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Leila Jackson is an epidemiologist with many years of experience in academia and government. She received her PhD in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She has designed, managed and implemented numerous research and evaluation studies including studies on environmental health, occupational health, toxic metals, Bisphenol A (BPA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), safe and healthy homes, women’s health, perinatal and child health, adolescent health, and military veterans.
Dr. Jackson’s research interests relate to environmental, occupational and lifestyle factors and their impact on female reproductive capacity. She is particularly interested in exposures that act as reproductive toxicants and that may result in subtle markers of decreased fecundity including alterations in puberty, menstrual cycle characteristics, hormone levels, and menopause. These exposures may have direct or indirect effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis through teratogenic, epigenetic, or cytotoxic mechanisms. The critical window of exposure for many of these toxicants is unknown; but likely ranges from the peri-conceptual period through the menopausal transition, with potential transgenerational effects as observed with diethylstilbestrol. As couples delay child bearing until later in life when fecundity is already decreasing due to normal biological reasons, it is essential to understand the effect these compounds may have on a couples’ ability to conceive. Subtle changes in reproductive function may provide early indicators of decreased fecundity and aid clinicians in advising couples about their reproductive capacity; therefore, another aspect of Dr. Jackson’s research revolves around identifying valid and reliable markers of fecundity that can be used in both research and clinical settings.
Melissa D. Zullo, Amy Lyzen, Leila W. Jackson, Leslie Cho and Mary A Dolansky
Research Article: Int J Phys Med Rehabil S1: 003