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CANCELED: Biological Mediators and Moderators of Social Disadvantage

September 14, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

This seminar has been cancelled due to weather.

On Friday, September 14, Colter Mitchell, PhD will present Biological Mediators and Moderators of Social Disadvantage as part of the Carolina Population Center 2018-2019 Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.

Mitchell is Research Assistant Professor of the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and is a Faculty Associate of the University of Michigan Population Studies Center.

Mitchell is hosted by Carolina Population Center Fellow Guang Guo. Guo is Dr. George and Alice Welsh Distinguished Professor of Sociology. Guo is a CPC Training Program Alum: he was a Postdoctoral Fellow from 1991-1993.

Professor Mitchell is part of an NIH initiative to explore social epigenomics related to health disparities.

Friday, Sept. 14
Carolina Square Room 2002
123 West Franklin Street

Location information is here.


Measures of social disadvantage such as poverty, parental incarceration, and family instability have well documented health and behavioral consequences for children, which can even reach into adulthood. Social disadvantage likely operates through both social and biological mechanisms; however, only in the last decade and a half have we seen a rapid increase in the integration of social science and biology. I investigate biological correlates of social disadvantage using the Fragile Family and Child Wellbeing Study (n=4898), a population-based sample of children born in hospitals in 20 cities in the US. Families have been studied at birth and ages 1,3,5,9, and 15, with additions of genetic, epigenetic, and neuroimaging data collected more recently. Due to the study design the sample is racially and ethnically diverse and has lower SES levels than most large national studies- making it exceptionally rare within biosocial research. Of particular interest here are the correlations with genomic (polygenic scores, and changes in epigenetic profiles and telomere length) and functional and structural neuroimaging measures with the effect of cumulative disadvantage and timing of social disadvantage.

Research project: “Epigenetic Mediation of Adverse Social Context on Stress Response, Socioemotional Development, and Health in a Population-based Study of Minority and Low SES Children and Adolescents”

Selected publications

Instructors: To arrange for class attendance, contact Kate Allison ( by the Monday before the seminar

Streaming may be available and must be arranged at least one week in advance.

This seminar is part of the Carolina Population Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.


September 14, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Carolina Square Room 2002
123 W. Franklin St
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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(919) 962-5907