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Public Health Focus/Interests:

A cycle of health can link each generation to the next. And yet, some among us are caught in a cycle of poor health. Dr. Comstock is focused on developing nutritional and syn/pre/pro/post-biotics to break the cycle of poor health.  Her experiences to-date have fueled her interest in the mechanisms by which bacteria (i.e., the microbiota or microbiome) can affect overall health and how environmental exposures such as diet or chemicals can impact the microbiota.


Post Doc, 2015
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Jenifer Fenton, PhD, MPH


Post Doc, 2012
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Urbana, IL
Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD


Doctor of Philosophy, Nutritional Biology, 2008
University of California-Davis, Davis, CA


Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, 2000
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL



Public Health Courses Taught:

HM 876: Nutrition and Chronic Diseases: Living Longer and Healthier

HM 882: Public Health Nutrition: Assessment and Development of Population-Based Interventions

HM 865: Vitamins and Minerals: Risks to Public Health


Professional Experience/Expertise:




Antimicrobial Resistance

Maternal/Infant Health

Human Milk

Perinatal Outcomes


Current Research:

  • A Pre-, Peri-, and Post-natal Approach to Understanding the Risk and Mechanisms for Obesity (R01DK135054, mPI: Andrea Cassidy-Bushrow, Henry Ford Health System)
  • Diversity of Human Milk Oligosaccharide Metabolizing Genes in Two Infant Cohorts (R15AI160139, PI: Vanja Klepac-Ceraj, Wellesley College)
  • Prenatal Maternal Stress, Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, and Cognitive Development: Potential Roles for Inflammation and the Developing Gut Microbiome (R01HD107019, PI: Rebecca Knickmeyer, Michigan State University)
  • Food as Medicine for High-Risk Pregnant and Post-Partum Women (Michigan Health Endowment Foundation; PI: Jean Kerver, Michigan State University)
  • Prenatal Exposures and Child Health Outcomes: A Statewide Study (UH3OD023285; mPIs: Jean Kerver and Nigel Paneth, Michigan State University)
  • ECHO-wide platform for studying mother-to-infant vertical transmission of microbiota. (U2COD023375, PI: Noel Mueller, Johns Hopkins University)
  • Microbial Mediators of the Impact of Maternal Psychosocial Stress on Perinatal and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes. (3UH3OD023285-05S2, PI)



Recent Publications, Presentations:

All of Dr. Comstock's publications can be found at this link:

