Colter M. Mitchell

Faculty Associate, PSC
Research Associate Professor, Family Demography, Survey Research Center
Colter M. Mitchell


Colter Mitchell received a Master's degree in Statistics and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan, before beginning a postdoctoral fellowship in Biodemography at Princeton University. Shortly afterward, Mitchell joined the University of Michigan as a faculty member, where he now serves in numerous capacities, including Research Faculty with ISR's Population Studies Center, Associate Director of the Bio-Social Methods Collaborative, Co-Director of the ISR Biospecimen Lab, and Research Assistant Professor with ISR's Survey Research Center. Dr. Mitchell is also a Principal Investigator in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a collaboration with Princeton and Columbia Universities, where he leads the "Adolescent Wellbeing and Brain Development" study.

Mitchell's research focuses on the causes and consequences of family formation behavior. He examines how social contextual factors such as poverty, parental incarceration, and neighborhood characteristics interact with and influence genetic, epigenetic, and neurodevelopmental measures, and investigates how these biomarkers in turn predict later life health and well-being. His research also includes the development of novel methods for biomarker data collection and integrating the analysis of biological and social data in population- based studies. Across his many studies and initiatives, Dr. Mitchell conducts interdisciplinary research that links social, biological, and health sciences, collecting and maintaining the country's most representative neurological, biological, and behavioral data for adolescents.

In 2019, Dr. Mitchell was honored with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.