Allana T. Forde, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Stadtman Investigator

Epidemiology and Genetics Research Area


Building 3, Room 5W23
3 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

Motivated by the stark racial and ethnic disparities in health, Dr. Forde’s research focuses on the stressors that are more frequently experienced by racial and ethnic minority populations and the impact that these stressors have on health and health disparities across the life course. She is particularly interested in examining how stressors, such as discrimination contribute to cardiovascular disease and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, with a specific focus on African American, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latinx populations. Her research explores the heterogeneity within and between racial and ethnic minority groups to identify protective and adaptive factors that may explain why certain groups do not develop adverse health outcomes arising from stress. An extension of her research includes exploring biomarkers of stress, accelerated aging and epigenetic changes. Dr. Forde hopes to translate her research findings into culturally appropriate interventions or strategies that aim to improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations and minimize health disparities.


Allana T. Forde, PhD, MPH, is a Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator and an NIH Distinguished Scholar in the Division of Intramural Research of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). She received her BA in Child Development and Community Health from Tufts University, MPH in Epidemiology from George Washington University, and PhD in Epidemiology from Columbia University. Prior to joining NIMHD, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University. During her fellowship, she was awarded a research grant from the American Heart Association and was selected to participate in the NIH Saunders-Watkins Leadership Workshop for early career investigators who are committed to the field of implementation research for health equity. Dr. Forde uses rigorous methods to conduct epidemiologic research examining the social determinants of racial and ethnic minority health and health disparities. Her research falls under the following domains:

  1. Health Disparities
  2. Immigrant Health
  3. Racial and Ethnic Minority Health

Selected Publications

  1. Forde AT, Sims M, Muntner P, Lewis T, Onwuka A, Moore K, Diez Roux AV. Discrimination and Hypertension Risk Among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study. Hypertension. 2020;76(3):715-723.
  2. Forde AT, Lewis TT, Kershaw KN, Bellamy SL, Diez Roux AV. Perceived Discrimination and Hypertension Risk Among Participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021;10(5):e019541.
  3. Forde AT, Sims M, Wang X, Barber S, Diez Roux AV. The role of perceived discrimination in predicting changes in health behaviours among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2021;75(12):1222-1231.
  4. Aronoff JE, Quinn EB, Forde AT, Glover LM, Reiner A, McDade TW, Sims M. Associations between perceived discrimination and immune cell composition in the Jackson Heart Study. Brain Behav Immun. 2022;103:28-36.
  5. Lawrence WR, Jones GS, Johnson JA, Ferrell KP, Johnson JN, Shiels MS, Diez Roux AV, Forde AT. Discrimination Experiences and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2023;16(4):e009697.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, September 1, 2023