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Graduate Student

Email: rachel_wilbur at


Office: Alumni Hall 410B

Bio of research interest:

My dissertation research focuses on the effects of social determinants of health and historical trauma on the human epigenome and the ways in which the resulting epigenetic changes impact contemporary health among Native American and Alaska Native populations.


Rachel E. Wilbur & Danielle R. Gartner. Addressing historical trauma among American Indians and Alaskan Natives: the ethics of     making space for multiple narratives in public health research and practice. In The Value of Stories: Narrative Ethics in Public Health. Due for publication December 2020.

Ellis, Clyde, Danielle R. Gartner, Meredith M. McCoy, & Rachel E. Wilbur. (2018). Impact of the Boarding School Era On Native Americans Today: An Interdisciplinary Review of Existing Literature. (accepted by the Native American Rights Fund)

Wilbur, Rachel E., Jacob S. Griffin., Mark Sorensen, Robert D. Furberg. (2018). Establishing digital biomarkers for occupational health assessment in commercial salmon fishermen: a mixed-methods study design. JMIR Res Protoc. 7(12):e10215. doi: 10.2196/10215.

Schrotz-King, P., Dolp, K., Paskow, M., Buck, K., Abbenhardt, C., Staffa, J., Tosic, S., Widmer, V., Scherer, D., Habermann, N., Vickers, K., Wilbur, R.E., Hoffmeister, M., Chang-Claude, J., Brenner, H., Ulrich, C.M. (2012). Abstract 81: Dietary supplement use among German colorectal cancer patients: The ColoCare Study. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 21(11)_supplement pg. 81

Wilbur, R., Corbett, S., Drisko, J. (2016). Tuberculosis morbidity at Haskell Institute, a Native American youth boarding school, 1910-1940: Impacts of historical and existing social determinants of health. Annals of Anthropological Practice. (accepted).

Wilbur, R., Stein, A., Pinzon, E., Ahmed, O., McNair, O., Ribisl, K. (2015). Smoke-free multiunit housing policy: Caretakers’ perspectives on economic and personal impacts. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12(7): 8092-8102. PMID: 26184274

Buchbinder, M., Wilbur, R., McLean, S., Sleath, B. (2015). “Is there any way I can get something for my pain?” Patient strategies for requesting analgesics. Patient Education and Counseling 98(2): 137-143. PMID 25468395

Buchbinder, M., Wilbur, R., Zuskov, D., McLean, S., Sleath, B. (2014). Teachable moments and missed opportunities for smoking cessation counseling in a hospital emergency department: A mixed-methods study of patient provider communication. BMC Health Services Research 14(1):651. PMID:25526749.

Education background:

BA/BS University of Washington, 2011

MPH University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015

PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (in progress)