Dr. Tristesse Burton will join the Department of Pharmacy Practice as a Bridge to Faculty Scholar. Dr. Burton is a native of Chicago, hailing from the city's Westside. She earned her B.S. from UIUC in Crop Sciences, a M.S. in Law from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy from UIC College of Pharmacy. Dr. Burton was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences. She currently holds a T32 Precision Lifestyle Medicine and Translation Research (PREMIER) Postdoctoral Fellow in the UIC College of Medicine, along with serving as a collaborator within UNLV's Center for Health Disparities Research. Dr. Burton was recently awarded the 2022 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Her research addresses perinatal cardiometabolic health disparities as risk factors for maternal mortality among Black and Indigenous women through complementary and alternative medicine focusing on plant-based natural products and foods. She utilizes transdisciplinary and collaborative bench to the community, precision nutrition, clinical, community-engaged, and patient-centered methods to 1) Implement innovative plant-based dietary and behavioral interventions that effectively improve perinatal cardiometabolic health outcomes. 2) Understand mechanisms of actions involved in plant-based intervention effectiveness, behavior change, and perinatal cardiometabolic disease pathology. 3) Understand and improve social determinants of health by focusing on plants and culture. Outside of research, she is dedicated to increasing minority representation in STEM careers and higher education and improving minority women's autonomy in making decisions about their healthcare.