As an epidemiologist and a medical doctor, I study sexual and reproductive health with a goal of preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and improving reproductive outcomes for women and men. I have a particular interest understanding how context (e.g., endemic disease, social norms, demographic factors, and cultural and institutional structures) influences health and disease. Methodologically, I focus on using innovative methods to obtain high quality data about sensitive and stigmatized topics. Much of my research has been conducted in eastern and southern Africa, and I have had the opportunity to work with fantastic research collaborators.
I joined the faculty at The Ohio State University in September 2011 with appointments in the Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health and the Division of Infectious Diseases, College of Medicine. As a faculty member, my goal is to develop, conduct, and evaluate epidemiologic and social science research that will lead to improvements in sexual and reproductive health.
Partnering with an interdisciplinary team of scientists and health practitioners at OSU and in Malawi, I have initiated a program of research in Malawi called Umoyo wa Thanzi (UTHA, Health for Life). Overall, the project aims to understand how women’s and men’s decision making impacts 1) fertility, family planning, pregnancy, and childbirth; and 2) HIV and STI testing and treatment. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and multiple OSU grants, we have carried out three waves of a longitudinal study in a cluster-randomized sample of more than 1,000 reproductive aged women and their partners. With a Gates Grand Challenges Explorations Grant, we are assessing barriers and facilitators to contraceptive use among UTHA cohort participants. This research partnership and community cohort serve as an ideal platform for investigating complex sexual and reproductive health research questions.
As an MD/PhD student, I conducted a multi-year, multi-disciplinary study of sexual behavior and STIs among plantation residents near Moshi, Tanzania.
As a post-doctoral fellow, I studied contraceptive use and the consequences of unwanted pregnancy in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Click here to learn about Dr. Norris' experience as a scientist at The Ohio State University.
Click here to read in Ohio State Public Health about improving reproductive and sexual health.
Faculty member, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, OSU
Member, Institute for Population Research, OSU
Member, Insititue of Infectious Diseases, OSU
Member, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, OSU