Allison E. Aiello, PhD

Contact information
[email protected]
For current CV, please click here.

James S. Jackson Healthy Longevity Professor of Epidemiology in the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center
Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health
Co-Director, Health of an Aging Society Certificate

Dr. Aiello is the James S. Jackson Healthy Longevity Professor of Epidemiology in the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center and Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Aiello received her PhD in Epidemiology from Columbia University with distinction and was awarded the Anna C. Gelman Award for outstanding achievement and promise in the field of Epidemiology. Following her graduate studies, she joined the University of Michigan as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar and two years later, was promoted to Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, where she launched her independent academic career and held the John G. Searle Assistant Professorship of Public Health. In 2014, Dr. Aiello moved to the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to lead the Social Epidemiology Program and later served as the Director of Graduate Studies in Epidemiology. During this time, Dr. Aiello was elected as Fellow of the Carolina Population Center and was appointed Adjunct Professor of Social Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. In 2022, Dr. Aiello was recruited to Columbia University to lead a new program in the Robert N Butler Columbia Aging Center at the Mailman School of Public Health at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Dr. Aiello’s research focuses on identifying the processes by which health inequities in aging emerge across the life course with the ultimate goal of uncovering points of intervention. She has led numerous studies examining how social inequalities reprogram biology at the immunological level to impact health. She and her epidemiology trainees have developed expertise in a wide range of areas, from molecular biology, immunology and applied infectious disease research to aging research, social epidemiology, and population health. Her research program has focused on some of today's most pressing and complex conditions, including biological aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, mental health, and susceptibility to infectious diseases. Dr. Aiello’s group has identified aging of the immune system, or immunosenescence, as a particularly salient biological pathway by which exposure to psychosocial stressors impacts many facets of physiological health and disease risk. In addition, she has led pioneering research on the prevention of infectious diseases using masks and hand hygiene, which have directly contributed to international guidelines for pandemic response. More recently, Dr. Aiello and her team have pioneered new protocols for collecting adaptive survey and in-person measures of cognitive function in Add Health Wave VI, to provide key data on cognitive function before significant impairments related to Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias emerge. Prior to Add Health, Dr. Aiello developed and led multiple diverse community-based cohort and intervention studies as PI. Dr. Aiello’s research accomplishments have been recognized by the Carol Rowland Hogue Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Achievement in Epidemiology from the Society for Epidemiological Research (SER).

Dr. Aiello currently serves as the Deputy Director of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) Wave VI, which is funded by the National Institute on Aging and several other institutes/offices at the National Institutes of Health. The Add Health Study Wave VI is a highly comprehensive and large nationally representative life course study of the health of Americans, starting in adolescence and now in Wave VI, when participants are in early midlife.


Education & Training:

PhD, 2003, Columbia University

MS, 1998, University of North Carolina-SPH, Chapel Hill

BS, 1995, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Honors and Awards:

Carol Rowland Hogue Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Achievement, Society for Epidemiological Research (SER), 2019

Elected to Interdisciplinary Association of Population Health Science (IAPHS), Board of Directors, 2017-2020

Yerby Visiting Associate Professorship, Epidemiology Department, Harvard University, 2010

John G. Searle Assistant Professorship of Public Health, University of Michigan, 2009

Junior Faculty Training Award, University of Michigan Older Americans Independence Center Research Career Development Core, National Institute on Aging, 2006 & 2007

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health & Society Scholar, Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 2003-2005

Ana C. Gelman Award for Outstanding Achievement and Promise in the Field of Epidemiology, Columbia University, 2004


Select Publications:

Fernández-Rhodes, L., Ward, J. B., Martin, C. L., Zeki Al Hazzouri, A., Torres, J., Gordon-Larsen, P., Haan, M. N., & Aiello, A. E. (2022). Intergenerational educational mobility and type 2 diabetes in the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging. Annals of epidemiology, 65, 93–100. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2021.07.006

Crenshaw, E. G., Fernández-Rhodes, L., Martin, C. L., Gordon-Larsen, P., Haan, M. N., & Aiello, A. E. (2021). Intergenerational Educational Attainment and Cardiometabolic Health in Latino Individuals Living in the United States. Obesity, 29(7), 1178–1185. doi: 10.1002/oby.23156

Martin, C. L., Ward-Caviness, C. K., Dhingra, R., Zikry, T. M., Galea, S., Wildman, D. E., Koenen, K. C., Uddin, M., & Aiello, A. E. (2021). Neighborhood environment, social cohesion, and epigenetic aging. Aging,13(6), 7883–7899. doi: 10.18632/aging.202814

Austin, A. E., Naumann, R. B., Figgatt, M. C., & Aiello, A. E. (2021). Adolescent and Adult Correlates of Prescription Opioid Use and Misuse in Adulthood: Associations Across Domains of Despair. Substance use & misuse56(3), 404–415. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2020.1868521

Stebbins, R. C., Edwards, J. K., Plassman, B. L., Yang, Y.C, Noppert, G.A., & Aiello, A. E. (2021). Immune function, cortisol, and cognitive decline & dementia in an aging Latino population. Psychoneuroendocrinology,133:105414. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105414

Noppert, G. A., Stebbins, R. C., Dowd, J. B., Hummer, R. A., & Aiello, A.E. (2020). Life Course Socioeconomic Disadvantage and the Aging Immune System: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 76(6), 1195–1205. 10.1093/geronb/gbaa144

Aiello, A. E., Simanek, A. M., Eisenberg, M. C., Walsh, A. R., Davis, B., Volz, E., Cheng, C., Rainey, J. J., Uzicanin, A., Gao, H., Osgood, N., Knowles, D., Stanley, K., Tarter, K., & Monto, A. S. (2016). Design and methods of a social network isolation study for reducing respiratory infection transmission: The eX-FLU cluster randomized trial. Epidemics, 15, 38–55. 10.1016/j.epidem.2016.01.001

Aiello, A. E., Murray, G.F., Perez, V., Davis, B.M., Uddin, M., Shay D.K., Waterman, S.H., & Monto, A.S. (2010). Mask use, hand hygiene and seasonal influenza-like illness among young adults: A randomized intervention trial. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 201(4):291-8. doi: 10.1086/650396

Roberts, E.T., Hann, M.N., Dowd, J.B., & Aiello, A. E. (2010). Cytomegalovirus antibody levels, inflammation and mortality among elderly Latinos over 9 years of follow-up. American Journal of Epidemiology, 172(4):363-71. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq177

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