Daniel W Belsky

Assistant Professor in Medicine

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2012


The goal of Dan’s work is to reduce social inequalities in aging outcomes in the US and elsewhere. Dan's research seeks to understand how genes and environments combine to shape health across the life course. His work uses tools from genome science and longitudinal data from population-based cohort studies. The aim is to identify targets for policy and clinical interventions to promote positive development in early life and extend healthspan.

Areas of interest: Aging, health disparities, epidemiology, life course, genetics, genomics, gene-environment interaction

After finishing his Ph.D. at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health in 2012, Dan came to Duke for a postdoc at the Center for The Study of Aging and Human Development. Dan joined the faculty at Duke in 2014. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics at the Duke University School of Medicine and Social Science Research Institute. Dan is a Senior Fellow at the Aging Center and a Research Scholar at the Duke Population Research Institute.

Reuben, A, Caspi, A, Belsky, DW, Broadbent, J, Harrington, H, Sugden, K, Houts, RM, Ramrakha, S, Poulton, R, and Moffitt, TE. "Association of Childhood Blood Lead Levels With Cognitive Function and Socioeconomic Status at Age 38 Years and With IQ Change and Socioeconomic Mobility Between Childhood and Adulthood." JAMA 317.12 (March 2017): 1244-1251. Full Text

Schaefer, JD, Caspi, A, Belsky, DW, Harrington, H, Houts, R, Horwood, LJ, Hussong, A, Ramrakha, S, Poulton, R, and Moffitt, TE. "Enduring mental health: Prevalence and prediction." Journal of abnormal psychology 126.2 (February 2017): 212-224. Full Text

Moskalev, A, Anisimov, V, Aliper, A, Artemov, A, Asadullah, K, Belsky, D, Baranova, A, de Grey, A, Dixit, VD, Debonneuil, E, Dobrovolskaya, E, Fedichev, P, Fedintsev, A, Fraifeld, V, Franceschi, C, Freer, R, Fülöp, T, Feige, J, Gems, D, Gladyshev, V, Gorbunova, V, Irincheeva, I, Jager, S, Jazwinski, SM, Kaeberlein, M, Kennedy, B, Khaltourina, D, Kovalchuk, I, Kovalchuk, O, Kozin, S, Kulminski, A, Lashmanova, E, Lezhnina, K, Liu, G-H, Longo, V, Mamoshina, P, Maslov, A, and Pedro de Magalhaes, J et al. "A review of the biomedical innovations for healthy longevity." Aging 9.1 (January 29, 2017): 7-25. Full Text

Schaefer, JD, Caspi, A, Belsky, DW, Harrington, H, Houts, R, Israel, S, Levine, ME, Sugden, K, Williams, B, Poulton, R, and Moffitt, TE. "Early-Life Intelligence Predicts Midlife Biological Age." The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences 71.6 (November 2016): 968-977. Full Text

Baldwin, JR, Arseneault, L, Odgers, C, Belsky, DW, Matthews, T, Ambler, A, Caspi, A, Moffitt, TE, and Danese, A. "Childhood Bullying Victimization and Overweight in Young Adulthood: A Cohort Study." Psychosomatic medicine 78.9 (November 2016): 1094-1103.

Reuben, A, Moffitt, TE, Caspi, A, Belsky, DW, Harrington, H, Schroeder, F, Hogan, S, Ramrakha, S, Poulton, R, and Danese, A. "Lest we forget: comparing retrospective and prospective assessments of adverse childhood experiences in the prediction of adult health." Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines 57.10 (October 2016): 1103-1112. Full Text

Belsky, DW, Moffitt, TE, Corcoran, DL, Domingue, B, Harrington, H, Hogan, S, Houts, R, Ramrakha, S, Sugden, K, Williams, BS, Poulton, R, and Caspi, A. "The Genetics of Success: How Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms Associated With Educational Attainment Relate to Life-Course Development." Psychological science 27.7 (July 2016): 957-972. Full Text Open Access Copy

Belsky, DW. "Invited Commentary: Lessons for Research on Cognitive Aging From a Study of Children." American journal of epidemiology 183.12 (June 2016): 1083-1085. Full Text Open Access Copy

Conley, D, Laidley, T, Belsky, DW, Fletcher, JM, Boardman, JD, and Domingue, BW. "Assortative mating and differential fertility by phenotype and genotype across the 20th century." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113.24 (June 2016): 6647-6652. Full Text

Meier, MH, Hall, W, Caspi, A, Belsky, DW, Cerdá, M, Harrington, HL, Houts, R, Poulton, R, and Moffitt, TE. "Which adolescents develop persistent substance dependence in adulthood? Using population-representative longitudinal data to inform universal risk assessment." Psychological medicine 46.4 (March 2016): 877-889. Full Text


A pilot study to advance translation of molecular signatures of biological aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2029

Aging in 1000 healthy young adults: the Dunedin Study awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2009 to 2020

Early Career Research Fellowship awarded by Jacobs Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Investigating increasing selectivity of low educational attainment across US birth cohorts in the 20th Century awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2017

Generating new knowledge to support reversibility interventions awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2014 to 2017

Subcontract - The Social and Genetic Epidemiology of Health Behaviors: An Integrated Approach awarded by University of Colorado - Boulder (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015

Subcontract - Social Demographic Moderation of Genome Wide Associations for Body Mass Index awarded by University of Colorado - Boulder (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015