RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Area(s) of Expertise:
Environmental Epidemiology, Autism
Keely Cheslack-Postava is currently a Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Fellow at Columbia University with research interests focusing on the impacts of prenatal environmental exposures on neurodevelopmental outcomes, in particular autism. Continuing a line of investigation commenced as a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Columbia, her work addresses how the socially influenced characteristics of birth order, pregnancy spacing and gender influence early life exposures and the mechanisms through which they may influence the development and diagnosis of disease outcomes. She is also conducting one of the first studies to use prenatal biomarkers of exposure to chemical pollutants in order to investigate association with autism risk. Keely completed a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins in 2008 where her dissertation research involved a study of fetal exposure to autoantibodies of maternal or fetal origin and later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and interaction with environmental pollutants. She also holds an MSPH degree in Epidemiology and Environmental/Occupational Health from Emory and a B.S. in Biology from Haverford College.