Brittany Chambers

Position Title
Assistant Professor

  • Human Development & Family Studies

Dr. Brittany Chambers is a community health scientist dedicated to advancing sexual and reproductive health equity among Black, Indigenous, and Other People Of Color’s (BIPOC). She merges critical and public health theories to partner with BIPOC women and birthing people and organizations to better understand, operationalize and dismantle racism.

To better understand racism, funded by California Preterm Birth Initiative, Dr. Chambers and Dr. Anu Gómez at UC Berkeley, are taking a cell-to-society approach to understand how racism gets underneath the skin to contribute to preterm birth experienced by Black and Latina/x women in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Supporting Our Ladies and Reducing Stress to prevent preterm birth (SOLARS) study was designed to evaluate the relationship among psychological stressors, molecular risk factors, and gestational age in Black and Latina/ women residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were able to enroll 112 Black and Latina/x women and their babies collecting survey and biospecimen data across the pregnancy and postpartum periods.



To better operationalize racism, Dr. Chambers is partnering with Black women and birthing people to reconceptualize racism, to identify novel ways to measure structural racism. She led a project using a community-based participatory approach in Oakland and Fresno to #listentoblackwomen across the reproductive lifespan define structural racism and describe how it shows up in their communities. The conceptual framework that emerged from this work guides Dr. Chambers current research agenda.

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To better dismantle racism, funded by a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities K01 grant, Dr. Chambers is developing and piloting testing a racial equity training for perinatal care providers. As an assistant professor at the UCSF, she received a competitive two-year UCSF-Kaiser Permanente Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) K12 award to collect formative data to develop the training. She continues to work with mentors at UCSF and Dr. Leigh Ann Simmons to move forward this important work that is a direct response to California Senate Bill 464.



Dr. Chambers is committed to taking a reproductive justice approach centering in on BIPOC women and birthing people at every phase of the research process.

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Selected Publications

Chambers BD, Erausquin JT, Tanner AE, Nichols TR, Brown-Jeffy S. Testing the Association Between Traditional and Novel Indicators of County-Level Structural Racism and Birth Outcomes among Black and White Women. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities (PMID: 29218496).

Chambers BD, Capitman JA. The Association Between the Intersection of Immigrant Status and Insurance with Adverse Birth Outcomes Among Mexican Women Residing in the San Joaquin Valley: A Mediation Analysis of Late Initiation or No Prenatal Care. J Immigr Minor Health (PMID: 29352396).

Ma A, Merçon-Vargas EA, Chambers BD, Nyambe M, Williams TA. Context of Breastfeeding among Latina Mothers using a Social-ecological Approach: An Exploratory Study. J Public Health Issues Pract. (PMID: 31414077. PMCID: PMC6693519), 2.

Chambers BD, Erausquin JT. Race, Sex, and Discrimination in School Settings: A Multilevel Analysis of Associations with Delinquency. J Sch Health (PMID: 29333643), 88(2): 159-166.

Baer RJ, McLemore MR, Adler N, Oltman SP, Chambers BD, Kuppermann M, Pantell MS, Rogers EE, Ryckman KK, Sirota M, Rand L, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL. Pre-pregnancy or first- trimester risk scoring to identify women at high risk of preterm birth. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. (PMID: 30439652), 231: 235-240.

Chambers BD, Baer RJ, McLemore MR, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL. Using Index of Concentration at the Extremes as Indicators of Structural Racism to Evaluate the Association with Preterm Birth and Infant Mortality California, 2011–2012. J of Urban Health, 96.2: 159-170.

Ross KM, Dunkel Schetter C, McLemore MR, Chambers BD, Paynter RA, Baer R, Feuer SK, Flowers E, Karasek D, Pantell M, Prather AA, Ryckman K, Jelliffe-Pawlowski L. Socioeconomic Status, Preeclampsia Risk and Gestational Length in Black and White Women. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities (PMID: 31368002).

Pantell MS, Baer RJ, Torres JM, Felder JN, Gomez AM, Chambers BD, Dunn J, Parikh NI, Pacheco-Werner T, Rogers EE, Feuer SK, Ryckman KK, Novak NL, Tabb KM, Fuchs J, Rand L, Jelliffe- Pawlowski LL. Associations between unstable housing, obstetric outcomes, and perinatal health care utilization. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM (PMID: 33345843), 1(4): 100053.

Chambers BD, Arabia SE, Arega HA, Altman MR, Berkowitz R, Feuer SK, Franck LS, Gomez AM, Kober K, Pacheco-Werner T, Paynter RA, Prather AA, Spellen SA, Stanley D, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL, McLemore MR. Exposures to structural racism and racial discrimination among pregnant and early post-partum Black women living in Oakland, California. Stress Health (PMID: 31919987).

Scott KA, Chambers BD, Baer RJ, Ryckman KK, McLemore MR, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL. Preterm birth and nativity among Black women with gestational diabetes in California, 2013-2017: a population- based retrospective cohort study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth (PMID: 33023524. PMCID: PMC7541301).

McLemore MR, Berkowitz RL, Oltman SP, Baer RJ, Franck L, Fuchs J, Karasek DA, Kuppermann M, McKenzie-Sampson S, Melbourne D, Taylor B, Williams S, Rand L, Chambers BD, Scott K, Jelliffe- Pawlowski LL. Risk and Protective Factors for Preterm Birth Among Black Women in Oakland, California. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities (PMID: 33034878).

Calthorpe LM, Baer RJ, Chambers BD, Steurer MA, Shannon MT, Oltman SP, Karvonen KL, Rogers EE, Rand LI, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL, Pantell MS. The association between preterm birth and postpartum mental healthcare utilization among California birthing people. American journal of obstetrics & gynecology MFM, 3(4): 100380.

McKenzie-Sampson S, Baer RJ, Blebu BE, Karasek D, Oltman SP, Pantell MS, Rand L, Rogers EE, Torres JM, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL, Scott KA, Chambers BD. Maternal nativity and risk of adverse perinatal outcomes among Black women residing in California, 2011-2017. Journal of perinatology: official journal of the California Perinatal Association, 41(12): 2736-2741.

Goin DE, Gomez AM, Farkas K, Duarte C, Karasek D, Chambers BD, Jackson AV, Ahern J. Occurrence of fatal police violence during pregnancy and hazard of preterm birth in California. Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology, 35(4): 469-478.

Dyer L, Chambers BD, Crear-Perry J, Theall KP, Wallace M. The Index of Concentration at the Extremes (ICE) and Pregnancy-Associated Mortality in Louisiana, 2016-2017. Maternal and child health journal.

Karvonen KL, Baer RJ, Rogers EE, Steurer MA, Ryckman KK, Feuer SK, Anderson JG, Franck LS, Gano D, Peterson MA, Oltman SP, Chambers BD, Neuhaus J, Rand L, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL, Pantell MS. Racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes through 1 year of life in infants born prematurely: a population-based study in California. Journal of Perinatology (PMID: 33514879).

Chambers, B. D., Arega, H. A., Arabia, S. E., Taylor, B., Barron, R. G., Gates, B., ... & McLemore, M. R. Black women’s perspectives on structural racism across the reproductive lifespan: A conceptual framework for measurement development. Maternal and child health journal, 25(3): 402-413.


Links to events sharing Dr. Chambers work:




Education and Degree(s)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative, University of California, San Francisco
  • Ph.D., Community Health Education, Concentration in Educational Research Methods, Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • MPH, Health Promotion, Department of Public Health, Fresno State University
  • BA, Anthropology, Concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests & Expertise
  • Reproductive Justice
  • Racism and discrimination
  • Pregnancy and the postpartum period
  • Black maternal health
  • Women’s health