Sunni Mumford, PhD



Sunni Mumford, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology (appointment in process)

Dr. Mumford is nationally and internationally renowned for her research on modifiable dietary and lifestyle factors that affect reproduction — research that has informed official guidelines and recommendations for women, men and couples. This work uses couples-based approaches with participants recruited before conception, and it combines large datasets to disentangle the role of dietary and lifestyle factors. She has also significantly advanced the field via novel methods, in implementation studies and data analyses alike. In the Impact of Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle (IDEAL) on Fertility Study, for example, her new cohort incorporates innovative wearable technology to address exposure misclassification and specific questions about the timing of physical activity and sleep during infertility treatment — which also allows for more translatable results, given the widespread use of these devices. Dr. Mumford’s interdisciplinary training in nutritional and reproductive epidemiology and biostatistics provides her with unique expertise in the design and analysis of population-based studies to improve the health of women and men across the life course.

Dr. Mumford, along with Kurt Barnhart, MD, MSCE, co-lead the Penn Women’s Health Clinical Research Center, which bridges the DBEI, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Division of Neonatology of the CHOP/PSOM Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Mumford has been funded by many peer-reviewed intramural NIH research grants and has appeared in publications such as The Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature Communications, and The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. She has garnered many awards, including the Rising Star Award from the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research, the Brian MacMahon Early Career Epidemiologist Award from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award. She also was recently appointed as an Editor of the journal Epidemiology and Associate Editor of Fertility & Sterility.


Reproductive epidemiology, nutrition, lifestyle, women’s health, men’s health


Causal inference


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


423 Guardian Drive
821 Blockley Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104


BS in statistics, Utah State University
SM in biostatistics, Harvard University
PhD in epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Schisterman EF, Sjaarda LA, Clemons T, Carrell DT, Perkins NJ, Johnstone E, Lamb D, Chaney K, Van Voorhis BJ, Ryan G, Summers K, Hotaling J, Robins J, Mills JL, Mendola P, Chen Z, DeVilbiss EA, Peterson CM, Mumford SL. Effect of folic acid and zinc supplementation in men on semen quality and live birth among couples undergoing infertility treatment: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA 7;323(1):35-48, 2020. PMID: 31910279. PMCID: PMC6990807

Mumford SL, Garbose RA, Kim K, Kissell K, Kuhr DL, Omosigho UR, Perkins NJ, Galai N, Silver RM, Sjaarda LA, Plowden TC, Schisterman EF. Association of preconception serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with livebirth and pregnancy loss: a prospective cohort study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 6(9):725-32, 2018. PMID: 29859909. PMCID: PMC6109429.

Purdue-Smithe AC, Kim K, Nobles C, Schisterman EF, Schliep KC, Perkins NJ, Sjaarda LA, Freeman JR, Robinson SL, Radoc JG, Mills JL, Silver RM, Ye A, Mumford SL. The role of maternal preconception vitamin D status in human offspring sex ratio. Nature Comm 12(1):2789, 2021. PMID: 33986298. PMCID: PMC8119683. Student Prize Paper Award Honorable Mention from the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research 2019.

Mumford SL, Schisterman EF, Cole SR, Westreich D, Platt RW. Time at risk and intention to treat analyses: parallels and implications for inference. Epidemiology 26(1):112-118, 2015. With discussion. PMID: 25275571. PMCID: PMC6191842.

Mumford SL, Johnstone E, Kim K, Ahmad M, Salmon S, Summers K, Chaney K, Ryan G, Hotaling JM, Purdue-Smithe AC, Chen Z, Clemons T. A prospective cohort study to evaluate the Impact of Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle on Fertility (IDEAL): Design and baseline characteristics. Am J Epidemiol 189(11):1254-65, 2020. PMID: 32472141. PMCID: PMC7604525.

Mumford SL, Flannagan KS, Radoc JG, Sjaarda LA, Zolton JR, Metz TD, Plowden TC, Perkins NJ, DeVilbiss E, Andriessen VC, Purdue-Smithe AC, Kim K, Yisahak SF, Freeman JR, Alkhalaf Z, Silver RM, Schisterman EF. Cannabis use while trying to conceive: a prospective cohort study evaluating associations with fecundability, live birth, and pregnancy loss. Hum Reprod 2021 Jan 9;deaa355. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deaa355. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33421071.


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