Social Sciences Building, 1265 Military Trail, Room MW296, UTSC
  • January 19, 2016 from 2:00pm to 3:30pm

All faculty and students are invited to attend a job talk by Michelle North, PhD. in Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, who is applying for a position in Health Studies in the Department of Anthropology, UTSC.

“The Future of Health Studies is in the Womb: Role of in-utero and Early-Life Environmental Exposures on Shaping Epigenetic Biomarkers and Health Outcomes”

Dr. Michelle North is a health scientist studying the developmental origins of health and disease. She completed her PhD in Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto with a focus on asthma and environmental health. She became interested in why certain people develop allergies and asthma while others do not, and the broad environmental exposures that might explain this differential risk. As a post-doctoral fellow she founded the Kingston Allergy Birth Cohort (KABC) at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Dr. North focused on the catchment area of Kingston General Hospital because it serves a unique population, including both rural and urban residents, a wide diversity of socioeconomic status, and a significantly higher rate of maternal smoking during pregnancy compared to other cities in Ontario. This allowed the birth cohort to adequately represent a diverse range of environmental exposures and risk factors that affect Ontario children. Dr. North has used this prospective birth cohort to probe epigenetic biomarkers of disease, and the effects of the environment on immune system development. Recently Dr. North expanded the study into novel mitochondrial epigenetic biomarkers as a visiting fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.