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Melissa Furlong PhD

Melissa  Furlong PhD

Assistant Professor

Community, Environment & Policy Department

1295 N. Martin Ave

PO Box: 245210
Tucson AZ 85724-5163
(520) 626-6925


Dr. Furlong is an environmental epidemiologist who studies the chronic health effects of environmental contaminants, with an emphasis on pesticides and neurological outcomes. She holds a PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master’s in Public Policy from Duke University, and a B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience, also from Duke University. She is the recipient of a Pathway to Independence Award from NIEHS (K99/R00).

Research Synopsis

Dr. Furlong's primary research interests include developing and implementing novel approaches to investigate associations between environmental contaminants and longitudinal chronic health outcomes, particularly neurological health. She uses a variety of methodological approaches to achieve these goals, including the use of -OMICs technologies (particularly meta-bolomics and epigenomics), as well as developing and linking large exposure databases with state-wide health outcomes databases. With researchers in Atmospheric Sciences and Geography, she is developing a geo-spatial model of atmospheric dispersions of pesticide applications in the state of Arizona to estimate exposure to pesticide drift during critical windows of development. She is also using Arizona Medicaid Claims Records (AHCCCS) and birth certificates, to construct case control studies for pathologies. Finally, she is investigating the meta-bolomic and epigenomic signatures of pesticide exposures, and their potential signaling capacity for novel chronic health outcomes. Dr. Furlong has other collaborations across the University to investigate air pollution and respiratory outcomes, neurological outcomes, and obesity in both the United States and abroad.

Curriculum Vitae: 

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