David Barondess, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Associate Chair for Education
Director of Graduate Programs
Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
909 Wilson Road Room B601
East Lansing, Michigan 48824

David A. Barondess, received B. S. (combining human biology and biological anthropology) and B. A. (English) degrees from Tulane University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (biological anthropology) from Michigan State University.

Dr. Barondess’s NSF-supported doctoral dissertation research represented the first study of prehistoric and historic period Great Lakes Native Americans specifically focused on skeletal biomechanical and densitometric adaptations that may have been associated with sexual division of labor differences consequent to Euro-Indian culture contact. This work built on the growing interest in analyses of bone quantity and quality via non-invasive CT imaging. In addition to MSU, this research project involved collaborations with multiple institutions, including Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit, MI), The University of Michigan, The Rochester (NY) Museum and Science Center and The Johns Hopkins University.
Prior to Dr. Barondess’s current appointment, he held academic positions at The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Wayne State University (WSU). This latter appointment included a Post-Doctoral position in the WSU School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, where Dr. Barondess focused on race/ethnicity and skeletal health in the context of post-menopausal osteoporosis and skeletal morphometrics as part of WSU’s involvement in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) research study. A related but distinct research initiative focused on ethnic disparities and skeletal growth and development in adolescents from within the Southfield, Michigan, public school system. Upon completion of this appointment, Dr. Barondess joined the WSU anthropology department as Director of the Biological and Forensic Anthropology Graduate Programs.

Since returning to MSU, Dr. Barondess’s research interests have centered on the intersection of drug dependence and skeletal health epidemiology. This transition was facilitated by a NIDA research fellowship in the MSU College of Human Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, which supported advanced training in drug dependence epidemiology. In this domain, a main interest is exploring ethnic disparities, gene-environment interactions, ageing, and socioeconomic factors vis-à-vis patterns of drug/polydrug use, including tobacco-alcohol exposures. Focus on this and potentially other drug-drug combinations supports several research interests, including gaining a better understanding of ethnic disparities potentially associated with adolescent musculoskeletal growth and development that may portend an increased risk of skeletal demineralization. The hope here is to advance the fledgling field of drug use-skeletal health epidemiology by ‘bridging’ the influence of drug dependence on skeletal health in order to better understand the patterns and variability associated with the effects of drug use on (early) menopause and therefore on possible early predictors of osteoporosis and subsequent risk of fragility fracture.