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Elizabeth Holdsworth

Smiling woman with long dark hair and dark eyes

Elizabeth Holdsworth

Assistant Professor



4048 Smith Laboratory
174 W. 18th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210

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I am a biocultural anthropologist studying the early life determinants of health disparities. I conduct research with mothers and infants to better understand how social inequality differentially exposes people to adverse and stressful environments, and its impact on infant growth and development. My research uses frameworks from evolutionary theory like developmental plasticity and from epidemiology like the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Some of the biological mechanisms I study to answer these questions include the epigenome, microbiome, and neuroendocrine biomarkers like cortisol. 

Selected Publications:

Holdsworth, Elizabeth A., Janet E. Williams, Ryan M. Pace, Avery A. Lane, Maria Gartstein, Mark A. McGuire, Michelle K. McGuire, and Courtney L. Meehan. 2023. “Breastfeeding Patterns Are Associated with Human Milk Microbiome Composition: The Mother-Infant Microbiomes, Behavior, and Ecology Study (MIMBES).” PLOS ONE 18 (8): e0287839. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0287839.

Holdsworth, Elizabeth A., Lawrence M. Schell, and Allison A. Appleton. 2023. “Maternal–Infant Interaction Quality Is Associated with Child NR3C1 CpG Site Methylation at 7 Years of Age.” American Journal of Human Biology: e23876. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23876.

Appleton, Allison A., Kevin C. Kiley, Lawrence M. Schell, Elizabeth A. Holdsworth, Anuoluwapo Akinsanya, and Catherine Beecher. 2021. “Prenatal Lead and Depression Exposures Jointly Influence Birth Outcomes and NR3C1 DNA Methylation.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18 (22): 12169. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212169.

Appleton, Allison A., Betty Lin, Elizabeth A. Holdsworth, Beth J. Feingold, and Lawrence M. Schell. 2021. “Prenatal Exposure to Favorable Social and Environmental Neighborhood Conditions Is Associated with Healthy Pregnancy and Infant Outcomes.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18 (11): 6161. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18116161.

Holdsworth, Elizabeth A., and Allison A. Appleton. 2020. “Adverse Childhood Experiences and Reproductive Strategies in a Contemporary U.S. Population.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 171 (1): 37–49. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23967.

Holdsworth, Elizabeth A., and Lawrence M. Schell. 2017. “Maternal-Infant Interaction as an Influence on Infant Adiposity.” American Journal of Human Biology 29 (5): e23023. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23023.


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