Daniel Belsky



  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development


  • Columbia University
Mailman School of Public Health
Epidemiology & Robert N Butler Columbia Aging Center


  • United States


PhD, Health Policy, UNC Gillings School of Public Health


Belsky’s research sits at the intersection of public health, population & behavioral science, and genomics.

His studies seek to understand how genes and environments combine to shape health across the life course. The goal of Dan’s work is to reduce social inequalities in aging outcomes in the US and elsewhere. Dan’s research in genetic epidemiology includes polygenic score studies of the development of obesity, asthma, smoking behavior, depression, and socioeconomic risk. His work in aging has focused on the development and analysis of algorithms to quantify the process of biological aging, especially in young and midlife adults. Dan’s work has received international attention, including by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Guardian newspapers, and appeared in outlets including PNAS, Nature Human Behaviour, the JAMA journals, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, and top journals in epidemiology and gerontology. Dan is currently pursuing three related streams of research: (i) Development of methods to quantify processes of biological aging in young and midlife humans; (ii) Analysis of longitudinal cohort study and randomized trial data to identify molecular and behavioral pathways to resilience through which at-risk individuals can slow their pace of aging; and (iii) Analysis of gene-environment interplay to identify environmental factors that can be modified to reduce genetic risk for age-related disease and functional decline.


Jacobs Foundation Early Career Fellow
National Institute on Aging Butler Williams Scholar
National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program Award

Relevant Publications

Belsky DW*, Caspi A, Arseneault L, Corcoran D, Houts R, Moffitt TE, Prinz J, Sugden K, Wertz J, Williams BS, Odgers CL. Genetics and the geography of health, behavior, and attainment. Nature Human Behaviour, Published online April 8, 2019.

Belsky DW¶*, Domingue BD, Weedow R, Arseneault L, Boardman J, Caspi A, Conley DC, Fletcher J, Freese J, Herd P, Moffitt TE, Poulton R, Sicinski K, Wertz J, Harris KM. Genetic analysis of social-class mobility in five longitudinal studies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Plus) USA, 115(31):E7275-84, 2018.

Belsky DW*, Huffman K, Pieper C, Shalev I, Kraus W. Change in the Rate of Biological Aging in Response to Caloric Restriction: CALERIE Biobank Analysis. Journals of Gerontology A: Biological Sciences, 12;73(1):4-10, 2017.

Belsky DW*, Moffitt TE, Corcoran DL, Domingue B, Harrington HL, Hogan S, Houts R, Ramrakha S, Sugden K, Williams B, Poulton R, Caspi A. The genetics of success: How SNPs associated with educational attainment relate to life course development. Psychological Science, 27(7)957-972, 2016.

Belsky DW*, Caspi A, Houts R, Corcoran D, Cohen HJ, Danese A, Harrington HL, Israel S, Levine M, Schaefer J, Sugden K, Williams B, Yashin AI, Poulton R, Moffitt TE. Quantification of biological aging in young adults. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Plus) USA. 112(30):E4104-4110, 2015.