Melissa Furlong

Co-Leader, Environmental Exposures in Underserved Southwest Populations (RFG1)
image of Dr. Melissa Furlong

Assistant Professor, Community Environment & Policy, Public Health

Roy P. Drachman Hall, room A225
1295 N. Martin Ave, PO Box: 245210, Tucson AZ 85724-5163


  • 2016 PhD , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 2010 MPP, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • 2007 BS, Duke University, Durham, NC

Dr. Furlong's primary research interests include developing and implementing novel approaches to investigate associations between environmental contaminants and longitudinal chronic health outcomes, particularly neurological health. She uses a variety of methodological approaches to achieve these goals, including the use of -OMICs technologies (particularly metabolomics and epigenomics), as well as developing and linking large exposure databases with state-wide health outcomes databases. With researchers in Atmospheric Sciences and Geography, she is developing a geo-spatial model of atmospheric dispersions of pesticide applications in the state of Arizona to estimate exposure to pesticide drift during critical windows of development. She is also using Arizona Medicaid Claims Records (AHCCCS) and birth certificates, to construct case control studies for pathologies. Finally, she is investigating the metabolomic and epigenomic signatures of pesticide exposures, and their potential signaling capacity for novel chronic health outcomes. Dr. Furlong has other collaborations across the University to investigate air pollution and respiratory outcomes, neurological outcomes, and obesity in both the United States and abroad.

Environmental research interests - Environmental epidemiology, air pollution, pesticides, metabolomics, epigenetics, exposomics, geospatial exposures