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headshot of Jodi Dowthwaite

Jodi Dowthwaite

Community and Global Public Health, Research Assistant Professor

First-year Research Immersion Program


Jodi Dowthwaite has spent more than a decade in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at SUNY Upstate Medical University, working on a long-term study of human growth and development in the context of diet and exercise variation. Her research centers on childhood origins of adult disease, particularly prevention of osteoporosis (weak bone) and sarcopenia (low muscle mass). She has expertise in assessment of the development of bone, muscle and fat using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT).

Dowthwaite aims to optimize pediatric health, as it is her belief that a focus on health in childhood and adolescence builds a strong foundation for individual health throughout the lifespan. She plans to expand her research to address the childhood roots of multiple "diseases of affluence," such as sarcopenia, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, as risk of these diseases is intertwined. Ironically, in the U.S., most "diseases of affluence" strike and kill at highest rates among the impoverished; accordingly, these diseases are perhaps better termed as "diseases of modernization." Dowthwaite has long-standing interests in improving understanding of health disparities as a function of both environmental and inherited biological factors. Her overarching goal is to generate new knowledge to inform lifestyle guidelines and public policy that will improve health across the population.


  • MPhil, PhD, University of Cambridge
  • BA, Wellesley College

Research Interests

  • Longitudinal studies on diet, exercise and pediatric antecedents of adult disease
  • Reproductive health, including maternal/child health
  • Mental health
  • Health disparities