Position title: Associate Professor, Population Health Sciences
Phone: (608) 262-0739
589 WARF Bldg., 610 Walnut Street
As an environmental epidemiologist with research expertise in understanding human variability in response to both social and environmental stressors as a root cause of health disparities, I am very well-suited to be a member of the Center for Demography and Ecology. I am Co-Director of the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW), and have overseen collection of detailed data on the social determinants of health including on social and behavioral health, diet, and the environment, as well as the collection and storage of biological samples for the last nine years. The SHOW program includes an extensive biorepository with stored whole blood DNA that provides a rich resource for measuring novel biomarkers of accelerated aging.
My recently funded research laboratory is housed within the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center (METC) where ongoing collaborations include investigations of the epigenome and transcriptomics research. I recently also published the first ever findings that show differential gene expression from smoking exposure among obese vs. non-obese. My lab focuses on developing new and novel methods for understanding cumulative risk and biomarkers of both exposure and response. Chronic-stress and racial discrimination are considered two important factors that modify human sensitivity to environmental exposures, both by increasing exposure potential and playing a role in metabolism of environmental toxicants. My background in health disparities research and interdisciplinary training in molecular and environmental epidemiology and policy make me well- suited to support the mission and goals of the Center for Demography and Ecology.
CDE research theme area affiliations
Spatial and Environmental Demography; Health and the Life Course; Biodemography; Demography of Inequality
Bergmans, Rachel, Mari Palta, Stephanie Robert, Lawrence Berger, Deborah Ehrenthal, and Kristen Malecki. “Associations between Food Security Status and Dietary Inflammatory Potential within Lower-Income Adults from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Cycles 2007 to 2014.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2018). PubMed Central ID 5971121.
Eggers, Shoshannah, Nasia Safdar, and Kristen Malecki. “Heavy Metal Exposure and Nasal Staphylococcus Aureus Colonization: Analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (Nhanes).” Environmental Health 17, no. 1 (2018): 2. PubMed Central ID 5756436
Malecki, Kristen, Amy Schultz, and Rachel Bergmans. “Neighborhood Perceptions and Cumulative Impacts of Low Level Chronic Exposure to Fine Particular Matter (Pm2.5) on Cardiopulmonary Health.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15, no. 1 (2018): 84. PubMed Central ID 5800183.
Bergmans, Rachel, Lawrence M. Berger, Mari Palta, Stephanie A. Robert, Deborah B. Ehrenthal, and Kristen Malecki. “Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Maternal Depressive Symptoms: Moderation by Program Perception.” Social Science & Medicine 197 (2018): 1-8. PubMed Central ID 5763005.
Nikodemova, Maria, Jeremiah Yee, Patrick R. Carney, Christopher A. Bradfield, and Kristen Malecki. “Transcriptional Differences between Smokers and Non-Smokers and Variance by Obesity as a Risk Factor for Human Sensitivity to Environmental Exposures.” Environment International 113 (2018): 249-58. PubMed Central ID 5866236.
Bergmans, Rachel, and Kristen Malecki. “The Association of Dietary Inflammatory Potential with Depression and Mental Well-Being among Us Adults.” Preventive Medicine 99 (2017): 313-19. PubMed Central ID 5484161.
Malecki, Kristen, Amy Schultz, Dolores Severtson, Henry Anderson, and James VanDerslice. “Private-Well Stewardship among a General Population Based Sample of Private Well-Owners.” Science of the Total Environment 601 (2017): 1533-43. PubMed Central ID 5662198.
Beyer, Kristen, Kristen Malecki, Kelly Hoormann, Aniko Szabo, and Ann Nattinger. “Perceived Neighborhood Quality and Cancer Screening Behavior: Evidence from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin.” Journal of community health 41, no. 1 (2016): 134-37. PubMed Central ID 4984667.