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Featured Profile: Leigh Tenkku Lepper


Leigh Tenkkuy Lepper

University of Missouri researcher Dr. Leigh Tenkku Lepper is renowned for her efforts in preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Although she has investigated such varied topics as childhood migraines, acupuncture and women’s mental health, Tenkku Lepper is best known for her research on FASD. The disorder manifests in childhood as physical abnormalities along with social, attention and learning difficulties that continue into adulthood. It cannot be cured, but it is preventable.

Tenkku Lepper has been an invited speaker at more than 50 regional and national conferences on FASD. She has received more than $2 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support her research, and she is a lead author on the CDC’s most recent FASD Curriculum Development Guide.

At MU, Tenkku Lepper serves as director of the Mental and Reproductive Health in FASD Practice Implementation Center, a group of individuals working to increase education regarding the prevention of FASD. Under her leadership, the Center is joining forces with other national organizations to disseminate training programs, increase FASD prevention and connect health care providers to community resources to benefit those living with FASDs.

Dr. Leigh Tenkku Lepper is the director for research in the School of Social Work within the College of Human Environmental Sciences and directs MU’s interdisciplinary Master of Public Health Program.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine