Jorge E. Chavarro
Primary Faculty

Jorge E. Chavarro

Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology


Other Positions

Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Epidemiology


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Associate Professor of Medicine

Medicine-Brigham and Women's Hospital

Harvard Medical School


My research focuses on understanding how nutritional and lifestyle factors affect human reproduction and reproductive milestones throughout the life course, and how these events, in turn, impact other aspects of health. Over the last decade, this broad interest has focused primarily on understanding how nutrition impacts human fertility. More recently, my work has expanded to understand how reproductive events impact health throughout life.

The overarching goal of my infertility research is to identify modifiable lifestyle factors that may improve fertility in humans. Towards achieving this goal, I have developed and adapted a series conducted population-based and hospital-based epidemiologic studies which, together, allow a comprehensive examination of the relationship between nutrition and fertility. My work in population-based cohorts has included the identification of nutritional risk factors for infertility and conditions associated with infertility or decreased fecundity such as endometriosis, spontaneous abortion and ectopic pregnancy, as well studies of how nutrition relates to semen quality and other markers of testicular function in healthy young men. My parallel work among couples undergoing infertility treatment, which has primarily taken place at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center, has focused on understanding how pre-treatment diet of both the female and the male partner influence their chances of a successful treatment.

My research agenda has expanded to include the study of long-term health consequences exposures and events before and during pregnancy on the health of mother and child alike. This work is currently focused on two fronts. First, I am currently investigating how cesarean delivery influences growth and health trajectories throughout the life-course relative to being born by vaginal delivery. My group’s work is aimed at understanding whether differences in growth and health trajectories can be explained by incomplete accounting for confounders while also investigating potential biologic mediators of these relations including changes to the gut microbiome and changes to the epigenome. Second, we are also investigating how reproductive traits, fertility and pregnancy complications influence women’s health after pregnancy, as they go through the menopausal transition and beyond.

In order to support my substantive research, I have developed research infrastructure platforms that can be used as a multi-purpose platform supporting life course epidemiologic research. One of these platforms is the Nurses’ Health Study 3 (, an ongoing, open, web-based prospective cohort study of more than 50,000 young health professional women aimed at evaluating the role of diet, lifestyle, and biological factors on various aspects of women’s health, including fertility and health during pregnancy. In parallel, I have been involved in modifying related cohort studies, in particular the Growing Up Today Study ( and to a lesser extent the Nurses’ Health Study II, to facilitate life course epidemiologic research integrating data across these three cohorts as a single cohesive resource for understanding the life course determinants of chronic diseases manifesting in adult life.

MD, Medicine
National University of Colombia

ScD, Nutrition and Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health

ScM, Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health


Genome-wide analysis identifies genetic effects on reproductive success and ongoing natural selection at the FADS locus.

Mathieson I, Day FR, Barban N, Tropf FC, Brazel DM, Vaez A, van Zuydam N, Bitarello BD, Gardner EJ, Akimova ET, Azad A, Bergmann S, Bielak LF, Boomsma DI, Bosak K, Brumat M, Buring JE, Cesarini D, Chasman DI, Chavarro JE, Cocca M, Concas MP, Davey Smith G, Davies G, Deary IJ, Esko T, Faul JD, Franco O, Ganna A, Gaskins AJ, Gelemanovic A, de Geus EJC, Gieger C, Girotto G, Gopinath B, Grabe HJ, Gunderson EP, Hayward C, He C, van Heemst D, Hill WD, Hoffmann ER, Homuth G, Hottenga JJ, Huang H, Hypp?nen E, Ikram MA, Jansen R, Johannesson M, Kamali Z, Kardia SLR, Kavousi M, Kifley A, Kiiskinen T, Kraft P, Kühnel B, Langenberg C, Liew G, Lind PA, Luan J, Mägi R, Magnusson PKE, Mahajan A, Martin NG, Mbarek H, McCarthy MI, McMahon G, Medland SE, Meitinger T, Metspalu A, Mihailov E, Milani L, Missmer SA, Mitchell P, Møllegaard S, Mook-Kanamori DO, Morgan A, van der Most PJ, de Mutsert R, Nauck M, Nolte IM, Noordam R, Penninx BWJH, Peters A, Peyser PA, Polašek O, Power C, Pribisalic A, Redmond P, Rich-Edwards JW, Ridker PM, Rietveld CA, Ring SM, Rose LM, Rueedi R, Shukla V, Smith JA, Stankovic S, Stefánsson K, Stöckl D, Strauch K, Swertz MA, Teumer A, Thorleifsson G, Thorsteinsdottir U, Thurik AR, Timpson NJ, Turman C, Uitterlinden AG, Waldenberger M, Wareham NJ, Weir DR, Willemsen G, Zhao JH, Zhao W, Zhao Y, Snieder H, den Hoed M, Ong KK, Mills MC, Perry JRB.

Nat Hum Behav. 2023 Mar 02. PMID: 36864135


Exercise may boost sperm quality

Men who exercise regularly appear to have higher quality semen compared with men who don’t exercise regularly, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers and colleagues. The study examined data collected…