Associate Professor of Anthropology and Faculty Fellow
Northwestern University
Network Member

Thom McDade is a biological anthropologist who conducts research on health and human development in relation to social and cultural contexts and processes. His work is focused on three topics: Impact of social stratification on stress and health; life course perspectives on immune function and the regulation of inflammation; and the integration of biological measures into population-based, social science research. He is director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research, and associate director of Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health. He conducts his research in diverse, community- and population-based settings, including ongoing projects in Bolivia, the Philippines, and the US. In the Bolivian Amazon, he is investigating the impact of social, economic, and cultural transitions on child and adolescent health. In the Philippines, he is drawing on more than twenty years of prospective data from an ongoing cohort study to investigate the regulation of inflammation and its implications for health from a developmental, life course perspective. And in a large, population-based survey in the US, he is investigating social status, neighborhood factors, and social relationships as sources of stress that affect mental and physical health over the transition from adolescence to young adulthood.

McDade received a B.A. in biosocial anthropology from Pomona College in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Emory University in 1999.

Fields of Study