Lauren Schmitz

Lauren Schmitz utilizes social, genomic, and epigenomic data from population-based longitudinal studies to examine how inequalities in the social environment shape disparities in health and socioeconomic attainment across the life course. Much of her work in this area has used quasi-experimental research designs and polygenic scores to better understand the degree to which policy-relevant social exposures and genetic diversity contribute to health and educational attainment. Other ongoing research examines workplace determinants of racial health disparities in birth outcomes, and the long-term effects of exposure to economic recessions in early childhood on physical and financial well-being at older ages. In 2017, she received a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to examine social determinants of epigenetic processes related to aging and neurodegenerative disease. Her research has been supported by the NIA, the National Science Foundation, the Social Security Administration, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the March of Dimes. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research and recently received an M.S. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan.