Faculty Profile

Erica Jansen

Erica C Jansen, PhD, MPH

  • Assistant Professor, Nutritional Sciences
  • Research Assistant Professor, Neurology

Dr. Jansen is a nutritional epidemiologist who focuses on diet and sleep in relation to health along the lifespan, but particularly during adolescence. She has several lines of research, including the examination of: 1) how early nutritional environments affect childhood obesity and timing of puberty; 2) how various aspects of sleep- including duration, timing, and quality- affect development of cardiometabolic risk; 3) the bidirectional associations between sleep and diet; 4) role of toxicants in sleep and cardiometabolic outcomes; and 5) epigenetic markers or mediators that underlie relationships between sleep and cardiometabolic health. Dr. Jansen conducts her research mostly within the ELEMENT cohort, a Mexican birth cohort that has been followed for over 25 years.

  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 2016
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 2014
  • BS, Biology, Hope College, 2012

Research Interests:
Sleep, nutrition, dietary patterns, toxicants, epigenetics, puberty, women's health

Research Projects:
Dr. Jansen is currently funded by a K01 (K01HL151673) to 1) evaluate the independent associations of sleep duration and timing with cardiometabolic health among adolescents and 2) examine epigenetic associations between insufficient/mistimed sleep and cardiometabolic health. This work is conducted within adolescent participants of the ELEMENT study who completed objective assessments of sleep by wrist actigraphy.

Dr. Jansen has internal funding (Gilmore Grant and MNORC Pilot and Feasibility grant) to investigate the role of leukocyte circadian gene DNA methylation on maternal/fetal perinatal health and on women's metabolic health in mid-life. This work is conducted among pregnant women who received care at Michigan Medicine and midlife women from Mexico.

Using a variety of approaches and studies, Dr. Jansen examines the links between sleep/circadian health and diet. She often employs dietary pattern analysis techniques to consider diet more comprehensively. She is also interested in how toxicants, which are often obtained through diet, may affect these relationships.

Jansen EC, Dolinoy D, Peterson KE, O'Brien LM, Chervin RD, Cantoral A, Tellez-Rojo MM, Solano-Gonzalez M, Goodrich J. Adolescent sleep timing and dietary patterns in relation to DNA methylation of core circadian genes. Epigenetics. Aug 2021; 16(8); 894:907.

Jansen EC, She R, Rukstalis M, Alexander GL. Changes in fruit and vegetable consumption in relation to changes in sleep characteristics over a 3-month period among young adults. Sleep Health. June 2021; 7(3); 345:352.

Jansen EC, Stern D, Monge A, O'Brien L, Lajous M, Peterson KE, Lopez-Ridaura R. Healthier dietary patterns are associated with better sleep quality among mid-life Mexican women. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Aug 2020; 16(8); 1321-1330.

Jansen EC, Conroy DA, Burgess HJ, O'Brien L, Cantoral A, Tellez Rojo MM, Peterson KE, Baylin A. Plasma DHA is related to Sleep Timing and Duration in a Cohort of Mexican Adolescents. Journal of Nutrition. 2020 Mar 1;150(3): 592-598.

Jansen EC, Dunietz GL, Dababneh A, Peterson KE, Chervin RD, Baek J, O'Brien L, Song PXK, Cantoral A, Hu H, Tellez-Rojo MM. Cumulative childhood lead exposure in relation to sleep duration during adolescence: a longitudinal study in Mexico City. Journal of Clin Sleep Med. 2019 Oct 15; 15(10): 1443-1449.

Jansen EC, Dunietz GL, Chervin RD, Baylin A, Baek J, Banker M, Song PX, Cantoral A, Tellez Rojo MM, Peterson KE. Adiposity in Adolescents: the Interplay of Sleep Duration and Sleep Variability. J Pediatr. 2018 Dec; 203:309-316.

Email: janerica@umich.edu
3863 SPH I
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

For media inquiries: sph.media@umich.edu 

Areas of Expertise: Child Health,  Nutrition,  Sleep,  Women’s Health