Health Library
Health Library
Carmen Messerlian, PhD
Carmen Messerlian, PhD
Assistant professor of environmental reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology, Harvard University, Massachusetts, US
“I am committed to understanding how the world around us impacts human reproductive health and development. My motivation is always one of understanding and giving, equally in my pursuit of science as in humanity.”
— Carmen Messerlian, PhD
Career Highlights
  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 2019–present
  • Director of the Scientific Early Life Environmental Health & Development Program at Harvard University
  • Advisory member of the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals for the US Environmental Protection Agency, 2021–present
  • Associate Editor of the Human Reproduction journal by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, 2017–present
  • Research Scientist at Harvard University, 2018–2019, visiting scientist, 2014–2017
  • Clinical Nurse at Montreal Children’s Hospital, Canada, 1998–1999
  • Doctoral Research Fellow at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 2008–2014
  • Director of Program Development and Research at McGill University, 2002–2007
  • Maternal–child public health consultant for local, state, and national governments, 2000–2003
  • Over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Received many awards, including the Bisby Fellowship Prize from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2014; Post Doctoral Fellowship Award from the CIHR, 2014; and Doctoral Research Award from the CIHR, 2008
  • PhD in Epidemiology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 2014
  • Master of Science in Public Health from the University of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, 2000
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, graduated magna cum laude, from McGill University, 1998
Featured Publications
  • “Prenatal exposure to disinfection byproducts and intrauterine growth in a Chinese cohort.” Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 55, no. 23, 07 Dec 2021, doi: 10.1021/acs.est.1c04926
  • “Much ado about nothing or male sperm in peril? Are sugar-sweetened beverages to blame?” Human Reproduction, vol. 36, no. 12, 18 Nov 2021, doi: 10.1093/humrep/deab220
  • “​​Phthalate and DINCH urinary concentrations across pregnancy and risk of preterm birth.” Environmental Pollution, vol. 292, Pt. B, 01 Jan 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118476
My Journey in Medicine

The effect of environmental factors on human health, specifically reproductive health, has always fascinated me as a research scientist. My specialty lies in reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology; infertility; assisted reproduction; and causal methods with perinatal application. A deep curiosity about and passion for helping people with their fertility and pregnancy journeys and improving children’s health fuel my daily work.  

At the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, I have conducted a variety of studies to examine how the environment influences a couple’s ability to conceive, have a healthy pregnancy, and give birth to a healthy baby. In my research, I investigate parents’ exposure to phthalates, phenols, and other emerging chemicals and their mixtures on ovarian reserve, time to pregnancy, pregnancy loss, preterm birth, birth weight, placental parameters, and child development outcomes. My team in the Scientific Early Life Environmental Health & Development team at Harvard aims to understand the influence of the environment on reproductive health from the very beginning of life, from the formation of gametes and embryos, to birth and across childhood.

Beyond my research at Harvard, I work with leading scientists on translational research on the underlying biological pathways that may cause infertility and adverse pregnancy and child health outcomes. My goal is to conduct research that truly makes an impact. By generating cutting-edge evidence, I aim to inform clinical practice, translate science into policy action, and implement prevention strategies to improve the health of parents and their children.

I take great joy in sharing my knowledge with and mentoring medical students at Harvard as an assistant professor of environmental epidemiology. I believe that every person has something to teach that we can grow from, and I am an enthusiastic lifelong learner.

At Flo, I enjoy advising on content related to environmental factors to help our users conceive, have healthy pregnancies, and take care of their childrens’ health. 

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