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Rachel S. Gross

Rachel S. Gross, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health


Rachel Gross MD MS is a general pediatrician, a clinical research investigator, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center. Her research centers on advancing the science of early child obesity prevention by:

  • generating new knowledge about the behavioral, social, economic, and environmental factors that influence excessive weight gain in children and that increase the disparities in the rates of early child obesity
  • developing and evaluating behavioral, social and environmental interventions to improve diet quality and reduce early behavioral patterns associated with obesity
  • ultimately implementing and disseminating these innovative strategies to diverse economic and ethnic communities to achieve population level health outcomes

Dr. Gross is the co-project director for the USDA-funded Starting Early Program (StEP) randomized controlled trial, designed to test the efficacy of a primary care-based family-centered child obesity prevention program for low-income families beginning in the third trimester of pregnancy and continuing through child age 3 years; and for the innovative two-fold expansion of this approach into early pregnancy and the preschool years. Dr. Gross completed an NIH/NICHD-funded K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award to systematically describe relationships between poverty-related risks and maternal-infant feeding styles and the degree to which these styles impact caloric intake and weight trajectories. Using mixed-method approaches, Dr. Gross’ work addresses three salient domains of poverty-related risks: material hardships, low human capital and high psychosocial stressors. These findings aid in conceptualizing, developing and tailoring obesity prevention strategies to directly address poverty-related barriers to intervention success and to improve intervention effectiveness for high-risk families. 

Related to COVID-19 research, Dr. Gross serves as mPI for the Clinical Science Core (CSC) of RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery), which is a large multi-site NIH-funded national initiative to better understand the Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection. In this role, Dr. Gross serves as the lead of the RECOVER Pediatric Observational Cohort Study, to determine the incidence of “Long COVID” in children, the risk and resilience factors associated with developing Long COVID symptoms, and the long-term impacts of Long COVID on child development and other organ systems.

Dr. Gross also serves as mPI on an NICHD-funded R01 to determine whether healthcare- and community-based parenting interventions initially targeting pathways of adversity for families with young children living in poverty can prevent widening of disparities in the context of COVID-19, by pooling and harmonizing seven data sets across four studies in New York City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Flint, Michigan.


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MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Fellowship, New York University School of Medicine, CDC Fellowship in Medicine and Public Health Research

Residency, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Pediatrics

Duh-Leong, Carol; Ghassabian, Akhgar; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Gross, Rachel S; Ortiz, Robin; Gaylord, Abigail; Afanasyeva, Yelena; Lakuleswaran, Mathusa; Spadacini, Larry; Trasande, Leonardo

International journal of obesity (2005). 2023 Jul; 47(7):583-589

Berube, Lauren T; Deierlein, Andrea L; Woolf, Kathleen; Messito, Mary Jo; Gross, Rachel S

Childhood obesity. 2023 May 02;

Duh-Leong, Carol; Fuller, Anne E; Johnson, Sara B; Coble, Chanelle A; Nagpal, Nikita; Gross, Rachel S

Academic pediatrics. 2023 Jan 11;

Duh-Leong, Carol; Ghassabian, Akhgar; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Gross, Rachel S.; Ortiz, Robin; Gaylord, Abigail; Afanasyeva, Yelena; Lakuleswaran, Mathusa; Spadacini, Larry; Trasande, Leonardo

International journal of obesity (2005). 2023 Jan 01; ?-?

Berube, Lauren T.; Deierlein, Andrea L.; Woolf, Kathleen; Messito, Mary Jo; Gross, Rachel S.

Childhood obesity. 2023 Jan 01; ?-?

Nagpal, Nikita; Messito, Mary Jo; Katzow, Michelle; Gross, Rachel S

Pediatrics in review. 2022 Nov 01; 43(11):601-617

Vandyousefi, Sarvenaz; Messito, Mary Jo; Scott, Marc A; Gross, Rachel S

Childhood obesity. 2022 Oct 17;

Miller, Elizabeth B; Whipps, Mackenzie D M; Bogen, Debra L; Morris, Pamela A; Mendelsohn, Alan L; Shaw, Daniel S; Gross, Rachel S

Maternal & child nutrition. 2022 Oct 11; e13446