Jennifer Straughen

Jennifer K Straughen, PhD

Specialties: Research

Services: Epidemiology

Board Certification and Education

  • University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, FL, 2010
  • Texas A&M University, TX, 2005

About Me

Biographical Statement

Dr. Straughen is a perinatal epidemiologist with broad expertise in studying prenatal factors that influence maternal and child health across the life course. She has a strong interest in the role of the placenta in mediating perinatal and children’s health outcomes and has several on-going projects that investigate relationships between prenatal and early life exposures, placental function, and childhood health outcomes. Accordingly, much of her research is investigating various aspects of the placenta, including metabolomics and epigenomics and how it might influence pregnancy outcomes like preterm birth as well as more distal childhood health outcomes, such as autism spectrum disorder (DoD AR180175). She is currently MPI of a project that is part of a NIEHS Superfund grant (1P42ES030991). This project is investigating the impact of volatile organic compound exposure on the risk of preterm birth in Detroit in a cohort of approximately 1100 pregnancies. This project will investigate changes placental epigenetics and gene expression that may be associated with exposure to volatile organic compounds. In addition, Dr. Straughen is MPI of a birth cohort in ECHO (Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes), a nationwide research project that seeks to learn how the environment impacts children’s health (UG3OD035518). Finally, Dr. Straughen is engaged in collaborations aimed at improving pregnancy outcomes by addressing social determinants of health among African American women at Henry Ford Health.


Associate Scientist, Department of Public Health Sciences

Research Interests

  • Perinatal epidemiology
  • Developmental origins of health and disease
  • Placental function
  • Neurodevelopment

Awards & Honors

  • Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration Public Health Traineeship, 2003-2004
  • Graduate Professional Student Organization Conference Presentation Grant, 2006
  • Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Training Grant, 2005-2007
  • U.S. Public Health Traineeship, 2006-2009
  • Trainee Award to attend the 2007 Summit on Environmental Challenges to Reproductive Health and Fertility, 2007

Videos and Articles

  • Videos
  • Blog Posts


Location Pin
Henry Ford Medical Group
One Ford Place
Detroit, MI 48202

Hospital Privileges

  • Henry Ford Hospital

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