Assistant Professor, Epidemiology
5130 Public Health, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Primary Phone: 967-193-0119
Web site: https://www.publichealth.pitt.edu/home/directory/dara-d-mendez
My research program explores the role of social context in determining outcomes related to pregnancy, birth and women's health. I specifically apply frameworks and approaches focused on the social determinants of health equity (and health disparities). I employ novel methods to measure and understand neighborhood environments, various forms of racism (including institutional and structural racism) and social stress.
2002 | Spelman College, Atlanta, GA | B.A.
2005 | University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC | M.P.H. (Maternal and Child Health)
2005 | University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC | Interdisciplinary Certificate in Health Disparities
2009 | University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC | Ph.D. (Maternal and Child Health, minor in Epidemiology; specialization in Perinatal Epidemiology)
Women's Health Epidemiology; Research Seminar in Reproductive/Perinatal/Pediatric Epidemiology
Overview of Health Equity; Research Methods in Health Equity
2017-2022 | NIH, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Postpartum weight retention and cardiometabolic disparities: The effects of contextual, psychosocial, and behavioral factors (R01 HL135218-01). Role: PI.
2013-2017 | NIH, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Real Time Data
Collection with Adaptive Sampling and Innovative Technologies (5R01HL107370),
Role: PI of Diversity
Supplement to R01 (PI: LE Burke), Co-I.
2015 | Academy Health/Aetna Foundation Scholars in Residence Fellowship.
2014-2015 | University Center for Social and Urban Research, University of Pittsburgh, Steven Manners Faculty Development Award. The development of a measure of neighborhood wellbeing for Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Role: PI (Co-PI: Fabio).
2012-2015 | The Aetna Foundation
Neighborhood environment and racial
disparities in maternal obesity, infant mortality, and preterm birth.
Advisory Board, Women Engaged
Member, Infant Mortality Strategic Planning Committee, Allegheny County Health Department
Editorial Board, Women’s Reproductive Health
Editorial Board, Maternal and Child Health Journal
Reviewer, International Journal of Health
Reviewer, American Journal of Public Health
Reviewer, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Community Research Advisory Board, University of Pittsburgh’s Center for
Volunteer, Community Connections, Ellis School
Volunteer, Investing NOW
Member, Kellogg Foundation Birth Outcomes Think Tank
Maternal and Child Health (Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes)
Epidemiology (Social and Perinatal)
Program Assessment and Evaluation
Community-Partnered and Driven Research Approaches