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Philip May Ph.D.

Philip A. May, PhD, joined the NRI on April 1, 2011 as Research Professor and is an expert in the field of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

Dr. May has conducted extensive research on the epidemiology and risk factors for FASD, including alcohol use and abuse, and how FASD relates to mental health and deviance. Dr. May’s specialty areas also extend to demography and medical sociology, focusing much of his research on community-wide prevention of the disorder.

At the NRI, Dr. May combines the knowledge gained from his on-the-ground research in the United States, Italy, and South Africa with the institute’s advancements in developing an individualized approach to nutrition. “We have made great progress identifying the demographic and behavioral risk factors for FASD,” Dr. May explains, “now we must look at individual risk factors and nutrient deficiencies – genetics and epigenetics may come into play.”

Dr. May graduated from Catawba College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, received his Masters of Sociology at Wake Forest University, and earned his Doctorate of Sociology from the University of Montana. He has since built an esteemed professional career, and was most recently a Professor of Sociology and Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Dr. May was recently selected to deliver the 2011 University of New Mexico (UNM) 56th Annual Research Lecture, one of the highest honors that can be awarded to UNM faculty. His lecture, titled “Adventures in Public Health Research: Four Decades of Shoe-Leather Epidemiology and Prevention,” shared key areas of his critical research, including suicide and alcohol epidemiology among a number of tribes of American Indians of the western states.

Dr. May also holds an appointment with Department of Nutrition at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, and will maintain his role as Extraordinary Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Current Research Staff:
Julie Hasken
Heather Shaw