Alison Norris, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor; Joint Appointment, College of Medicine/Infectious Diseases
Epidemiology

Phone: 614-688-3219
Email: anorris@cph.osu.edu

1841 Neil Ave.
326 Cunz Hall
Columbus, OH, 43210

Background

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 as an Assistant Professor 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 pilot funding from several OSU grants, we have carried out two 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. 

Memberships

Faculty member, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, OSU
Member, Institute for Population Research, OSU
Member, Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases, OSU
Member, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, OSU
Member, Center for Microbial Interface Biology, OSU

Education

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2008-2011
M.D., Yale University School of Medicine, 2008
Ph.D., Yale University School of Epidemiology and Public Health, 2006
B.A., Department of Biology, Yale University, 1994

Selected Publications

Norris A, Weisband J, Wiles M, Ickovics J. Migrant workers at increased risk for prevalent HIV, HSV-2 and syphilis. International Journal of STD and AIDS (accepted November 2016)

Berlan E, Pritt N, Norris A. Pediatricians’ experiences providing LARC to their patients. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (accepted September 2016)

Esber A*, Rao N, Norris A, Carr Reese P, Kandodo J, Nampendi P, Jumbe E, Turner A. Intravaginal practices and prevalence of sexual and reproductive tract infections among women in rural Malawi. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (accepted August 2016)

Rao N*, Esber A, Turner A,, Chilewani J, Banda, V, Norris A. Who decides? Joint decision making leads to better obstetric choices. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. April 2016.

Norris A, Harrington B, Hemed M, Grossman D, Hindin M. Causes and consequences of induced abortion among a community-based snowball sample of Zanzibari women. Reproductive Health. February 2016.

Norris A, Hachey K, Curtis A, Bourdeaux M. Crippling violence: correlations of violence and polio incidence in Afghanistan. Plos ONE. January 2016.

Bessett D, Gerdts C, Littman L, Kavanaugh M, Norris A. Does State-Level Context Matter for Individual’s Knowledge about Abortion, Legality, and Health? Challenging the “Red States v. Blue States” Hypothesis. Culture, Health and Sexuality. Volume 17, Issue 6. 2015.

Esber A*, Foraker R, Hemed M, Norris A. Partner approval and intention to use contraception among women presenting for post-abortion care at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, Zanzibar. Contraception. Volume 90, Issue 1, 2014.

Gallo M, Norris A, Turner AN. Female condoms: New choices, old questions. Commentary in The Lancet Global Health. Volume 1, Issue 3, 2013.

Kavanaugh M, Bessett D, Norris A, Littman L. Connecting knowledge about abortion and sexual and reproductive health to belief about abortion restrictions: findings from an online survey. Women’s Health Issues. Volume 23, Number 4, 2013.

Norris Turner A, Paul P, and Norris A. Limited benefit of repeating a sensitive question in a cross-sectional sexual health study. BMC Medical Research Methodology. Volume 13, Issue 34, 2013.

Norris A, Jackson A, and Khoshnood K. Exploring the ethics of observational research: The case of an HIV study in Tanzania, American Journal of Bioethics Primary Research. Volume 4, Issue 1, Jan-Mar 2013.

Norris A and Worby E. The sexual economy of sugar: AIDS and privatization on a Tanzanian plantation, American Ethnologist, Volume 39, Number 2, May 2012.

Norris A, Bessett D, Steinberg J, Kavanaugh M, DeZordo S, and Becker D. Abortion Stigma: A Reconceptualization of Constituents, Causes, and Consequences. Women’s Health Issues. Volume 21, No. 3S. May/June 2011.

Gipson JD, Becker D, Mishtal J, Norris A. Conducting Abortion Research in International Settings. Women’s Health Issues. Volume 21, No. 3S. May/June 2011.

Norris A. Intimate partner violence and STIs among Tanzanian sugar plantation residents. Gender-based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health (eds: Donta B, Shah I, and Puri C), Proceedings of International Conference on Gender-based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health, Mumbai. India: Varun Enterprises. 2010

Norris A, Kitali A, and Worby E. Alcohol and transactional sex: How risky is the mix? Social Science and Medicine, Volume 69, Issue 8, 1167-1176, September 2009

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