Julienne N Rutherford

Julienne N Rutherford , PhD


Dr. Julienne Rutherford is Professor and John & Nell Mitchell Endowed Chair for Pediatric Nursing in the University of Arizona College of Nursing. She is a biological anthropologist whose work integrates bioanthropological theory with biomedical science. For 20 years, she has sustained a program of research exploring the intrauterine environment as a biosocial determinant of health. She studies how maternal life history and lived experience shape this earliest developmental setting, and how, in turn, the intrauterine environment influences growth, health, and development across the life course and across generations. Her innovative marmoset monkey research comprises the bulk of her16 years of continuous federal funding as PI/MPI and Co-I (total federal awards >$6M). As Principal Investigator (PI) she designed a “Womb to Womb” NICHD-funded R01 study of marmosets to determine how prenatal influences shape female reproductive development and pregnancy outcomes across generations. She and her team have shown that in the marmoset, a mother's own birth weight and litter size are associated with her pregnancy outcomes in adulthood and the reproductive development of her daughters. She is currently funded as an MPI on an NIA-funded R56 study of marmoset developmental genetics. These studies in the marmoset demonstrate the ways maternal health and child outcomes may be shaped by events beyond the reach of individual agency. She applies this justice-informed lens to collaborate with nurse midwifery scholars to examine the relationships among experiences of Covid-19-dictated changes in care, obstetric racism, and physiological measures of stress, laying the groundwork for NIH grant submissions to implement prospective studies of the impact of obstetric racism and the lingering effects of the pandemic on the physical and mental health of mothers and their children through the first 3 years of life. Dr. Rutherford has produced 45 publications (cited over 1600 times), over 60 conference presentations, dozens of invited talks, and multiple plenary and keynote addresses at national and international meetings. She was a UIC Researcher of the Year Rising Star in Clinical Sciences, American Society of Primatologists Legacy Awardee, and National Academy of Science Kavli Foundation Fellow. Further, Dr. Rutherford has been recognized as a teacher and mentor of nursing students and faculty as a Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing mentor and as the recipient of the American College of Nurse Midwives Excellence in Teaching Award and multiple major teaching awards from the University of Illinois at Chicago.