Lab Director

Dr. Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha 

Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha received her PhD in Public Health with a focus on Maternal and Child Health at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health in 2010. She received her Master’s in Public Health from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Maternal and Child Health in 2005. Dr. Amutah- Onukagha also received a BS in Public Health and BA in Africana Studies from Rutgers, The State University of NJ. Ndidiamaka has a longstanding commitment to public health that spans over 15 years of experience. Her current research interests include health disparities, reproductive health, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS in ethnic minority populations.

Ndidiamaka is a member of the American Public Health Association and is currently the co-chair of the Perinatal and Womens Health committee in the Maternal and Child Health section. Additionally, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha completed the Kellogg Health Scholars Postdoctoral fellowship in Baltimore, MD.  Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is a former President of The Society of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Womens Health Network. Additionally, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Since 2017 Dr. Amutah-Onukagha has planned and hosted a Black Maternal Health conference aimed at increasing awareness around the inequities that place Black women at increased risk of maternal mortality and morbidity. The Black Maternal Health conference is one of the largest in the country and has reached 700 people and continues to grow every year. 

Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is the creator, director, and mother of the MOTHER Lab. She lives in Boston with her husband and beautiful baby boy. More information on Dr. Amutah-Onukagha can be found at

Research Coordinator

Dr. Vanessa Nicholson 

Dr. Vanessa Nicholson is a community health practitioner with over 10 years of experience in the field of public health. Her formal training in the field began during her undergraduate years at Mississippi State University’s Longest Student Health Center where she trained as a peer health educator. Shortly after, she began working at the Department of Health while completing her Master’s in Public Health degree at Jackson State University. During this time, she led a team whose work resulted in a statewide plan for addressing the needs of HIV positive Mississippians. Once she received acceptance to the University of Texas Health Science Center, she acquired several roles in research development and grant writing, while also developing partnership with the community via outreach initiatives. Dr. Nicholson completed her doctoral program in 2017 and currently serves as a part-time Health Professor.   She has instructed several courses surrounding her areas of expertise in health program planning, health care administration, quantitative methods, health disparities research, and working with vulnerable populations. 

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