The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program ended February 2017. The site will no longer be updated. More »

Kristin Harper, Ph.D., M.P.H.

RWJF Health & Society Scholar:

Biology, Epidemiology

Area(s) of Expertise:
Population and Evolutionary Genetics, Infectious Diseases, Nutrition



Kristin previous work focused on the origin and evolution of the treponemes: the bacteria that cause syphilis, yaws, and bejel. In particular, she used genetics to assess whether Christopher Columbus brought syphilis from the New World to the Old, to investigate which genes are likely to underlie sexual transmission in syphilis, and to determine how long the history of yaws has been intertwined with that of humans. As a Health and Society Scholar, her focus will shift from pathogens to humans by investigating how nutrition affects our susceptibility to various diseases. In particular, continues to investigate the relationship between trace metal levels, baseline mutation rates, and diseases such as schizophrenia and cancer Kristin received an MPH in Global Epidemiology and a PhD in Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution from Emory University in 2008, and she holds a B.A. in Biology from Reed College.

Journal Articles:
Click here for a list of Kristin Harper’s available publications in PubMed.