Mary D. Willis, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Boston University School of Public Health

PhD, Oregon State University
MPH, University of Rochester
BA, University of Rochester

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Mary D. Willis, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her expertise lies at the intersection of environmental epidemiology, spatial exposure assessment, and applied data science. Much of her work also leverages econometric-based causal inference methods. She is particularly interested in how epidemiological studies can be best designed to inform health-protective policy decisions. To date, Dr. Willis has primarily focused on how on exposures from the energy sector (e.g., oil and gas development, traffic-related air pollution) and other aspects of the built environment (e.g., green space, neighborhood disadvantage) influence reproductive health outcomes.

Dr. Willis is PI of an NIH Director’s Early Independence Award that examines how oil and gas development may impact fertility and pregnancy. She is also a co-investigator on an accountability study of vehicle emission regulations and birth outcomes that is funded by the Health Effects Institute.

A Preconception Cohort Study on Oil and Gas Development, Fertility, and Pregnancy
09/15/2022 - 08/31/2027 (PI)
NIH/Office of the Director

The TRANSIT Accountability Study: Assessing impacts of vehicle emission regulations and local congestion policies on birth outcomes associated with traffic air pollution.
12/01/2022 - 06/30/2024 (Subcontract PI)
Oregon State University Health Effects Inst


Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Willis MD, Hoffman MN, Wang TR, Sabbath EL, Kuriyama AS, Wesselink AK, Wise LA. Evaluating participant engagement in a preconception cohort study in relation to the Dobbs decision. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2024 Apr 26. PMID: 38666636; DOI: 10.1111/ppe.13080;
  2. Hill E, Harleman M, Harris L, Sventek G, Ritz B, Campbell EJ, Willis M, Hystad P. Roadway construction as a natural experiment to examine air pollution impacts on infant health. Environ Res. 2024 Jul 01; 252(Pt 2):118788. PMID: 38555097; DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2024.118788;
  3. Savitz DA, Wise LA, Bond JC, Hatch EE, Ncube CN, Wesselink AK, Willis MD, Yland JJ, Rothman KJ. Responding to Reviewers and Editors About Statistical Significance Testing. Ann Intern Med. 2024 Mar; 177(3):385-386.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38373303
  4. Bond JC, Coleman CM, Yland JJ, Wesselink AK, Wang T, Willis M, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Savitz D, Eisenberg ML, Wise LA. Preconception sleep duration, non-daytime work schedules, and incidence of spontaneous abortion: a prospective cohort study. Hum Reprod. 2024 Feb 01; 39(2):413-424.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38059518
  5. Wesselink AK, Kirwa K, Hystad P, Kaufman JD, Szpiro AA, Willis MD, Savitz DA, Levy JI, Rothman KJ, Mikkelsen EM, Laursen ASD, Hatch EE, Wise LA. Ambient air pollution and rate of spontaneous abortion. Environ Res. 2024 Apr 01; 246:118067.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38157969; PMCID: PMC10947860; DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.118067;
  6. Sabbath EL, Willis MD, Wesselink AK, Wang TR, McKinnon CJ, Hatch EE, Wise LA. Association between job control and time to pregnancy in a preconception cohort. Fertil Steril. 2024 Mar; 121(3):497-505.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38036244; PMCID: PMC10923004; DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2023.11.022;
  7. Willis MD, Harris L, Campbell EJ, Chaskes M, Sawyer E, Harleman M, Ritz B, Hill EL, Hystad P. A population-based cohort study of electronic tolling, traffic congestion, and adverse birth outcomes. Environ Int. 2024 Jan; 183:108355. PMID: 38056094; DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.108355;
  8. Wise LA, Wang TR, Mikkelsen EM, Wesselink AK, Calafat AM, Wegienka G, Geller RJ, Coleman CM, Willis MD, Marsh EE, Schildroth S, Botelho JC, Messerlian-Lambert G, Hatch EE. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Anti-Müllerian Hormone Concentrations in Two Preconception Cohort Studies. Environ Health Perspect. 2023 Oct; 131(10):107703.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37882725; PMCID: PMC10601879; DOI: 10.1289/EHP12592;
  9. Wesselink AK, Hystad P, Kirwa K, Kaufman JD, Willis MD, Wang TR, Szpiro AA, Levy JI, Savitz DA, Rothman KJ, Hatch EE, Wise LA. Air pollution and fecundability in a North American preconception cohort study. Environ Int. 2023 Nov; 181:108249.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37862861; PMCID: PMC10841991; DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.108249;
  10. Sims KD, Willis MD, Hystad PW, Batty GD, Bibbins-Domingo K, Smit E, Odden MC. Neighborhood Characteristics and Elevated Blood Pressure in Older Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Sep 05; 6(9):e2335534. PMID: 37747730; PMCID: PMC10520741; DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.35534;
Showing 10 of 35 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 34 publications over 7 distinct years, with a maximum of 13 publications in 2023


2022 NIH Common Fund: NIH Director's Early Independence Award
2020 International Society for Environmental Epidemiology: Conference Travel Award
2020 Oregon State University: Fred & Helen E. Durbin Scholarship
2020 Cascadia Annual Symposium on Environmental, Occupational, and Public Health: Best Oral Paper
2020 Oregon State University: Doctoral Student Travel Award
2019-2020 NIH NIEHS: Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral National Research Service Award
2019-2020 Oregon State University : Training Grant/External Fellowship Tuition Relief Scholarship
2019-2020 Oregon State University: Warren & Frederica Schad Fellowship
2019 CARTEEH Symposium on Transportation, Air Quality, and Health: Best Oral Presentation
2018-2019 NIH NCATS: Mentored Predoctoral Career Development Award
2018-2019 Oregon State University: Liam Wood Memorial Fellowship
2018-2019 Oregon State University: Warren & Frederica Schad Fellowship
2018-2019 Oregon State University: Dean’s Graduate Scholarship
2018 International Society for Environmental Epidemiology: Conference Travel Award
2018 IBM & Oregon State University : Workshop Scholarship for Deep Learning in Life Sciences
2017 Annual Semiahmoo Symposium on Environmental, Occupational and Public Health: Best Oral Paper
Contact for Mentoring:

715 Albany St
Boston MA 02118
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