Since joining the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health in 2003, Tess Weathers has worked to enhance public understanding and evidence-based engagement on health disparities through both public scholarship and contribution to several collaborative research studies. In academic-community partnerships, she often serves as a bridge between scientists and non-scientists with the goal of educating and creating action for the public good. She applies her training in epidemiology to focus on the social conditions which contribute to health and illness, and she teaches an undergraduate course on the Social Determinants of Health. Prior to joining the school, she served several years as director of the IU Cancer Center's Clinical Research Office. She was inducted to the Delta Omega National Honorary Society in Public Health in 2006.

Research Interests

  • Health disparities
  • Social determinants of health
  • Social epidemiology

Courses Taught

  • PBHL S425 Social Determinants of Health

Current Projects

Investigating the Relationship between Cumulative Disadvantage and Telomere Length as a Contributor to Cancer Disparities
This research is aimed at gaining a better understanding of how stressors add up over the lifecourse and "get under the skin" to become expressed as illness such as cancer or other chronic diseases.

Birth Outcome Analysis for the Indiana Nurse Family Partnership
This project will assess a variety of birth outcomes, such as preterm births and smoking rates, among the low-income, first time mothers who participated in the nurse home visitation program of the INFP compared to similar-risk women in Marion County who did not participate in the program.

Identifying the Impact of Social-Environmental Challenges and Cumulative Life Stress on Treatment-Related Behaviors and Satisfaction with Care in African American Breast Cancer Patients
This project aims to better understand the accumulated stressful life course experiences and current challenges experienced by African American women undergoing treatment for breast cancer and the impact of such experiences and challenges on treatment-related behaviors and outcomes.

School-Based Health Clinic Evaluation
The goal of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of the school-based health clinics implemented in Marion County charter schools (approximately 36) under four different implementation models that were funded by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

IU Workplace Health and Wellness Survey
Gauge progress and guide planning for improved workplace wellness at Indiana University by conducting a survey among employees across all of Indiana University’s 8 campus locations throughout the state regarding health and workplace supports for health.