Luke, Barbara, Sc.D, MPH

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Barbara Luke, ScD, MPH is a reproductive epidemiologist with degrees from Columbia University in nursing and population studies, from New York University in foods and nutrition, and her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in maternal and child health. She is the author, coauthor, or editor of 17 books, 34 chapters, more than 145 original research papers and reviews (96 first author and 27 second or senior author), and 200 scientific abstracts. Her research has been funded from both private foundations and federal sources totaling more than $17.3 million to date, of which $16.6 million has been from NIH as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator.


Her primary research focus over the past forty years has been women’s health, including national and international collaborative studies on employment during pregnancy, perinatal nutrition, multiple pregnancy, and infertility. Dr. Luke created the University Consortium on Multiple Births, researchers from four universities (Johns Hopkins University, Medical University of South Carolina, University of Miami, and University of Michigan) who collaborate on studies to improve outcomes in multiple pregnancies. She developed a database of more than 3,500 twin, triplet, and quadruplet pregnancies, which began with a decade of twin births in Baltimore, Maryland for her doctoral thesis. In 2009, the Institute of Medicine used her research team’s body mass index-specific weight gain guidelines as the first national recommendations for women pregnant with twins. Since 2006, Dr. Luke has been working with the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology on a series of NIH-funded projects to evaluate the health of men, women, and their children after infertility treatment, including linkage of the SART database with State vital records, birth defects, and cancer registries.


  • Infertility: Effect on childhood and adult health
  • Evaluating the risks for severe maternal morbidity
  • Multiple births: Maternal nutrition and factors affecting maternal and child health