Lisa M. Bodnar, PhD, MPH, RD

Professor, Epidemiology


5129 Public Health, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
R-znvy: obqane@rqp.cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-4587
Fax: 967-179-2842
Web site:

Ellen Mooney, ryz664@cvgg.rqh, 967-179-6808

Personal Statement

I am a nutritional and perinatal epidemiologist, and the goal of my research is to discover the healthiest weight and dietary patterns that promote the health of pregnant women and their children.  Through a strong research portfolio of federal funding, I have contributed to scientific advances in our understanding of optimal weight gain recommendations during pregnancy, the reproductive consequences of maternal obesity and the role of vitamin D deficiency in adverse birth outcomes.  I have contributed my experience to several national panels that set guidelines for nutrition during pregnancy, including the Institute of Medicine Committee to Reevaluate Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines, the National Academies of Medicine Committee on Scoping Existing Guidelines for Feeding Recommendations for Infants and Young Children Under Age 2 and the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services Pregnancy Working Group that will provide evidence for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  My research has been used in 9 reports of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, as well as key recommendations, practice guidelines or action statements from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the U.S. Preventive Task Force, the American Public Health Association and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, along with international agencies, including the WHO.


1998 | B.S.P.H. Summa Cum Laude with Highest Honors, Nutrition | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

1998 | Dietetic Internship | University of North Carolina Hospitals

1999 | M.P.H., Nutrition | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2002 | Ph.D., Nutrition; Epidemiology Minor | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2002-2004 | Postdoctoral Fellowship (reproductive biology) | Magee-Womens Research Institute and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


EPIDEM 2921:  Grant Writing, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health.  Primary Instructor.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Maternal nutritional status and birth outcomes
  • Gestational weight gain
  • Reproductive consequences of obesity
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Reproductive epidemiology

Research Support

Grant Support as Principal Investigator



  • Informing National Guidelines on Diet Patterns that Promote Healthy Pregnancy Outcomes (R01 HD102313). NIH/NICHD, 2020 to 2025. Role: Principal Investigator with Ashley Naimi.
  • Innovative Approaches to Inform Evidence-based Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines (R01 HD094777). NIH/NICHD, 2018 to 2022. Role: Principal Investigator with Jennifer Hutcheon.


  • Informing Evidence-based Maternal Weight Gain Guidelines for Twin Pregnancies (R01 NR014245). NIH/NINR, 2013 to 2018. Role: Principal Investigator with Jennifer Hutcheon.
  • Innovative Approaches to Inform Evidence-based Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines (R01 HD072008). NIH/NICHD, 2013 to 2018. Role: Principal Investigator with Jennifer Hutcheon.
  • Maternal Vitamin D Status and Preterm Birth (U01 DP003177). CDC, 2011 to 2015.
  • Maternal Obesity, Weight Gain, and the Black-White Disparity in Stillbirth (R21 HD067851). NIH/NICHD, 2011 to 2014.
  • Maternal Obesity, Weight Gain, and the Black-White Disparity in Pregnancy Outcome (R21 HD065807). NIH/NICHD, 2011 to 2013.
  • Vitamin D: A Link to Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes (R01 HD056999). NIH/NICHD, 2008 to 2014.
  • Perinatal Depression and Maternal Nutritional Status (K01 MH074092). NIH/NIMH, 2006 to 2010.

Honors and Awards

2002 | Abraham Lilienfeld Student Prize.  Society for Epidemiologic Research.

2003 | A. Hughes Bryan Outstanding Doctoral Award.  Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2003 | Irene McLenahan Young Investigator Award.  Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

2005 | Dannon Institute Nutrition Leadership Institute participant. Dannon Institute.

2005 | Member, 53rd Annual Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Work Group on Obesity and Reproductive Health.

2006 | NCDEU New Investigator Award.  National Institute of Mental Health.

2006 | American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Young Investigator Award.

2008-2009 | Member, Institute of Medicine Committee to Reevaluate Weight Guidelines during Pregnancy.

2012 | Young Professional Achievement Award.  The Coalition for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology.

2013 | Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award (Junior Scholar), the University of Pittsburgh.

2015 | The Mary Lewis Endowment Lectureship, Michigan State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

2016-2018 | Member, Pregnancy Work Group, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Foundational Review Project on the Diet and Health for Pregnancy and Birth to 24 months.

2017 | Outstanding Alumnus Award, Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2020 | Member, the National Academies of Medicine Committee on Scoping Existing Guidelines for Feeding Recommendations for Infants and Young Children Under Age 2.


Selected Publications

Selected Publications taken from 163 total.  The complete List of Published Work can be found in My Bibliography.


Maternal Obesity and Pregnancy Weight Gain 


Bodnar LM, Himes KP, Abrams B, Lash TL, Parisi SM, Eckhardt CL, Braxter BJ, Minion S, Hutcheon JA. Gestational Weight Gain and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Twin Pregnancies. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2019 Nov; 134 (5):1075-1086. PMID: 31599828. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Himes KP, Hutcheon JA. Optimal Gestational Weight Gain. JAMA. 2019 Sep 17; 322 (11):1106-07. PMID: 31529002. PubMed.


Hutcheon JA, Bodnar LM. Good Practices for Observational Studies of Maternal Weight and Weight Gain in Pregnancy. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2018 Mar; 32 (2):152-160. PMID: 29345321. PubMed.


Lemon LS, Naimi AI, Abrams B, Kaufman JS, Bodnar LM. Prepregnancy obesity and the racial disparity in infant mortality. Obesity. 2016 Dec; 24 (12):2578-84. PMID: 27891829. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Pugh SJ, Lash TL, Hutcheon JA, Himes KP, Parisi SM, Abrams B. Low Gestational Weight Gain and Risk of Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in Obese and Severely Obese Women. Epidemiology. 2016 Nov; 27 (6):894-902. PMID: 27682365. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Siminerio LL, Himes KP, Hutcheon JA, Lash TL, Parisi SM, Abrams B. Maternal obesity and gestational weight gain are risk factors for infant death. Obesity. 2016 Feb; 24 (2):490-8. PMID: 26572932. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Parks WT, Perkins K, Pugh SJ, Platt RW, Feghali M, Florio K, Young O, Bernstein S, Simhan HN. Maternal prepregnancy obesity and cause-specific stillbirth. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015 Oct; 102 (4):858-64. PMID: 26310539. PubMed.



Diet and Supplement Use During Pregnancy


Bodnar LM, Cartus AR, Kirkpatrick SI, Himes KP, Kennedy EH, Simhan HN, Grobman WA, Dufffy JY, Silver RM, Parry S, Naimi AI. Machine Learning as a Strategy to Account for Dietary Synergy: An Illustration Based on Dietary Intake and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2020 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 32108865. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Simhan HN, Parker CB, et al. Racial or Ethnic and Socioeconomic Inequalities in Adherence to National Dietary Guidance in a Large Cohort of US Pregnant Women. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017 Jun; 117 (6):867-877. PMID: 28320597. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Tang G, Ness RB, Harger G, Roberts JM. Periconceptional multivitamin use reduces the risk of preeclampsia. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2006 Sep; 164 (5):470-7. PMID: 16772374. PubMed.



Vitamin D


Bodnar LM, Platt RW, Simhan HN. Early-pregnancy Vitamin D Deficiency and Risk of Preterm Birth Subtypes. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2015 Feb;125 (2):439-47. PMID: 25569002. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Simhan HN, Catov JM, Roberts JM, Platt RW, Diesel JC, Klebanoff MA. Maternal Vitamin D Status and the Risk of Mild and Severe Preeclampsia. Epidemiology. 2014 Mar; 25 (2):207-14. PMID: 24457526. PubMed


Bodnar LM, Klebanoff MA, Gernand AD, Platt RW, Parks WT, Catov JM, Simhan HN. Maternal Vitamin D Status and Spontaneous Preterm Birth by Placental Histology in the US Collaborative Perinatal Project. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2014 Jan 15; 179 (2):168-76. PMID: 24124195. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Catov JM, Simhan HN, Holick MF, Powers RW, Roberts JM. Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency Increases the Risk of Preeclampsia. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2007 Sep; 92 (9):3517-22. PMID: 17535985. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Simhan HN, Powers RW, Frank MP, Cooperstein E, Roberts JM. High Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency in Black and White Pregnant Women Residing in the Northern United States and Their Neonates. The Journal of Nutrition. 2007 Feb; 137 (2):447-52. PMID: 17237325. PubMed.





MacLehose RF, Bodnar LM, Meyer CS, Chu H, Lash TL. Hierarchical Semi-Bayes Methods for Misclassification in Perinatal Epidemiology. Epidemiology. 2018 Mar; 29 (2):183-190.PMID: 29166302. PubMed.


Naimi AI, Schnitzer ME, Moodie EE, Bodnar LM. Mediation Analysis for Health Disparities Research. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2016 Aug; 184 (4):315-24. PMID: 27489089. PubMed.


Lash TL, Abrams B, Bodnar LM. Comparison of bias analysis strategies applied to a large data set. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.). 2014 Jul; 25 (4):576-82. PMID: 24815306. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Abrams B, Bertolet M, Gernand AD, Parisi SM, Himes KP, Lash TL. Validity of birth certificate-derived maternal weight data. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2014 May; 28 (3):203-12. PMID: 24673550. PubMed.


Bodnar LM, Davidian M, Siega-Riz AM, Tsiatis AA. Marginal structural models for analyzing causal effects of time-dependent treatments: an application in perinatal epidemiology. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2004 May; 159 (10);926-34. PMID: 15128604. PubMed.

Lisa M. Bodnar