- My work attempts to build inroads between social epidemiology and genetic epidemiology. I am interested in the social structures that limit or enable genetic factors to influence health related behaviors. I am primarily interested in normative and institutional factors that clarify the extent to which genes may be influencing a behavior like regular smoking. For example, I have shown that genetic factors linked to smoking are more relevant in schools in which the most popular students are also those who smoke the most. Thus, the social environment is posited as a 'triggering' mechanism for genetic expression.