Nicola Hawley, PhD

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases)

Research Departments & Organizations

School of Public Health: Chronic Disease Epidemiology | Samoan Obesity, Lifestyle and Genetic Adaptations Study Group | Yale Network for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NGN) | YSPH Global Health Concentration

Obesity Research Working Group

Yale Institute for Global Health


Research Interests

American Samoa; Diabetes Mellitus; Global Health; Maternal Health Services; Maternal-Child Health Centers; Obesity; Pregnancy; Prenatal Care; Samoa

Research Summary

My research focuses broadly on: (1) understanding how maternal and child health are impacted by rising levels of obesity and diabetes in developing countries, (2) determining how the delivery of healthcare impacts the identification and treatment of these diseases during the perinatal period, and (3) developing interventions focused on pregnancy and early infancy to prevent the intergenerational transmission of chronic disease. I have ongoing projects and collaborations in American Samoa, Samoa, South Africa, and the US

Specialized Terms: global non-communicable disease, obesity, diabetes, maternal and child health, pregnancy health, infant feeding, prenatal care

Extensive Research Description

Ongoing Studies:

Maternal Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices about Healthy Pregnancy and Infancy in American Samoa. , American Samoa (2014 - Present)

Genome-wide Association Study for Adiposity in Samoans (PI: Stephen McGarvey, Brown). Samoa (2009- present)

Ola Tuputupua'e: The "Growing Up" Samoa Study: Longitudinal child cohort study, Samoa (2015 - Present)

The STRONG study: Group Prenatal Care for maternal and child NCD prevention. American Samoa (2017 - present)

Active Collaborations:

Birth to Twenty. Longitudinal birth cohort study, Johannesburg, South Africa (2006 - present)


  • Group Prenatal Care Study Pago Pago, American Samoa (2016 - 2018)

    Randomized controlled trial of group prenatal care in American Samoa - focused on addressing life course non-communicable disease risk

  • Genome-Wide Association Study of Adiposity in Samoans Apia, Samoa (2016)

    Seven year follow up of a GWAS cohort in Samoa focused on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk

  • Growing Up in Samoa Study Apia, Samoa (2015)

    Longitudinal cohort study of child health and development in Samoa

  • Infant Feeding Studies Pago Pago, American Samoa (2012)

  • Birth to Twenty Study Johannesburg, South Africa (2006)

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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Contact Info

Nicola Hawley, PhD
Office Location
60 College Street, Ste 438
New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Chronic Disease Epidemiology60 College Street
P.O. Box 208034

New Haven, CT 06520-8034

Curriculum Vitae

Samoan Obesity, Lifestyle and Genetic Adaptations Study Group