RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Anthropology, Genetics, Public Health
Area(s) of Expertise:
Evolutionary and Population Genetics, Medical Anthropology, Racial Disparities in Complex Disease
Amy Non is a molecular anthropologist with an interest in researching the genetic and sociocultural contributors to racial inequalities in health. Her dissertation specifically addressed the relative contributions of genetic and sociocultural factors to explain racial disparities in hypertension. By integrating rich ethnographic data on social classification of race in Puerto Rio into a genetic analysis on the same population, she discovered that the sociocultural aspects of race better predict blood pressure variation than genetic estimates of African ancestry. She also investigated the role of education versus genetic ancestry in predicting blood pressure variation in a large epidemiological dataset of black and white Americans enrolled in the Familial Blood Pressure Program. As a Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University, she further investigated the biological consequences of racism and other psychosocial stressors, particularly during early life developmental stages. She focused on epigenetic modifications that may occur as a result of early life exposures to stressors which may ultimately be linked to the development of chronic diseases. She believes that epigenetic mechanisms may mediate the effects of the environment on the genome, and thus it is important to study complex disease from genetic, epigenetic, and environmental perspectives. She received a Master of Public Health degree in Fall 2009 and received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida in Summer 2010.
Click here for a list of Amy Non's available publications in PubMed.