Michele R. Forman

Educational Background

  • B.A., Medical Anthropology/Music at Rutgers University in 1972
  • M.S.P.H., Epidemiology at University of North Carolina  in 1974
  • M.A., Nutritional Anthropology at University of North Carolina in 1975
  • Ph.D., Nutritional Epidemiology at University of North Carolina in 1977

Awards & Honors

  • Fellow, American Society of Nutrition, 2019
  • H.A. Tyroler Distinguished Alumni Award in Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC, 2018
  • Special Award for Epidemiologic Research on Critical and Sensitive Windows for Health across the Lifespan, American College of Epidemiology, September 25, 2018
  • Big Ten Academic Alliance Department Executive Officer, 2018
  • University Scholar, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, 2018
  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Nutrition Science, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, 2018
  • Member, European Academy of Sciences, 2016
  • Sonia Wolf Wilson Regents Administrative Professorship, School of Human Ecology, UT Austin, 2014-2015
  • Amy Johnson McLaughlin Administrative Chair in Human Ecology, UT Austin, 2014-2015
  • Award of Excellence for the Interagency Breast Cancer and the Environment Report, Office of the Director, National Institute of Health 2014
  • Order of the Plank for National Children’s Study, National Institutes of Health Public Health Service 2013
  • Bruton Endowed Centennial Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Human Ecology, College of Natural Sciences, University of Texas, Austing TX, 2011-2016
  • Fellow, American College of Epidemiology, 2009
  • Award of Merit for exemplary leadership in advancing NCI’s commitment to understanding the science of energy balance and cancer, National Institutes of Health, 2005
  • The Behavioral Risk Factor Survey Award, Public Health Service, CDCP, 1985
  • Infant Feeding Task Force Award, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), 1984
  • The World Who's Who of Women, 1979
  • Outstanding Young Woman of America, 1977
  • National Institute of Health Environmental Epidemiology Trainee, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, 1972−1975
  • Donald Bourne Scholar, Division of General Education, Boston University, 1969

Activities & Memberships

  • Member, Center for Aging and Life Course, Purdue University, 2017-Present
  • Member, Purdue University Cancer Center, 2017-Present
  • Member, Publich Health Graduate Program, Purdue University, 2017-Present
  • Core Committee Member, International Breast Cancer and Nutrition, 2017-Present
  • Member, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2017-Present
  • Editorial Board, IORE Journal of Food and Nutrition, 2016-Present
  • Member, American College of Epidemiology (ACE) Policy Committee, 2014-Present 
  • Editorial Board, Research in Health and Nutrition, 2013-Present
  • Member, The Obesity Society, 2009-Present 
  • Editor, Cancer Epidemiology, 2009-2015
  • Fellow, American College of Epidemiology, 2008-Present 
  • Editor, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 2007-2010
  • Member, Jury Panel, Centrum Award in Nutritional Sciences, Experimental Biology, 2004
  • Chair, Nutritional Epidemiology Research Interest Section, Experimental Biology, 2003-2004
  • Member, Committee, Nutritional Epidemiology Research Interest Section (RIS), Experimental Biology (EB), 1998-2003
  • Consulting Editor, Editorial Board, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1994-2002
  • Member, American Association for Cancer Research, 1990-Present
  • Fellow, American Society for Nutrition, 1984-Present
  • Member, Graduate Women in Science, Omicron Chapter, 1980-2005
  • Member, International Epidemiology Association, 1978-Present
  • Member, American Public Health Association, 1975-1995
  • Member, Society for Epidemiologic Research, 1974-Present


Dr. Forman’s career focuses on nutritional epidemiology and clinical nutrition research across the globe with an emphasis on early life exposures and risk for chronic disease as well as the role of nutrition in growth and health across the life course. As her research foci have shifted from low birth-weight to chronic disease, the stillpoint has remained fixed; she examines the developmental origins of disease. Much of her research is designed either as a longitudinal prospective cohort study that spans the peri-conceptional period through adulthood or dietary interventions in the free-living state or under controlled feeding conditions. Her laboratory addresses nutritional assessment of individuals from infancy through adulthood; and tests dietary interventions amongst high risk groups such as chronic renal disease patients. She has over 165 peer reviewed publications, numerous invited presentations nationally and internationally, is on many institutional committees, advisory boards (e.g. Board of the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, her alma mater, and chaired program committees for ASPO). 

Highlighted Research:
Preeclampsia Effects on Mother and Offspring: I am the PI for a study of the effects of preeclampsia on pubertal and nutritional development in Stavanger, Norway that is directed at the question why preeclampsia is associated with lower risk for breast cancer in the mother and daughter and lower risk for prostate and testicular cancers in the sons of the index pregnancy. We have reported that daughters of the PE pregnancy delay breast development but have advanced pubarche compared to daughters of normotensive pregnancies; that PE mothers who breast feed have lower insulin and glucose levels but higher risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease 11 years postpartum as do their offspring, that PE offspring have higher SBP than peers.

Dietary Fruit-Vegetable Interventions and Biomarkers of Disease: Under controlled feeding conditions, my team has examined the cyclic fluctuation of hormones with carotenoids and lipids with and without alcohol intake and in the free-living state we conducted field trials to assess whether a low fat, high fruit and vegetable diet delays time till dialysis or reduced kidney function in patients with chronic renal disease.

Diet and Epigenetic Influences on Health:  As part of an ongoing collaboration, we have investigated the epigenetic alterations from diet in pregnancy and infancy on the health of the index offspring. This research has led to understanding how prenatal and folate supplements influence obesity, how breast feeding can modify epigenetic alterations and explore the role of nutrition through the lens of the epigenome in humans.

Discovery Publications

  • Mangini LD and Zhu Y, Dong YQ, Forman MR.  Number of episodes of food insecurity directly impacts risk of overweight/obesity by 8th grade.  In press
  • F

    orman MR, Tahir M, Zhu Y. Fetal origins of disease: In-utero dietary exposures and sex-specific health of the offspring. In press

  • Byberg KK, Oymar K, Eide GE, Forman MR, Juliusson PB.  Growth from birth to adolescence in children exposed to preeclampsia in utero; follow-up of a nested case control study. In press
  • Mangini LD, Hayward MD, Dong YQ, Forman MR. Cumulative exposure to food insecurity and childhood asthma:  the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort. In press

  • Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Dong Y, Himes JH, Caulfield LE, Kerver JM, Arab L, Voss P, Hirschfeld S, Forman MR.  Alternative strategies for pediatric weight estimation in infants and children aged 0-5.8 years. In press
  • Pilles K, Dong Y-Q, Michels KB, Willett WC, Forman MR. Understanding infant feeding choice from the Great Depression through the Baby Boom in the U.S. In press

  • Kim MT, Kim KB, Ko J, Forman MR.  Vitamin D and management of chronic conditions:  Korean Americans with Type 2 Diabetes.In revision Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. In press
  • Timmerman G, Tahir MJ, Lewis RM, Samoson D, Forman MR.  Self-Management of Dietary Intake Using Mindful Eating to Improve Dietary Adherence for Individuals with Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease.  J Behav Med 2017Feb-March. In press.

  • Schraw J, Scheurer M, Dong YQ, Forman MR.   Higher odds of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia among children introduced to solids later than six months of age. In revision Nutr Cancer 2017; 69:  PMID: 28094567.
  • Alsnes IV, Jansky I, Forman MR, Vatten LJ and Okland I.  Preeclampsia in utero and androgen hormones in early adolescence: a follow up study. Plos One 2016Dec 19;11(12):e0167714.  PMID: 27992610.

  • Byberg KK, Eide GE, Forman MR, Juliusson PB, Oymar K.  Anthropometric status and physical activity from birth to adolescence and associations with atopy and asthma.  Clin  Transl Allergy 2016 Aug24:6(1):33..  PMID: 27559467.
  • Wilkinson A, Miller EE, Daniel-MacDougal C, Koehly LR, MacAlister A, Forman MR. Correlates of physical activity differ by sex and country of birth among Mexican-Heritage youth. Journal of Immigrant Minority Health. 2016 June:  PMID: 27341817.

  • Holman D, Buchanan N and the CDC Cancer Prevention during Early Life Expert Group (MRF). Opportunities during Early Life for Cancer Prevention: Highlights from a Series of Virtual Meetings with Experts.  In press Pediatrics.
  • Kozinetz CA, Royse K, Cancelmo S, Yu X, Moye J, Selwyn BJ, Forman MR and Caviness C. Consenting postpartum women for use of routinely collected biospecimens and/or future biospecimen collection. J Commun Genetics April 2016;7(2):153-8. PMID: 26869364.

