Elizabeth Widen, PhD, is an interdisciplinary nutritional scientist and epidemiologist. Her research program focuses on the role of nutrition during pregnancy and lactation on short- and long-term maternal and child health. In her work, Dr. Widen integrates advanced body composition assessment technologies, including imaging, and quantitative methods, including nonparametric trajectory modeling and structural equation modeling. Specific areas of interest include: 1) The role of maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation on short- and long-term maternal and child health, and the health of subsequent generations; 2) Determining how and when to intervene to improve maternal and child nutrition in the context of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Since 2013, Dr. Widen has lead Center research focusing on the effects of maternal body size and pregnancy weight gain on long-term maternal and child health. Dr. Widen holds a Thrasher Early Career Award to examine the pathways between maternal nutrition and prenatal exposure to in-home pesticides and air pollution with child neurodevelopment in the Mothers and Newborns Study. She also holds a K99/R00 award that focuses on the role of pregnancy weight trajectories in child adiposity and metabolic health. She collaborates on the Center’s work involving obesity, body composition, metabolic health and diet.