Melissa Creary, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Co-Director, MSHIELD

Melissa Creary, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health. She is also Senior Advisor of Public Health, Policy, and Equity at the American Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network (ATHN) and Associate Director of Anti-Racism for Michigan Social Health Interventions to Eliminate Disparities (MSHIELD) at Michigan Medicine.  She received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (focusing on Health, History, and Culture) at the Graduate Institute for the Liberal Arts (ILA) and Masters in Public Health at Emory University. Over a nine-year career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Blood Disorders, she helped create and lead the first national program and data collection system for sickle cell disease (SCD) at the agency.  

Dr. Creary is an interdisciplinary social scientist who has worked with the sickle cell and bleeding disorder community as a scientist, policy maker, and public health researcher for over 20 years. Her primary research interests include how science, culture, and policy intersect, particularly around ethical, legal, and social concerns (ELSI). Through a health equity lens and using historical and ethnographic methods, she uses sickle cell disease as a case to investigate simultaneous constructions of race and science via the development of policy. Her anti-racist research also theorizes how embodied outcomes of accumulated injustice and exclusion inhibit the receipt of justice even via well-meaning programs, policies, and technologies designed to build equity. She speaks on topics of justice, racism and anti-racism in health and biomedicine, COVID-19, identity politics in health, and bioethics.  She has been published in Social Science and Medicine, BioSocieties, Law, Medicine, and Ethics, The American Journal of Bioethics, and JAMA Open Network.