Lynne Messer teaches across the educational spectrum, from undergraduate epidemiology, master’s level women’s health, masters and doctoral health and social inequalities, and doctoral research methods.
Her research explores the intersection of social-environmental justice and residential segregation in exacerbating maternal and child health disparities among vulnerable populations. Her early work focused on better characterizing the built and social environments for population-based epidemiologic disparities research. Her later work incorporated other non-social area-level exposures, including air pollution and environmental contaminants, for maternal and child health. In her current work, she seeks to integrate these related environmental factors with research on fetal development and intergenerational transmission to understand the potential for fetal priming to explain the persistence of health disparities among vulnerable subpopulations.
B.S., University of Oregon, Community Health, 1989
M.P.H., UNC-Chapel Hill, Health Behavior and Health Education, 1995
Ph.D., UNC-Chapel Hill, Epidemiology, 2005
Awards and Honors
- 2016, Dean’s Award for Scholarly Achievement-Junior Faculty
- 2004, Student paper prize, International Conference on Urban Health
- 2003, Student paper prize, International Conference on Urban Health
- 1999-2005, Royster Society of Fellows multiyear doctoral fellowship
- 1995, Delta Omega Society, Theta Chapter
- “Exploring social factors influencing pregnancy outcome disparities among Latinas” Principal Investigator: Lynne C. Messer Mechanism: R21; Project period: 04/01/20160-3/31/2018 Funding: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
- “Taking responsible actions in life” Principal investigator: Barbara K Sheppard Role: Evaluation principal investigator Mechanism: 5-year evaluation grant Funding: Office of Adolescent Health; Duration: 07/01/2015-06/30/2020
- “Fetal priming for later-life disparities in allostatic load and heart disease – a data acquisition feasibility pilot” Principal investigator: Lynne C. Messer Funding: Portland State University faculty enhancement grant; Duration: 05/01/2015-04/30/2017
- “Girls on track” Principal investigator: Barbara K. Sheppard Role: Project evaluator Purpose: This project aims to impact region-wide social norms towards positive decision-making that will encourage students to avoid sexual risks. It will adopt a community-wide approach that targets students, parents, and school personnel and will incorporate three major components: sexual education, positive youth development, and parent-child connectedness. Funding: Health and Human Services Funds (evaluation only): $32,000; Duration: 1/1/2013-12/31/2015
- “Pathways to health and well-being: social networks of orphaned and abandoned children” Principal investigator: Lynne C. Messer Purpose: The proposed research sought to identify the composition and variance social network characteristics of OAC, including educational and employment-related supports; identify the sexual network composition and variance characteristics of OAC; and assess the association between the social network characteristics and health-related outcomes (education, income-generation) and between the sexual network characteristics and HIV-risk outcomes. Funding: National Institutes of Health Funds: $274,729; Duration: 04/01/2012 – 03/31/2014 (3/31/2015 – carryforward)
- “Positive outcomes for orphans” Principal investigator: Kathryn Whetten Role: Co-investigator Purpose: This study will continue to follow an existing cohort of more than 3,000 randomly selected orphaned and abandoned children over four years in six culturally diverse study sites in Cambodia, Ethiopia, India (Nagaland and Hyderabad), Kenya, and Tanzania. The objective of the study is to examine the influence of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community level factors on behavioral relationship outcomes (HIV risk behaviors, reproductive health, and family formation) and achievement outcomes (continued education, income generating activities, and civic engagement). Funding: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development HIV/AIDS and Orphan Care Funds: $3,397,307; Duration: 09/01/2010 – 08/31/2015
- “Guide to Healing” Principal investigator: Evelyn Byrd Quinlivan Role: Co-investigator and project evaluator Purpose: This project will implement and evaluate a program of primary HIV nursing care to promote medical care engagement and health literacy, provides social support, psychiatric and addiction services on site and employs a nurse guide. Three main interventions will be delivered to HIV+ women of color: 1) rapid linking 2) strengths based counseling and 3) peer-co led supportive-information group with literacy, coping, life skills and social support modules delivered on-site or by phone. Funding: Health Resources and Services Administration Funds: $2,000,000; Duration: 09/01/2009 – 08/31/2014 (8/31/2015 carryforward)
- “Assessing correlated adverse birth outcomes: constructing a bivariate probit model for preterm birth / low birth weight and testing the psychosocial mediation of built environment effects” Principal investigator: Lynne C. Messer Purpose: Using prospective cohort data, Durham County birth records and parcel audit data, the proposed research will construct a bivariate probit model for combined PTB/LBW outcome; examine how neighborhood environments are associated with bivariate PTB/LBW; explore possible differential associations of psychosocial status and bivariate PTB/LBW; and test if maternal psychosocial status mediates the observed relationship between the built environment and the bivariate PTB/LBW outcome Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Disparities, Loan Repayment Program Funds: up to $50,000; Duration: 08/01/2011 – 07/31/2013
¹ CEPH Primary Instructional Faculty
² CEPH Non-Primary Instructional Faculty
Experienced Faculty With Diverse Backgrounds
More than 150 faculty members work within the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. They have a wide range of expertise, from monitoring and assessing health risks and opportunities in populations, to helping build health-supporting social environments through policy, advocacy, and programs. They are educators, advisors, researchers, practitioners and community leaders. They come from backgrounds in quantitative, behavioral, environmental and social sciences, policy and government, exercise and health sciences and anthropology, among many other areas. They all work in collaboration with each other and with community partners, and are especially focused on the training and education of future leaders and practitioners in the public health fields.