L. Zachary DuBois
PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst - 2012
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Northwestern University 2012-2013
Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Price of Debt Study, University of Massachusetts Boston 2013-2015
Dr. DuBois joined the Department of Anthropology in the Fall of 2018. As a biocultural anthropologist, his research draws on both qualitative and quantitative methods to ask questions at the intersection of biology and culture. Most broadly, he is interested in social determinants of health and the ways in which our social lives become embodied. Relatedly is an interest in how we adapt and remain resilient in the face of dynamic (environmental and bodily) changes and how these impact health and well-being.
One area of focus in his work asks how stress, resilience and other social determinants of health “get under the skin” via experiential and physiological pathways in order to understand health disparities among those most vulnerable to social stress effects. His research contributions in this area have focused on the psychobiology of stress in transgender health, looking at the interplay between psychosocial risk factors (particularly social, minority- based stressors) and biological risk factors (particularly endocrine dysregulation and inflammation). He conducted The Transition Experience Study which was the first to include in-person interviews with biomarker collection among trans people; he conducted interviews with 65 transgender men living in New England and collected a number of biomarkers of stress (e.g. salivary cortisol, ambulatory blood-pressure, and inflammation levels) to enhance our understanding of embodied minority stress during gender transition.
Emerging from this research, he is developing a new collaborative project with Dr. Jae Puckett (MSU), Examining health and resilience among trans people across geopolitical locations, which is targeted to begin in Jan 2019. This study is a 1-year longitudinal, multi-sited biomarker study that will assess resilience and health of trans people within their current socipolitical climates. In order to draw comparisons from differing contexts, in addition to Oregon, collaborators in Michigan, Nebraska, Alabama, and Montreal, Canada will invite people who identify as transgender or gender diverse to particiapte in interviews and biomarker measures of health and stress to be collected over the course of 1 year.
Dr. DuBois also has experience in developing targeted HIV-prevention interventions for sexuaal minority youth (PI's Mustanki & Ybarra) and has conducted post-doctoral research examinnig the health impacts of financial debt (PI Elizabeth Sweet). In addition to his interest in stress, resilience and social determinants of health, he has ongoing interests in developing collaborative, interdisciplinary research in a number of areas including: Embodiment, sensory perception, applied human biology, and ethnoprimatological research focused on improving our understanding of psychobiological and behavioral adaptations to stress and toward the conservation of non-human primates.
The newly formed STress, Adaptation, and Resilience (STAR) Research Team website is under construction - check back soon!