The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Achsah Dorsey

Achsah Dorsey
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology


School or College: 

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Dr. Achsah Dorsey, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, focuses on how child health and development is shaped by global and local frameworks. She structures her work within health research by focusing on mechanisms that link wider contexts to health proposed in evolutionary models through analyses of social and physical environments and biological outcomes. Dr. Dorsey incorporates an interdisciplinary perspective and uses mixed methods in her work to help build a holistic understanding of wellbeing. Her recent research explores the biological, environmental, and cultural links between anemia and infection, the gut microbiome, and home environment in families living in peri-urban communities within Lima, Peru.

Research Proposal Title: 

Intestinal Microbiota and Immune Activation Impacts on Efficacy of Child Iron Supplementation


Research investigating the relationships between the intestinal microbiome ecosystem and human health outcomes is a new, rapidly evolving, interdisciplinary field. Dr. Achsah Dorsey engages with this emerging field by applying evolutionary medicine and embodiment theory to advance scientific understanding of our integrated environmental and physiological systems. She is expanding her research in Peru by examining the relationship between anemia, inflammation status, and household precarity. More specifically, Dr. Dorsey is investigating the association between iron status, pathogenic exposure, and microbiota composition to explore when anemia is a disorder or defense and the adaptive potential of the host and microbiome within different environmental contexts.