Dr. Margerison has a B.A. in biology from Tufts University and an M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2011, she earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin in the School of Social Work and the Population Research Center from 2011-2013. She joined the faculty in Epidemiology & Biostatistics at MSU in August, 2013.
Dr. Margerison’s research focuses on understanding the determinants of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in women’s health, particularly in and around the pregnancy period. Her work seeks to identify and assess policy changes and preventative strategies to eliminate such inequities.
Inequities in outcomes such as preterm birth, infant mortality, and maternal mortality have persisted for decades and remain largely unexplained by known individual-level risk factors. Dr. Margerison’s work thus moves beyond individual-level factors and takes a multi-level approach to examine the independent and joint contributions of factors at the individual-, community-, and macro-level (e.g., early life adversity, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and state-level economic conditions). She applies a life course perspective to her research, which emphasizes the importance of measuring exposures and experiences across a woman’s life course that contribute to her health during pregnancy and later in life.
One of Dr. Margerison’s major contributions to science has been in investigating the effects of macroeconomic conditions (e.g., recessions) on health, particularly pregnancy health and birth outcomes. She has also made significant contributions in understanding how early life stressors affect women’s health during pregnancy, examining pregnancy as a window to women’s later-life cardiovascular health, and investigating how neighborhood environments impact pregnancy outcomes.
Dr. Margerison’s current research has two major areas of focus. First, she is assessing the impacts of health and social policies, particularly the Affordable Care Act, on women’s preconception health, reproductive health behaviors, and pregnancy outcomes. Second, she is working to produce some of the first empirical evidence documenting the incidence of and disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity due to drug use, self-harm, and violence in the U.S.