Dan Belsky, PhD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, USA
Dr. Belsky is currently an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. He is an epidemiologist working at the intersection of genetics, the social and behavioral sciences, and public health. His work brings together discoveries from the cutting edge of genome science with longitudinal data from population-based cohorts and randomized trials to identify mechanisms that cause accelerated health decline in older age. His research focuses on understanding why socioeconomically disadvantaged populations face shorter healthy lifespans, with the aim of improving intervention strategies to mitigate this health inequality.
Dr. Belsky’s work builds on evidence that processes of accelerated health decline in aging have their roots much earlier in the life-course. He primarily focuses on cohorts of children and young and midlife adults as well as older adults to better understand how genetics and environment combine to shape biological processes of aging across the lifespan.
Currently, Dr. Belsky is PI of an NIA-funded project to develop a multi-omics databases for the CALERIE Trial (R01AG061378) and MPI of an NIA-funded project to develop a multi-omics database for the Dutch Hunger Winter Family Study (R01AG066887). These projects investigate how caloric restriction affects the pace of biological aging and how in-utero undernutrition contributes to the pathogenesis of aging-related health decline. With support from the Russell Sage Foundation, the Jacobs Foundation, and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Dr. Belsky is investigating how early-life and life-course social disadvantage influence the pace of biological aging.
Dr. Belsky recently developed a novel DNA methylation measure test to quantify the pace of biological aging from a single-time-point blood test in collaboration with the Moffitt-Caspit Lab at Duke University.
Prior to coming to Columbia, Dr. Belsky was Assistant Professor of Medicine and of Population Health Sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine, where he previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. Dr. Belsky earned his BA from Swarthmore College and his PhD from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.