Lauren C. Houghton
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University
Lauren C. Houghton, PhD, takes a biosocial and life course approach to breast cancer prevention. Using tools from biological anthropology and molecular epidemiology, she focuses on hormones as the mechanism that links what happens above the skin with that beneath the skin. Specifically, she examines the steroid metabolome in relation to intermediate outcomes, including pubertal development and the menstrual cycle, and breast cancer risk. She has extensively worked with migrant studies in Bangladesh, the UK and Mongolia to better understand reproductive factors among females moving from low to high risk geographic areas. She has conducted fieldwork with Native Americans in the Southwest US, menopausal women in the UK and school girls in Bangladesh and is currently a co-investigator of The LEGACY Girls Study in New York City. Having a background in anthropology, Dr. Houghton is also interested in developing mixed-methods to be implemented in epidemiological studies to better capture biological and cultural mediators of health disparities. She is currently exploring how digital menstrual health can be used in the dissemination and implementation of the latest breast cancer science. Ultimately, by understanding how culture is embedded in our biology and designing culturally compelling interventions she aims to improve the translation of preventative medicine to the public.