Dawn Misra, MHS, PhD

Department Chair
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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

Dr. Misra received her BA and MHS (Maternal and Child Health) from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in epidemiology from Columbia University. Following completion of her doctorate, she was visiting faculty at the City College of New York after which she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Misra was next promoted to Associate Professor and the Director of the Reproductive and Women’s Health Interdepartmental Concentration at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Most recently, Dr. Misra was Professor and Director for the Division of Health Equity, and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit. Dr. Misra’s research focuses on a wide range of social and biomedical factors which may explain the increased risks of adverse birth outcomes among Black families. Dr. Misra is seeking to contribute to a fuller understanding of the pathways which lead to optimal perinatal health and close the gap in disparities. The Institute of Medicine committee report on preterm birth cites several of her papers and notes that her conceptual framework guided the committee’s approach to examining the causes of preterm birth. Dr. Misra has published more than 100 articles and book chapters.

Expert on the topic of infant mortality among African American women. Principal investigator of more than $10 million in research funding on perinatal health. Co-Chair of Working Group for the U.S. Surgeon General's Conference on Preterm Birth, Chair of the Committee for the Mayor's Summit on Health Equity in Detroit 2016, member of the Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance Injury Committee and member of the advisory board for Tulane’s Centre for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership and Strategic Initiatives. Widely known for creation of a perinatal health life course model adopted by the Institute of Medicine Report on Preterm Birth and cited more than 200 times worldwide. Editor of the 2nd edition of the Women's Heath Data Book, Member of the Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology journal editorial board. Mentor to undergraduate and graduate students.



Black babies are more than twice as likely as white babies to die before the age of one. Could racism be the reason? 

Studying the increased risks of infants born to black women


Racism and Birth Outcomes



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