Laura Sampson, Ph.D.

Laura Sampson Headshot



Laura Sampson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine 

Core Faculty, Program in Public Health



PHONE: 631-216-8630

Connect with Dr. Sampson on ORCID

Dr. Sampson studies the mental and physical health effects of stress, trauma, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder, especially as they relate to sleep, aging, and cardiovascular disease. She is interested in health effects of both individually-experienced trauma and collectively experienced trauma, including natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. She has worked with several large, population-based studies including the Nurses' Health Study II, the World Mental Health Survey Initiative, the Ohio Army National Guard Mental Health Initiative, and the Puerto Rico Observational Study of Psychosocial, Environmental, and Chronic Disease Trends. She completed her post-doctoral training in cardiovascular epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Ph.D., Epidemiology, Boston University (2020)

BA, Statistics, Harvard University (2012)

Academic Interests:

Trauma; stress; depression; post-traumatic stress disorder; health behaviors; aging; sleep; cardiovascular disease; social epidemiology; psychiatric epidemiology.

Professional Memberships:

  • International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research

Select Publications:

Sampson L, Cabral HJ, Rosellini AJ, Gradus JL, Cohen GH, Fink DS, King AP, Liberzon I, Galea S. Stressful life events and trajectories of depression in a U.S. military cohort. Scientific Reports 2022; 12: 11026.

Sampson L, Jiang T, Gradus JL, Cabral HJ, Rosellini AJ, Calabrese JR, Cohen GH, Fink DS, King AP, Liberzon I, Galea S. A machine learning approach to predicting new-onset depression in a military population. Psychiatric Research and Clinical Practice 2021; 3(3): 115-122.

Sampson L, Jha SC, Roberts AL, Lawn RB, Nishimi KM, Ratanatharathorn A, Sumner JA, Kang JH, Kubzansky LD, Rimm EB, Koenen KC. Trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and treatment among middle-aged and older women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2022; 30(5): 588-602.

Sampson L, Ettman CK, Abdalla SHM, Colyer E, Dukes K, Lane KJ, Galea S. Financial hardship and health risk behavior during COVID-19 in a large US national sample of women. Social Science & Medicine – Population Health 2021; 13: 100734.

Sampson L, Gradus JL, Cabral HJ, Rosellini AJ, Fink DS, Cohen GH, Liberzon I, Galea S. Stressful life events and incident depression among U.S. military personnel. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2023; 58(7): 1009-1018.

Sampson L, Martins SS, Yu S, Chiavegatto Filho ADP, Andrade LH, Viana MC, Medina-Mora ME, Benjet C, Torres Y, Piazza M, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Cia AH, Stagnaro JC, Zaslavsky AM, Kessler RC, Galea S. The relationship between neighborhood-level socioeconomic characteristics and individual mental disorders in five cities in Latin America: Multilevel models from the World Mental Health Surveys. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2019; 54(2): 157-170.

Lawn RB, Jha SC, Liu J, Sampson L, Murchland AR, Sumner JA, Roberts AL, Disner SG, Grodstein F, Kang JH, Kubzansky LD, Chibnik LB, Koenen KC. The association of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and head injury with mid-life cognitive function in civilian women. Depression & Anxiety 2022; 39(3): 220-232.

Ettman CK, Cohen GH, Abdalla SM, Sampson L, Trinquart L, Castrucci BC, Bork RH, Clark MA, Wilson IB, Vivier PM, Galea S. Persistent depressive symptoms during COVID-19: a national, population representative, longitudinal study of U.S. adults. The Lancet Regional Health – Americas 2022; 5: 100091.

Ettman CK, Abdallah SHM, Cohen GH, Sampson L, Vivier PM, Galea S. Prevalence of depression symptoms in U.S. adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Network Open 2020; 3(9): e2019686–e2019686.

Cohen GH, Tamrakar S, Lowe SR, Sampson L, Ettman C, Linas B, Ruggiero K, Galea S. Comparison of simulated treatment and cost-effectiveness of a stepped care case-finding intervention vs. usual care for posttraumatic stress disorder after a natural disaster. JAMA Psychiatry 2017; 74(12): 1251-1258.