Healthcare Experts

Symma Finn

Institut Pasteur de Bangui


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.

Research Interest

ocial and behavioral research Community-engaged and community resilience research Health disparities Environmental health literacy and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education


  • Dong J, Wyss, Yang J, Price R, Nicolas A, Nalls M, Tranah G, Franceschini N, Xu Z, Schulte C, Alonso A, Cummings SR, Fornage M, Zaykin D, Li L, Huang X, Kritchevsky S, Liu Y, Gasser T, Wilson RS, De Jager PL, Singleton AB, Pinto JM, Harris T, Mosley Jr. TH, Bennett DA, London S, Yu L, Chen H. Genome-wide association analysis of the sense of smell in U.S. older adults: Identification of novel risk loci in African-Americans and European-Americans. 2017; Molecular Neurobiology, doi:10.1007/s12035-016-0282-8

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