Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha

Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha

(617) 636-3809
136 Harrison Avenue, Room 252
Research/Areas of Interest:

Currently, I am an Associate Professor within the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University. Additionally, I am the Principal Investigator of an NIMHD R01 (1R01MD016026-01) study entitled "Reducing Racial Disparities in SMM Post COVID19: Assessing the integration of maternal safety bundles and community based doulas to improve outcomes for Black women" Given my extensive training in community-driven participatory research, health disparities, maternal and child health, and qualitative methods, my participation in the BIRCWH Program as a mentor with a focus on health disparities will be an opportunity to further expand my expertise. For the past 15 years, I have worked successfully in communities of color on issues including advancing the understanding, prevention, and reduction of maternal mortality or morbidity among racial and ethnic minority women and socioeconomically disadvantaged women. I have spent substantial time building community-researcher relationships in urban communities, providing technical assistance, and serving as a member of various community-based organizations. Previously, as a recipient of an NIMH training grant, I served as the PI of a pilot study that focused on mother-daughter communication in HIV+ African American women. The pilot study, Project DASH (DIVAS Against the Study of HIV/AIDS) is a dyadic study that explores HIV risk for daughters with HIV+ mothers. This mixed methods pilot study utilized individual interviews and a quantitative survey to examine the quality and context of the mother/daughter relationship as a predictor of sexual behavior and HIV risk in the daughter.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, United States, 2010
  • Master’s in Public Health, George Washington University, Washington D.C., United States, 2005
  • Bachelor of Arts, Rutgers University, United States, 2003
  • Bachelor of Science, Rutgers University, United States, 2003


Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is the Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Her current research interests include maternal health disparities, reproductive health and social justice, infant mortality, and HIV/AIDS in Black women. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha also serves as the inaugural Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Public Health and Professional Degree Programs. In 2022 Dr. Amutah-Onukagha founded the Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice (CBMHRJ) at Tufts University School of Medicine and is one of the first centers dedicated nationwide to addressing maternal health inequities.

Ndidiamaka is the Principal Investigator of two multi-year studies on maternal mortality and morbidity, an R01 funded by the National Institutes of Health and an interdisciplinary grant on health equity funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Additionally, she is a member of the MA-COVID 19 Maternal Equity Coalition and was honored with the American Public Health Association's Maternal and Child Health Section's Young Professional of the Year Award in 2019. She is in the 2020-2021 class of the top 40 under 40 Minority Leaders in Healthcare, an annual award given out by the National Minority Quality Forum. Ndidiamaka is a life-long member of the American Public Health Association and is currently the co-chair of the Perinatal and Women's Health committee in the Maternal and Child Health section. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Women's Health Issues, and as a board member for the Neighborhood Birth Center in Boston, and the National Women's Health Network. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is the Founder and Director of the Maternal Outcomes for Translational Health Equity Research (MOTHER) Lab, a research lab with a keen interest in reducing maternal health disparities as experienced by Black women.

A well-published author, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha has over 70 manuscripts, 6 book chapters, a best-selling book on Amazon, and a textbook on culturally responsive evaluation. Her research has also been featured across a series of platforms, including, The Lancet, TedX, USA Today, and MSNBC. She also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Women's Health Issues.She lives in MA with her husband and two sons.