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Jess M. Meyer, Ph.D., MS

Jess Meyer portrait
Assistant Professor, Population Health

Professional Background

Jess M. Meyer, PhD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Population Health at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Meyer received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University, where she also completed a Certificate in Society, Biology, and Health and M.S. in Statistics. Dr. Meyer completed her postdoctoral traineeship in the T32 Biosocial Training Program at the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Meyer takes a biosocial and life course approach, integrating biological and social perspectives to understand social determinants of health and health disparities over the life course.



Dr. Meyer’s research investigates social determinants of health over the life course, with a particular emphasis on sleep and health disparities. Dr. Meyer’s work has examined sleep at the intersection of work and family, investigating how work-family schedules or policy affect sleep timing, sleep duration, or sleep interruption to care for young children at night. Her research also analyzes differences in sleep health by socioeconomic status and race, using a life course perspective to investigate how sleep health disparities change as people age. Dr. Meyer has published collaborative research documenting potential intergenerational effects of social experience on sleep, showing that parental incarceration history is associated with children’s sleep health.

In addition to research focused on sleep, Dr. Meyer has worked in interdisciplinary teams to investigate how social experiences and inequalities affect biological processes and outcomes reflected in biomarkers. Acknowledging the reciprocal nature of the relationship between social experience and health, Dr. Meyer has also published collaborative work examining how health and health behaviors predict a social outcome: the dissolution of romantic partnerships.