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Chelsey R. Carter, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences) and Assistant Professor of Anthropology (Secondary)

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Chelsey R. Carter, PhD, MPH



Chelsey R. Carter is an Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Yale School of Public Health with a secondary appointment in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Black feminist anthropologist of medicine, public health, and race from St. Louis, Missouri. Her scholarship examines the relationship(s) between social determinants of health (e.g., anti-Black racism, socioeconomic status, gender) and neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and motor neuron diseases (MND). Carter has a background in anthropology and public health, with specific training and expertise in ethnographic research, qualitative methodologies, and applied public health interventions. Her most recent research on race and ALS informs her first book project, tentatively titled, Finding the Forgotten: Race, Bias, and Care in the World of ALS. This book centers on the experiences of Black people living with ALS (and their families), scientific knowledge production, and how embodied inequality impacts diagnosis, treatment, and engagement in clinical trials.

Her current research projects investigate precision medicine and genomic research in Black communities (The Black Genome Project) and caregiving among persons impacted by ALS. Her scholarship has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, and more. Her public and scholarly work has been published in Anthropology News, Scientific American, Museum Anthropology, Medical Decision Making, British Journal of Health Psychology, American Ethnologist, and Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

She is Founder and Director of The LEITH (Lived Experiences Igniting Transformations in Health) Lab, a hub to address Black invisibility and misdiagnosis for rare neurodegenerative and genetic diseases, in honor of anthropologist, Dr. Leith Mullings.

Education & Training

  • Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow
    Princeton University (2022)
  • MPH
    Washington University in St. Louis (2021)
  • PhD
    Washington University in St. Louis (2021)
  • BA
    Emory University, Anthropology (2012)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Principal’s Development Fund Visiting Scholar Queen's University 2024
Distinguished Teaching AwardYale School of Public Health 2023

Departments & Organizations