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Edmond Shenassa

Edmond Shenassa

Associate Professor, Family Science

Edmond D. Shenassa, Sc.D., MA was recruited from Brown University in 2008 to become the founding director of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program in the Department of Family Science. With a dual doctorate in Epidemiology and MCH from Harvard School of Public Health and a master’s in quantitative research methods from UCLA, Dr. Shenassa's population-based investigations focus on social determinants (e.g., income inequality, housing quality) of health over the life course.


SPH | Room 1142GG

(301) 405-3658


Shenassa investigates the synergy between modifiable determinants of prenatal and perinatal health (e.g., breastfeeding by smokers). Much of this work is based on data Dr. Shenassa collected as the Principal Investigator of the Rhode Island Birth cohort study, an investigation of in-utero exposure to toxins and physical, cognitive and social development during infancy. His team recruited 650 women who were one-day post-partum and measured physical, mental and behavioral outcomes of the mother-infant dyad on three occasions during a 15 month follow-up period.

This work has been funded by Maternal and Child Health Bureaus (HRSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Flight Attendant’s Medical Research Institute, and Environmental Protection Agency. Last year, Dr. Shenassa was selected as a Graduate Mentor of the Year by the University of Maryland Graduate School.  He served as president-elect of the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health (ATMCH).

Sc.D., Dual Doctorate in Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health

Harvard University

MA, Social Research Methods


FMSC310 Maternal, Child and Family Health

FMSC710 Maternal and Child Health from a Life Course Perspective

FMSC720 Study Design in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology

University of Maryland Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award, 2016 

Summer Research and Scholarship Award (RASA), 2015 

Transdisciplinary Science Award.  Centers for Behavioral Medicine. Brown Medical, 2005

Transdisciplinary Science Award., Centers for Behavioral Medicine, Brown Medical School, 2003

New Investigator Symposia Award, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 2001

Shenassa ED, Papandonatos GD, Rogers ML, Buka SL. Elevated risk of nicotine dependence among sib-pairs discordant for maternal smoking during pregnancy: Evidence from a 40-year longitudinal study.  Epidemiology. 2015; 26(3):441-7. doi: 10.1097/EDE. 0000000000000270. PMID: 25767988

Shenassa ED, Rossen LM, Telomere length and age-at-menopause in the US, Maturitas.2015; 82: 215–221. 

Shenassa ED, Wen X, Braid S. Exposure to tobacco metabolites via breast milk and infant weight gain:  A population-based study. Journal of Human Lactation. 2015 DOI: 10.1177/0890334415619154.

Shenassa, E. D., Paradis, A., Dolan, S., Wilhelm, C., and Buka, S. (2012). Childhood impulsive behaviors and problem gambling by adulthood: A 30-year prospective community-based study. Addiction, 107(1), 160-168.

Lindberg, R.A., Shenassa, E.D., Acevedo-Garcia, D., Popkin, S.J., Villaveces, A., & Morley, R.L. Housing interventions at the neighborhood level and health: A review of the evidence. J Public Health Management Practice, 2010; 16(5):S44-S52.

Shenassa, E. D., Daskalakis, C., Liebhaber A., Braubach, M., & Brown, M. J. (2007). Dampness and mold in the home and depression: An examination of possible pathways. American Journal of Public Health.

Shenassa, E. D., Liebhaber, A., & Ezeamama, A. E. (2006). Perceived safety of area of residence and exercise: A pan-European study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 163(11), 1012-1017.

Shenassa, E. D., & Brown, M. J. (2004). Maternal smoking and infantile gastrointestinal dysregulation: The case of colic. Pediatrics, 114(4), e497-e506.

Shenassa, E. D., Stubbendick, A., & Brown, M. J. (2004). Social disparities in housing and related pediatric injury: A multilevel study. American Journal of Public Health, 94(4), 633-639.

Buka, S. L., Shenassa, E. D., & Niaura, R. (2003). Elevated risk of tobacco dependence among offspring of mothers who smoked during pregnancy: A 30-year prospective study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(11), 1978-1984.