Leigh Ann Simmons
Consulting Professor in the School of Nursing

Dr. Leigh Ann Simmons is Consulting Professor at Duke University and Professor and Chair of Human Ecology and Co-Director of the Perinatal Origins of Disparities Center at UC Davis. The overall aim of her research is to promote population health equity by reducing disparities in chronic disease risk among vulnerable and medically underserved populations. Her research has been funded by the USDA, the NIH, the Veterans Health Administration, and her universities of employment. Dr. Simmons has published extensively and presented nationally and internationally in three main areas: (1) characterizing co-occurring chronic disease risk factors for specific vulnerable populations (e.g., rural, historically minoritized groups, low socioeconomic status); (2) understanding the impact of early life exposures (e.g., prenatal, family, and community environments) on later life chronic disease risk; and (3) developing and testing personalized behavior change interventions to reduce chronic disease risk behaviors. Dr. Simmons earned a PhD in child and family development from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in couple and family therapy from MCP-Hahnemann University (now Drexel University), and a BA in literature/writing from the University of California at San Diego. Between 2005-2010 she served as a Health Disparities Scholar through the NIH Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Simmons has extensive policy experience, having served as a Congressional Fellow on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA).

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 307 Trent Drive, Pearson Room 3071, Durham, NC 27710
  • Duke Box 3322, Durham, NC 27710

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