  • Rahman T, Sarwar PF, Potter C, Comstock SS, Klepac-Ceraj V. Role of human milk oligosaccharide metabolizing bacteria in the development of atopic dermatitis/eczema. Front Pediatr. 2023 Mar 20;11:1090048. doi: 10.3389/fped.2023.1090048. PMID: 37020647
  • Hipwell AE, Tung I, Sherlock P, Tang X, McKee K, McGrath M, Alshawabkeh A, Bastain T, Breton CV, Cowell W, Dabelea D, Duarte CS, Dunlop AL, Ferrera A, Herbstman JB, Hockett CW, Karagas MR, Keenan K, Krafty RT, Monk C, Nozadi SS, O'Connor TG, Oken E, Osmundson SS, Schantz S, Wright R, Comstock SS; program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes. Impact of sedentary behavior and emotional support on prenatal psychological distress and birth outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychol Med. 2023 Mar 8:1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0033291723000314. PMID: 36883203
  • Kerver JM, Khiraya Y, Gryc JM, Gardiner JC, Comstock SS. Feasibility of a Food Delivery Intervention during Pregnancy in a Rural US Population: The PEAPOD Pilot Study. Nutrients. 2023 Feb 5;15(4):816. doi: 10.3390/nu15040816. PMID: 36839174
  • JaBaay NR, Nel NH, Comstock SS. Dietary Intake by Toddlers and Preschool Children: Preliminary Results from a Michigan Cohort. Children (Basel). 2023 Jan 19;10(2):190. doi: 10.3390/children10020190. PMID: 36832319
  • McKee KS, Tang X, Tung I, Wu G, Alshawabkeh AN, Arizaga JA, Bastain TM, Brennan PA, Breton CV, Camargo CA Jr, Cioffi CC, Cordero JF, Dabelea D, Deutsch AR, Duarte CS, Dunlop AL, Elliott AJ, Ferrara A, Karagas MR, Lester B, McEvoy CT, Meeker J, Neiderhiser JM, Herbstman J, Trasande L, O'Connor TG, Hipwell AE, Comstock SS; program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes. Perinatal Outcomes during versus Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Role of Maternal Depression and Perceived Stress: A Report from the ECHO Program. Am J Perinatol. 2023 Mar 23. doi: 10.1055/a-2033-5610. PMID: 36781160
  • DePender S, Russell MM, DeJager J, Comstock SS. Impact of Maternal Vitamin D Supplementation during Breastfeeding on Infant Serum Vitamin D Levels: A Narrative Review of the Recent Evidence. Children (Basel). 2022 Nov 30;9(12):1863. doi: 10.3390/children9121863. PMID: 36553307
  • Zimmerman E, Gachigi KK, Rodgers RF, Watkins DJ, Woodbury M, Cordero JF, Alshawabkeh A, Meeker JD, Huerta-Montañez G, Pabon ZR, Hines M, Velez-Vega CM, Camargo CA Jr, Zhu Y, Nozadi SS, Comstock SS, Hockett C, Tarwater PM, On Behalf Of Program Collaborators For Environmental Influences On Child Health Outcomes. Association between Quality of Maternal Prenatal Food Source and Preparation and Breastfeeding Duration in the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcome (ECHO) Program. Nutrients. 2022 Nov 21;14(22):4922. doi: 10.3390/nu14224922. PMID: 36432608
  • Bu S, Kar W, Tucker RM, Comstock SS. Minimal Influence of Cayenne Pepper on the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Intestinal Inflammation in Healthy Adult Humans-A Pilot Study. Life (Basel). 2022 Nov 11;12(11):1849. doi: 10.3390/life12111849. PMID: 36430985
  • Shipp GM, Weatherspoon LJ, Comstock SS, Alexander GL, Gardiner JC, Kerver JM. Understanding the Impact of Perceived Social Support for Breastfeeding Among African American Women: Results From the Mama Bear Feasibility Trial. Am J Health Promot. 2023 May;37(4):534-537. doi: 10.1177/08901171221138275. PMID: 36330772
  • Becker TB, Fenton JI, Nikolai M, Comstock SS, Swada JG, Weatherspoon LJ, Tucker RM. The impact of COVID-19 on student learning during the transition from remote to in-person learning: using mind mapping to identify and address faculty concerns. Adv Physiol Educ. 2022 Dec 1;46(4):742-751. doi: 10.1152/advan.00079.2022. PMID: 36302137
  • Haddad EN, Kojaoghlanian T, Comstock SS. Moving Toward Remote, Parent-Reported Measurements in Pediatric Anthropometrics for Research and Practice. Front Pediatr. 2022 Mar 8;10:838815. doi: 10.3389/fped.2022.838815. PMID: 35350270
  • Teoh ST, Leimanis-Laurens ML, Comstock SS, Winters JW, Vandenbosch NL, Prokop JW, Bachmann AS, Lunt SY, Rajasekaran S. Combined Plasma and Urinary Metabolomics Uncover Metabolic Perturbations Associated with Severe Respiratory Syncytial Viral Infection and Future Development of Asthma
  • Shipp GM, Weatherspoon LJ, Comstock SS, Norman GS, Alexander GL, Gardiner JC, Kerver JM. Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy as a Predictor of Breastfeeding Intensity Among African American Women in the Mama Bear Feasibility Trial. Breastfeed Med. 2022 May;17(5):453-458. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2021.0301. PMID: 35166571
  • Russell MM, Leimanis-Laurens ML, Bu S, Kinney GA, Teoh ST, McKee RL, Ferguson K, Winters JW, Lunt SY, Prokop JW, Rajasekaran S, Comstock SS. Loss of Health Promoting Bacteria in the Gastrointestinal Microbiome of PICU Infants with Bronchiolitis: A Single-Center Feasibility Study. Children (Basel). 2022 Jan 17;9(1):114. doi: 10.3390/children9010114. PMID: 35053739
  • Ma T, Bu S, Paneth N, Kerver JM, Comstock SS. Vitamin D Supplementation in Exclusively Breastfed Infants Is Associated with Alterations in the Fecal Microbiome. Nutrients. 2022 Jan 1;14(1):202. doi: 10.3390/nu14010202. PMID: 35011077
  • Haddad EN, Ferro LE, Russell KEB, Sugino KY, Kerver JM, Comstock SS. Fecal Bacterial Communities Differ by Lactation Status in Postpartum Women and Their Infants. J Hum Lact. 2022 May;38(2):270-280. doi: 10.1177/08903344211060343. PMID: 34903081