Sylvia Ley, PhD, RD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Sylvia Ley


Dr. Ley focuses on developing life-course strategies to prevent and manage chronic diseases and investigating lifestyle risk factors for progression of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications, which have been cited over 11,000 times, and her research has been funded by NIH, NSF, and CIHR. She currently holds a tenure-track faculty position as Assistant Professor in Epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where she mentors PhD and MS student research and teaches epidemiologic methods I and III. She serves as Chair of Nutritional Epidemiology, American Society for Nutrition; Past-President of the Eta Chapter, Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health; and Associate Editor, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 


Dr. Ley completed  her postdoctoral training at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health working with large-scale cohort studies using classical epidemiologic methods, doctoral study in maternal and infant nutrition and clinical epidemiology at University of Toronto, and Registered Dietitian training at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. 


Recent Select Publications (**Graduate Students)

Ley SH. Pregnancy diet to prevent gestational diabetes: Study design and dietary assessments. Am J Clin Nutr. 2023; 118(5):847-848 PMID: 37923498

Santos MP,** Li Y, Bazzano LA, He J, Rexrode KM, Ley SH. Age at menarche, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease complications in U.S. women under 65 years: NHANES 1999-2018. BMJ Nutr Prev Health. 2023; 6(2):293-300 PMID: 38264363; PMCID: PMC10800266

Yang J, Qian F, Chavarro JE, Ley SH, Tobias DK, Yeung E, Hinkle SN, Bao W, Li M, Liu A, Mills JL, Sun Q, Willett WC, Hu FB, Zhang C. Modifiable risk factors and long-term risk of type 2 diabetes among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus. BMJ. 2022; 378:e070312 PMID: 36130782 PMCID: PMC9490550

Mullen AJ,** O’Connor DL, Hanley AJ, Piedimonte G, Wallace M, Ley SH. Associations of metabolic and obstetric risk parameters with timing of lactogenesis II. Nutrients. 2022; 14(4): 876 PMID: 35215526 PMCID: PMC8879345

Martin MA, Keith M, Pace RM, Williams JE, Ley SH, Barbosa-Leiker C, Caffé B, Smith C, Kunkle A, Lackey KA, Navarrete AD, Pace CDW, Gogel AC, Eisenberg DTA, Fehrenkamp BD, McGuire MA, McGuire MK, Meehan CL, Brindle E. SARS-CoV-2 specific antibody trajectories in mothers and infants over two months following maternal infection. Front Immunol. 2022; 13:1015002 PMID: 36304449 PMCID: PMC9596287

Research Areas

  • Nutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Life Course Epidemiology


View Dr. Ley's publications at her NCBI profile page.

View Dr. Ley's Google Scholar page



SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health
EPID 7130 Observational Epidemiology