Megan Woodbury

Postdoctoral Research Associate,  PROTECT

Research Focus

Prenatal exposures and neurodevelopment, neurotoxicology, environmental epidemiology, environmental health, public health, endocrine disrupting chemicals, drugs and supplements, interactive effects of exposures


Megan is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with PROTECT and CRECE as part of the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program under the guidance of Drs. Emily Zimmerman and Akram Alshawabkeh. Her research primarily focuses on understanding the relationships of non-nutritive suck (NNS) with prenatal exposures and later cognitive outcomes. Megan earned a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Biology from Northern Illinois University before pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where her dissertation work focused on the relationships of prenatal exposures to a class of endocrine disrupting chemicals called phthalates and acetaminophen with early language development and attention. In her free time, she enjoys spoiling her nephew, painting her nails, reading, listening to true crime and history or political/comedy podcasts, and spending time with her husband and their cat, Curie.


PhD, Neuroscience
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2021

BA, Psychology
Northern Illinois University, 2014

BS, Biology
Northern Illinois University, 2014

Honors & Awards

International Environmental Epidemiology Society
2022 Travel Award

Developmental Neurotoxicology Society
2022 Philip Bushnell Conference Travel Award
2019 Travel Award

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Skills for Health and Research Professionals (SHARP)
2022 Environmental Mixtures Workshop Scholarship

Alpha Omega Epsilon
November 2020 Volunteer of the Month

Research Overview

Prenatal exposures and neurodevelopment, neurotoxicology, environmental epidemiology, environmental health, public health, endocrine disrupting chemicals, drugs and supplements, interactive effects of exposures

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

Woodbury ML, Geiger SD, Schantz SL. The relationship of prenatal acetaminophen exposure and attention-related behavior in early childhood. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2024; 101:107319. DOI: 10.1016/

Eick SM, Ortlund K, Aguiar A, Merced-Nieves FM, Woodbury ML, Milne GL, Schantz SL. Associations between oxidative stress biomarkers during pregnancy and infant cognition at 7.5 months. Accepted for publication in Developmental Psychobiology.

Woodbury ML, Cintora P, Ng SH, Hadley PA, Schantz SL. The association of prenatal acetaminophen exposure and early language development. Pediatric Research. 2023 DOI: 10.1038/s41390-023-02924-4

Enright EA*, Eick SM*, Morello-Frosch R, Aguiar A, Woodbury ML, Sprowles JLN, Geiger S, Trowbridge J, Andrade A, Smith S, Park JS, DeMicco E, Padula, Woodruff TJ, Schantz SL. Associations of prenatal exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) with measures of cognition in 7.5-month-old infants. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2023; 98:107182. DOI:10.1016/
*Authors contributed to publication equally

Zimmerman E, Gachigi KK, Rodgers RF, Watkins DJ, Woodbury M, Cordero JF, Alshawabkeh A, Meeker JD, Huerta-Montañez G, Rosario Pabon Z, Hines M, Velez-Vega CM, Camargo Jr. CA, Zhu Y, Nozadi SS, Comstock SS, Hockett C, Tarwater PM. Association Between Quality of Maternal Prenatal Food Source and Preparation and Breastfeeding Duration in The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcome (ECHO) Program. Nutrients. 2022; 14(22):4922. DOI: 10.3390/nu14224922

Zimmerman E*, Aguiar A*, Aung MT, Geiger SD, Hines M, Woodbury ML, Martens A, Huerta-Montañez G, Cordero JF, Meeker JD, Schantz SL, Alshawabkeh A. Examining the association between prenatal maternal stress and infant non-nutritive suck. Pediatric Research (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41390-021-01894-9
*Authors contributed to publication equally

Dzwilewski KLC*, Woodbury ML*, Aguiar A, Korrick SA, Merced-Nieves F, Schantz SL (2021). Associations of prenatal exposure to phthalates with measures of cognition in 7.5-month-old infants. Neurotoxicology. 84: 84-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuro.2021.03.001
*Authors contributed to publication equally

Balachandran RC, Hatcher KM, Sieg ML, Sullivan EK, Molina LM, Mahoney MM, Eubig PA (2020). Pharmacological Challenges Examining the Underlying Mechanism of Altered Response Inhibition and Attention Due to Circadian Disruption in Adult Long-Evans Rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 193: 172915. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2020.172915

Balachandran R, Sieg ML, Tran CTQ, Clancy B, Beaudin S, Eubig PE. (2019). Cholinergic and Dopaminergic Interactions Alter Attention and Response Inhibition in Long-Evans Rats Performing the 5-Choice Serial Response Time Task. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 175:160-173. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2018.10.006

Köppen JR, Stuebing SL, Sieg ML, Blackwell AA, Blankenship PA, Cheatwood JL, Wallace DG.  (2016). Cholinergic deafferentation of the hippocampus causes non-temporally graded retrograded amnesia in an odor discrimination task. Behavioural Brain Research. 299: 97-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.11.021