Natacha De Genna, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Natacha De Genna, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology. Dr. De Genna uses advanced analytic skills to expand our understanding of long-term patterns of maternal substance use and the impact of prenatal exposure to tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol on child development. One of her ongoing projects is a mixed-methods research study examining patterns and levels of cannabis and tobacco use in young pregnant persons, exploring themes related to substance use with qualitative interviews. Dr. De Genna is investigating the role of structural racism, discrimination, bullying, and sexual minority identity in substance use before, during, and after pregnancy. Dr. De Genna is firmly committed to health equity in research and academia. She takes an intersectional approach in her research investigations, examining interactions among race, sex assigned at birth, substance use, health behaviors and outcomes. Dr. De Genna is interested in applying a syndemic framework to study substance use in the context of reproductive health and cancer. Syndemics is a theoretical framework from medical anthropology that has been used extensively to study intersecting epidemics of substance abuse, violence, and HIV/AIDs (SAVA) in men with HIV. Dr. De Genna is pursuing research that examines how syndemics operate to promote disease in women.