  • Terry MB and Forman MR. Empowering pediatricians to prevent chronic disease across generations.  Pediatrics 2016 Nov;138(Suppl 1):S92-S94.  PMID: 27940982.
  • McLaughlin T, Aupont O, Kozinetz CA, Hubble D, Moore Sima TA, Davis D, Park C, Brenner R, Sepavich D, Felice M, Caviness C, Downs T, Selwyn BJ, Forman MR. Design and im-plementation of a Multilevel Provider Based Sampling Pilot Study for Recruitment of Pregnant 

    women and Mother-Newborn Dyads: the National Children’s Study.  Pediatrics June 2016;137 Suppl 4: S248-57.  PMID:  27251871.
  • Zhu Y, Hernandez L, Dong YQ, Hirschfeld S, Mueller P, Forman MR.  Predictive models for characterizing disparities in exclusive breastfeeding performance in a multi-ethnic population in the US. Matern Child Health J Feb 2016;20(2):398-407.PMID:  26515468.
  • Mangini LD, Hayward MD, Dong YQ, Forman MR.  Food insecurity is linked to childhood asthma. J Nutr 2015 Dec:145(12):2756-64.PMID: 26493543.
  • Barahmani N, Dorak MT, Forman MR, Sprehe MR, Scheurer M, Lupo P, Bondy ML, Okcu MF.  Gender, race/ethnicity, and high birthweight in the development of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (United States).  Pediatr Hemocol Oncology Sep 2015;32(6):382-9. PMID: 26237584.

  • Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Dong YQ, Himes JH, Hirschfeld S, Forman MR.  Longer breast feeding duration reduces the positive relationship between gestational weight gain, birth weight, and childhood anthropometrics. J Commun Health and Epidemiol 2015 Jul;69(7):632-8. PMID: 25680365.
  • Schraw J, Ogeland B, Dong YQ, Nielsen ST, Forman MR. In utero preeclampsia exposure, milk intake and adolescent development.  Reprod Toxicol 2015 Jul;54:19-25. PMID: 25511106.

  • Forman MR, Winn DM, Collman G, Rizzo J, Birnbaum L.  Environmental exposures, breast development and cancer risk:  Through the looking glass at breast cancer prevention. Reproductive Toxicol 2015 Jul;54:6-10.PMID: 25499721.
  • Clague JN, Reynolds P, Sullivan-Halley J, Ma H, Lacey JV, Henderson KD, Ursin G, West 

    DW, Chang S, Delclos G, Du XL, Forman MR, Bernstein L. Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Lung Cancer Mortality Following Diagnosis: Results from the California Teachers Study. Plos One 2014 Jul 31;9(7):e103735.  PMID: 25079077.
  • Forman MR, Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Himes J, Dong YQ, Danish RK, James KE, Caulfied LE, Kerver JM, Arab L, Voss P, Hale DE, Kanafi N, Hirschfeld S.  Arm span and ulnar length are reliable and accurate estimates of recumbent length and height in a multiethnic population of  infants and children under six years of age. J Nutri 2014 Sep;144(9):1480-7. PMID: 25031329.
  • Hoyo

     C, Daltveit AK, Iverson E, Murtha AP, Neelon SEB, Schildkraut J, Vidal A, Wang F, London S, Kurtzberg J, Jirtle RL, Forman MR, Huang A and Murphy SK.  Erythrocyte folate concentrations, CpG methylation at genomically imprinted domains and birthweight in a multiethnic cohort of newborns.  Epigenetics 2014 Aug;9(8):1120-30. PMID: 24874916.

  • Alsnes IV, Jansky I, Forman MR, Vatten LJ and Okland I. The association between preeclampsia and cardiovascular risk factors 11 years after the delivery: population-based study of mothers and offspring. Am J Obstet Gynecol  2014 Jun 17: PMID: 24949538.
  • Okeke NL, Spitz MR, Forman MR, Wilkinson AV. The associations of body image, anxiety, and smoking among Mexican-origin youth. J Adolesc Health. 2013 Aug;53(2):209-14. PMID:23669646.

  • Schraw J, Dong Y-Q, Okcu M, Scheurer M, Forman MR. Longer formula feeding and later introduction of solids increase the risk for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Causes & Control 2014Jan:25(1):73-80. PMID: 24154567.
  • Vidal AC, Murtha AP, Murphy SK, Fortner K, Overcash F, Henry N, Schildkraut J, Forman MR, Demark-Wahnefried W, Kurtzberg J, Jirtle R, Hoyo C.  Maternal BMI, IGF-1 levels and birthweight in African American and White Infants.  Int J Pediatr 2013; Epub 2013 PMID:  23861689.
  • Zhu Y, Hernandez L, Mueller P, Dong YQ, Forman MR.  Data collection and pre-processing:  What is not taught in statistics courses?  J American Statistician 2013;67(4):235-241. PMID: 24511148.

  • Swartz MD, Mahabir S, Barrera SL, Etzel CJ, Dong Y-Q, Spitz MR, Forman MR. One question v. many: Estimating fruit and vegetable intake using a single summary item versus pyramid servings from a food frequency questionnaire. J Nutri Food Sciences.
  • Nnenna OL, Forman MR, Spitz MR, Wilkinson AV.  The associations of body image, anxiety 

    and smoking among Mexican origin youth.  J Adolesc Hlth May 10, 2013 Epub. PMID:23669646.
  • Ying J, Gorlova O, Rahbar MH, , Forman MR, Spitz MR. Associations between dietary intake 

    choline and betaine and lung cancer risk. PloS One 2013;8(2):e54561. PMID: 23383301.
  • Roman E, Lightfoot T, Smith A, Forman MR, Linet MS, Robison L, Simpson J, Kaatch P, Grell K, Frederickson K, Schuz J.  Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and birthweight: 

    insights from a pooled analysis of case-control data from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Eur J Cancer 2013;Apr;49(6):1437-47. PMID: 23266048.
  • Swartz MD, Peterson CB, Lupo PJ, Wu X, Forman MR, Hernandez L, Vannucci M, Shete S. Investigating multiple candidate genes and nutrients in the folate metabolism pathway to detect genetic and nutritional risk factors for lung cancer. PLoS One 2013;8(1):e53475 PMID:23372658.
  • Forman MR, Mangini L, Thelus-Jean R, Hayward MD.  Life course origins of the Ages at Menarche and Menopause.  Adolescent Health, Medicine, and Therapeutics. 2013;4:1-21. PMID 24600293.

  • De Jonge L, Harris H, Rich-Edwards J, Willett WC, Forman MR, Jaddoe VWV, Michels K.  Parental smoking and the risk of adult onset hypertension. Hypertension 2013;61(2):494-500. PMID:23266542.
  • Liu Y, Murphy S, Murtha AP, Schildkraut J, Huang Z, Overcash F, Kurtzberg J, Jirtle R, Iversen ES, Forman MR and Hoyo C. Depression in pregnancy, infant birthweight and DNA methylation in imprint regulatory elements.  Epigenetics 2012 Jul 1; 7(7): PMID: 22677950.  
  • Boynton-Jarret R, Wright RJ, Putnam FW, Hibert EL, Michels KB, Forman MR, Rich-Edwards J. Childhood adversities and age at menarche: Psychosocial stress and plasticity of the reproductive lifespan. J Adolescent Health 2013;52(2):241-7. PMID:23332491.
  • Hoyo C, Fortner K, Murtha AP, Schildkraut JM, Soubry A, Demark-Wahnefried W, Jirtle Rl, Kurtzberg J, Forman MR, Overcash F, Huang Z, Murphy SK. Association of cord blood methylation fractions at imprinted insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF 2), plasma IGF2, and birthweight.  Cancer Causes Control 2012;23(4):635-45. PMID:22393079.  
  • Perkins E, Murphy SK, Murtha A, Schildkraut J, Jirtle R, Demark-Wahnefried W, Forman MR, Kutszberg J, Overcash F, Huang Z, Hoyo C. IGF2/H19 methylation at birth, breastfeeding, and risk of obesity at age one year. J Pediatr 2012 Feb 17 epub ahead PMID 22341586.

  • Lin J, Forman MR, Wang J, Barton Grossman H, Chen M, Dinney CR, Wu X. Intake of red meat and heterocyclic amines, metabolic pathway genes, and bladder cancer risk. Internat J Cancer 2012;Jan 19 epub ahead. PMID: 22261697.
Michele Forman
Distinguished Professor

Faculty Associate:  
    Center on Aging and the Life Course


Office:  LYLE 1144E
Address: 715 Clinic Drive,  
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765.494.9921
Fax: 765.494.0674
E-Mail: mforman@purdue.edu 

Department of Nutrition Science, 700 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059(765) 494-8228, Fax: (765) 494-0674

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