Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry
Keely Cheslack-Postava earned a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins in 2008. Her research interests focus on the impacts of environmental exposures on early life health and development. Her dissertation research involved investigation of whether fetal exposure to autoantibodies of maternal or fetal origin is associated with later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, motivated by previous research linking these disorders to autoimmunity. Her research has also involved examining the potential role of environmental pollutants and genetic factors in influencing autism risk.
As a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar, Keely has expanded her conception of "environment" to encompass social factors and their interaction with biology in the etiology of autism and autism diagnosis. Current areas of focus are birth order, family size, and gender. She remains interested in the effects of more traditional environmental exposures, and is working to develop a pilot study using biomarkers to assess prenatal exposure to lead and persistent organic pollutants.