Symma Finn


Areas of Specialty:

  • Social and behavioral research
  • Community-engaged and community resilience research
  • Health disparities
  • Environmental health literacy and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education
  • Environmental and Genomic Data sharing
  • Deepwater Horizon Research Consortia
  • Breast Cancer & the Environment Research Program


PHP web page:

Phone:  (919) 541-4258
Address: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-04
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709


Symma Finn, Ph.D., received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of Florida (UF) in 2008 for her work on quantifying empowerment in a rare genetic disease community. She has a M.A. from the University of Miami in environmental anthropology for her work on the anthropological aspects of ecosystem management, and an undergraduate degree in communications from Adelphi University.

Symma has conducted research on physician-nurse-patient communication and shared decision making as a postdoctoral fellow at UF, has served as director of research and grants for the Alpha-1 Foundation, a rare genetic disease organization, and as administrative assistant to the dean of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She joined DERT in December 2011 after concluding an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Policy Fellowship in the NIH Office of Science Policy/Office of Biotechnology Activities. Symma administers social and behavioral research and develops new areas of interest in communications and environmental health literacy. She is overseeing communication and outreach and community resilience activities for the Deepwater Horizon Research Consortium, and is involved in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program, Partnerships for Environmental Public Health, and in other programs that deal with health disparities, environmental justice, and communications.

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