Leigh Ann SimmonsLeigh Ann Simmons is a professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. She is also the co-director of the Perinatal Origins of Disparities (POD) Center at UC Davis.

Simmons’ research, which has been funded by the NIH, the USDA and the Veterans Health Administration, promotes population health equity in the incidence and prevalence of common chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, depression, cardiometabolic disorders, cancer) with a specific focus on childbearing women, rural residents and underrepresented minorities. She has published extensively and presented nationally and internationally on three core areas of scholarship: (1) characterizing co-occurring chronic disease risk factors for specific disparities populations (e.g., rural, minorities); (2) understanding the impact of early life exposures (e.g., prenatal, family and community environments) on later life chronic disease risk; and (3) developing and testing remote delivery models (e.g. text, telephone) of personalized behavioral change interventions to reduce chronic disease risk.

Simmons earned a Doctor of Philosophy in child and family development from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in couple and family therapy from MCP-Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) and a BA in literature/writing from the UCSD. Between 2005-2010, she served as a Health Disparities Scholar through the NIH Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Simmons has extensive policy experience, having served as a congressional fellow on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA).

Contact information: Phone: 530-752-0511 | Email: