Gillings School Directory
Amanda Thompson, PhD

Amanda Thompson, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Nutrition
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology

I am a human biologist specializing in human growth and nutrition. I focus on the biological pathways linking early life social, behavioral and physical environments to the development of obesity and chronic disease across a range of national and international settings, including North Carolina, China, and Ecuador. I am particularly interested in how early life nutrition and environmental exposures shape long-term health and obesity risk.

My research combines laboratory, anthropological and epidemiological approaches to examine the effects of local environments in shaping human growth and development early in life and their lasting impacts on health and well-being throughout the lifespan. My work focuses on: the effects of early diet on the development of the intestinal microbiome as an underlying pathway linking infant feeding and the development of obesity; the structural, social, maternal and infant characteristics contributing to the development of an obesogenic environment; and the physical and social environments associated with the development of inflammation in children, adolescents, and adults. 

Research Activities

  • Biomedical anthropology
  • Nutrition
  • Human biology
  • Early life determinants of body composition and obesity
  • Infant and child feeding

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