Dr. Mercedes Carnethon is the Mary Harris Thompson professor of Preventative Medicine and chief of the Division of Epidemiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and a public voice Fellow with The OpEd Project. Dr. Carnethon’s research focuses broadly on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, lung health and cognitive aging in the population subgroups defined by race/ethnicity, geography, socioeconomic status, gender and sexual orientation/gender identity. My research team has examined the role that health behaviors such as diet, physical activity and sleep play on health across the lifecourse. My research team receives funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. In addition to carrying out research, I am a leader in postdoctoral training and faculty development, having successfully mentored junior investigators who have subsequently earned their own grants and prestigious research awards.