social Epidemiology, a groundbreaking textbook on this burgeoning field. A second edition was published in 2014 with co-authors Kawachi and Maria Glymour. In recent years, she served as a co-PI on the Work, Family & Health Network, a study involving workplace practices and employee and family health. From 2002-2016, she served as co-site director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program. Prior to becoming director of the HCPDS, Dr. Berkman was chair of the Department of Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and was former head of the division of chronic disease epidemiology at Yale University. She received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from University of California, Berkeley.

Bridget Goosby is currently a Happold Associate Professor of Sociology and director of the Biosociology of Minority Health Disparities Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Upon completion of her Ph.D., she spent two years as a research analyst at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. From 2005-2007, she was a National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Minority Mental Health Disparities Fellow at the University of Michigan in the Institute for Social Research’s Program for Research on Black Americans. Her primary research interest focuses on how the intersections of social inequality and discrimination ‘get under the skin’ to influence minority group members’ health over the life course and across generations. Physiologic stress response is a key pathway through which health disparities emerge in the U.S. population, thus her research integrates biological markers of stress, immune function, and chronic disease with innovative approaches to sociological data collections and analyses. To understand how these processes unfold to shape health risk and why these processes matter, her lab is currently implementing a variety of studies including several that examine how the stress of social exclusion and racial discrimination influence the health and well-being of parents and their children in the local community. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the Pennsylvania State University in 2003.

Jennifer L. Payne is associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center, at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Jennifer Payne’s research interests include clinical trials of novel therapeutics in depression and bipolar disorder; hormonal influences on mood and mood disorders; women and mood disorders and the genetics of depression. An author of over 40 publications, she presents widely on the above areas of interest most specifically focusing on women. Dr. Payne is a graduate of Washington University where she received her medical degree.  

Jason Schnittker is a sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests are in the social, cultural, biological, and institutional determinants of health. His current research is concerned with the effects of incarceration on the health of individuals, families, and communities, funded in part by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy. He is also interested in gene-environment relationships as they relate to health and well-being. He has a long-standing interest in public beliefs about mental health and illness, especially regarding how the public thinks about the causes of mental illness. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University.

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