Lauren LessardPh.D.

Mountains behind College of Health logo
Assistant Professor, Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies Research Faculty
Div. of Population Health Sciences
BOC-3, STE 270, Room 276


Dr. Lessard is an assistant professor of Health Sciences and a maternal and child epidemiologist at the Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies. She has extensive experience developing research protocol and interventions addressing reproductive health disparities and inequities. Her current projects include a PCORI-funded comparative effectiveness study evaluating enhanced prenatal care systems, Project EMBRACE. Dr. Lessard’s previous projects focused on coordinating with practitioners and patients to address key maternal health issues including maternal mental health; obesity and contraception use; racial and cultural humility in clinic settings; adolescent preconception health; and co-morbidities associated with preterm birth. Prior to her role at UAA, she served as the research director for the Fresno County Preterm Birth Initiative—CSU Fresno and Research Scientist for the Central Valley Health Policy Institute—CSU Fresno. Dr. Lessard completed her PhD in Public Health at UCLA and her MPH at UC Berkeley in Maternal and Child Health. Prior to completing graduate school, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Suriname, South America, and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Political and Community Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She moved to Anchorage in 2017 and in her free time enjoys back country skiing, pack rafting and hiking.

Professional & Department Service

  • The Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies