Christy L. Avery, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Epidemiology
Christy Avery's research revolves around the promotion of cardiovascular health across the lifespan. To do so, Dr. Avery is interested in understanding the common genetic footprint shared by many chronic diseases as well as the influence of gene-environment interaction and genomic biomarkers, particularly metabolomics.
Christy Avery is an epidemiologist focusing on genomic epidemiology, gene-environment interaction, metabolomics, and approaches for assessing the burden of cardiovascular disease in diverse populations across the life course, including populations defined by the fundamental demographic characteristics of cohort, sex, race, and ethnicity. Her research in population sciences involves the use of longitudinal data and incorporating factors at multiple levels (e.g., cellular, individual, contextual) to examine patterns of change in health risk (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol), health behavior (e.g., alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, obesity) and their effects on the incidence and prevalence of chronic disease (e.g., cardiovascular disease, stroke, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis). In addition, her studies examine the role of genetic diversity in health behavior and disease risks in multi-ethnic U.S. populations, with recent efforts examining metabolomic correlates of health and disease. Dr. Avery also incorporates a life course perspective in her work in which she examines life course timing effects of age-specific emergence of gender and race/ethnic disparities in hypertension, obesity, and elevated cholesterol over the life course. Since 2015, she has led the Add Health team's genetics program of research and data dissemination.