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Dr. Michels has expertise in epidemiologic methods, and epigenetic, nutritional, and cancer epidemiology. Her research focuses on women's health.
Dr. Michels is one of the co-founders of the area of epigenetic epidemiology and has made seminal contributions to the methods used in this field. Her research addresses the role of epigenetics in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). The Michels' lab studies the impact of events during perinatal life on the establishment of the epigenome.
In the context of DOHaD, Dr. Michels' research also explores the importance of the pre-pubertal and pubertal phases for breast cancer etiology. Dr. Michels leads one of the coveted BCERP (Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program) Centers as part of an NIH initiative to study the role of environmental toxins of breast cancer risk across the lifespan.
Dr. Michels also has a long-standing interest in the role of nutrition in maintaining health. She has made numerous methodologic contributions to the field of nutritional epidemiology and has explored the importance of a healthy diet to cancer prevention throughout the lifecourse.