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Samatha Ehrlich

Samantha F. Ehrlich, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor - Currently Accepting PhD Students


Samantha F. Ehrlich, PhD, MPH is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist whose research focuses on pregnancy exposures, behaviors and outcomes related to obesity and diabetes in women and their children. In 2015, she received a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to conduct research on physical activity in pregnancy for inter-generational obesity prevention. In addition to her appointment in the Department of Public Health at UTK, she is member of the faculty of the Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics Program at the Haslam College of Business. She is also an adjunct investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and collaborates closely with investigators in the Women’s and Children’s Health Section on pregnancy studies fund by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

Prior to coming to UTK, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Women’s and Children’s Health Section at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, where she received awards from the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefits Research Fund to conduct research on physical activity during pregnancy for glycemic control and weight management in women with gestational diabetes mellitus, and to examine which of the various proposed diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes mellitus are associated with childhood obesity.

Dr. Ehrlich received her MPH in Maternal and Child Health and doctoral degree in Epidemiology from the University of California Berkeley, School of Public Health. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the association of maternal pregnancy glucose levels with childhood obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors. As a PhD student, she worked at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research managing randomized clinical trials of lifestyle interventions for pregnancy and postpartum weight management and a large pharmacoepidemiology study of diabetes medications and cancer. As an MPH student, she worked in the HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Branch of the Office of AIDS at the California Department of Health Services on a study of HIV risk behaviors in migrant Latino day laborers. She was also awarded several grants from the University of Michigan Population Fellows Program and the University of California Berkeley’s Bixby Center for Population, Health & Sustainability and Center for Latin American Studies to conduct independent survey research on safe sex practices among indigenous youth in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua for her MPH internship.

Curriculum Vitae


2015-2020           Physical Activity in Pregnancy for Intergenerational Obesity Prevention.                 

NIH/NIDDK - K01DK105106

Role: PI

Research objectives are to investigate the impact of physical activity during pregnancy on infant growth and to evaluate a physician-initiated program of physical activity promotion for appropriate weight gain in pregnant women. Training objectives include obesity prevention, physical activity, and causal inference-based analyses.


  • BS  - Biology and Women’s Studies,  College of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - 2002
  • MPH - Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA - 2005
  • PhD - Epidemiology,  School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA - 2011
Samatha Ehrlich

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