Research Investigator, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
Dr. Noppert’s work lies at the intersection of biology, sociology, and epidemiology. Her work seeks to explain how social processes across the life course, such as socioeconomic status, impact a person’s biology. For example, does experiencing persistent disadvantage throughout life contribute to premature aging of the immune system?
She began her work as an infectious disease epidemiologist examining health disparities in tuberculosis (TB) in the U.S. Her work has consistently documented a strong social component underlying the distribution of TB. Those most vulnerable in the U.S. population are bearing the greatest burden of TB. Her current work now focuses on persistent viral infections (example: CMV, HSV-1, etc) and how they may be aging the immune system prematurely. However, in order to fully grasp the impact of these infections you have to look at the social environment. Understanding the link between social factors, infections, and immune function may hold clues to explaining persistent health disparities across the life course.