Natalia Palacios

Visiting Scientist

Department of Nutrition

Full CV:  Palacios Dec 2014 CV


B.A. Biochemistry, Rice University, Summa Cum Laude

M.S. Epidemiology, Harvard University

Ph.D. Nutritional Epidemiology, Harvard University

Other Affiliations

Instructor in Medicine – Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical School


My research focuses on the epidemiology of Parkinson Disease, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions.  I am currently the recipient of a K01 young investigator award, a 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the association between exposure to air pollution and risk of Parkinson disease in large US-based cohorts.  As part of this project I am using data from the Nurses Health Study, a cohort of over 100,000 women and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a cohort of over 40,000 men, to examine if GIS-derived measures of air pollution based on participants residential address is related to future risk of PD.  I am also interested interested in better understanding risk factors for PD progression as well as mortality.  I have extensive experience with studies of gene-environment interactions in PD, prospective stuidies of MS and ALS and have served as a project director for a program on the epidemiology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Selected Publications

Morozova N, Allers J, Myers J, Shamoo Y. Protein-RNA interactions: exploring binding patterns with a three-dimensional superposition analysis of high resolution structures. Bioinformatics. 2006 Nov 15;22(22):2746-52. PMID: 16966360

Weisskopf MG, McCullough ML, Morozova N, Calle EE, Thun MJ, Ascherio A. Prospective study of occupation and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mortality. Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Dec 15;162(12):1146-52. PMID: 16269579.

Morozova N, O’Reilly E., Ascherio A. Variations in gender ratios support the connection between smoking and Parkinson disease. Mov Disord. 2008 Jul 30; 23(10):1414-9. PMCID: PMC3124940

Morozova N, Weisskopf MG, McCullough ML, Munger KL, Calle EE, Thun MJ, Ascherio A. Diet and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Epidemiology. 2008 Mar;19(2):324-37. PMID: 18300717

Weisskopf MG, Morozova N, O’Reilly EJ, McCullough ML, Calle EE, Thun MJ, Ascherio A.   Prospective study of chemical exposures and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 May; 80(5): 558-561. PMCID: PMC2765376

Palacios N, Weisskopf M, Simon K, Gao X, Schwarzschild M, Ascherio A. Polymorphisms of caffeine metabolism and estrogen receptor genes and risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women Parkinsonism Relat Disord. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2010 July; 16(6): 370-375. Published online 2010 March 20. PMCID: PMC2916058

Palacios N, Xiang Gao, Marjorie L. McCullough, Jacobs E, Patel A, Mayo T, Schwarzschild M.A., Ascherio A.   Obesity, Diabetes and Risk of Parkinson Disease. Mov Disord. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 April 16.Published in final edited form as: Mov Disord. 2011 October; 26(12): 2253-2259. PMCID: PMC3627531

Palacios N, Alonso A, Bronnum-Hansen H, Ascherio A.   Smoking and Increased Risk of Multiple Sclerosis: Parallel Trends in the Sex Ratio Reinforce the Evidence. Ann Epidemiol. Ann Epidemiol. 2011 July; 21(7): 536-542. PMCID: PMC3124940

Palacios N, Walters A, Ascherio A.   RLS in middle aged women and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in their offspring. Xiang Gao, Kristen Lyall, Sleep Med. Sleep Med. 2011 January; 12(1): 89-91. PMCID: PMC3008213

Palacios N, Gao X, O’Reilly E, Schwarzschild M, McCullough ML, Mayo T, Gapstur SM, Ascherio AA. Alcohol and risk of Parkinson’s disease in a large, prospective cohort of men and women. Mov Disord. 2012 Jul;27(8):980-7. PMCID: PMC3548327

Palacios N, Gao X, McCullough ML, Schwarzschild MA, Shah R, Gapstur S, Ascherio A. Caffeine and risk of Parkinson’s disease in a large cohort of men and women. Mov Disord. 2012 Sep 1;27(10):1276-82. PMCID: PMC3554265

Palacios N, Ascherio A. Reply to: Diabetes and risk of Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. 2013 Feb;28(2):258. PMCID: PMC3676687

Palacios N, Gao X, Schwarzschild M, Ascherio A. Declining Quality of Life in Parkinson Disease Before and After Diagnosis. Journal of Parkinson Disease. 2(2). 153-16. PMCID: PMC3744127

Palacios N, Fitzgerald K, Roberts AL, Hart JE, Weisskopf MG, Schwarzschild MA, Ascherio A, Laden F. A Prospective Analysis of Airborne Metal Exposures and Risk of Parkinson Disease in the Nurses Health Study Cohort. Environmental Health Perspect. 2014. Sep; 122(9):933-8. PMCID: PMC4154211

Palacios N, Fitzgerald KC, Hart JE, Weisskopf MG, Schwarzschild MA, Ascherio A, Laden F. Particulate matter and risk of Parkinson disease in a large prospective study of women. Environ Health. 2014 Oct 7; 13:80. PMCID: PMC4201741