Melissa Wilson, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor of Clinical Population and Public Health Sciences


Health Equity Interests

Pregnancy is an event that everyone, male or female, has experienced, having once been a fetus. What happens in utero doesn't stay in utero.


Melissa L. Wilson, MPH, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, her MPH degree in Epidemiology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2005.

After completing her postdoctoral research at USC, she joined the faculty of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department. In 2012, then moved to the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences to pursue other research and teaching opportunities. Dr. Wilson's research interests focus on pregnancy and include the molecular epidemiology of preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome, the genetics of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, subsequent effects of in utero exposure to nausea and vomiting of pregnancy on the offspring, long term effects of preeclampsia on offspring, and the effects of air pollution on obstetric outcomes.  

Research Interests

  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Care Outcomes
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Residential Characteristics
  • Morbidity
  • Morbidity and mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Tobacco Control
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Maternal Health
  • Life Cycle
  • Interventions
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Disease Prevention
  • Primary Prevention
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Epidemiological Factors
  • Translational Research
  • Exposures
  • Air Pollution
  • Health Endpoints
  • pregnancy
  • Multilevel Modeling
  • Research Design and Methods
  • Public Health Data Sciences

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Epidemiology
  • Principles of Biostatistics
  • Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology
  • Clinical Translational Research (CTR)
  • Clinical Translational Reseach I
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Theoretical Principles of Health Behavior
  • Health Behavior Research Methods
  • Chronic Disease Epidemiology
  • Clinical Translational Research 2


  • B.S. in Biology
    at University of Pittsburgh
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • M.P.H. in Epidemiology
    at University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Ph.D in Epidemiology
    at University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Post-doc in Molecular Epidemiology & Maternal Fetal Medicine
    at University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA