Associate Professor in the Departments of Biostatistics and Global Health and Population
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, HMS
Dr. Wyshak’s research has related to a wide variety of areas, among which are the genetics of dizygotic twinning, health promotion, women’s health, technological assessment, screening tests for psychiatric disorders, and psychiatric problems among refugees.
A brief selective review of her work follows. Twinning and characteristics of mothers of twins have been a long-term research interest. Early work on twinning showed that dizygotic twinning is genetically determined, the mode of transmission being maternal recessive, using data from the archives of the Mormon church in Salt Lake City. Cancer in mothers of dizygotic twins and health characteristics have been studied extensively.
A seminal study of health promotion of physicians and lawyers has been widely replicated by many investigators. Work on women’s health, based on a study of 5398 college alumnae, half of whom were athletes in college, half non-athletes has resulted in a number of new findings on women’s health including an association between carbonated beverage consumption and bone fracture in postmenopausal athletic women, reproductive factors and melanomas, smoking and ovarian cysts.
In collaboration with the Technology Assessment Group, at the School, Dr. Wyshak has published on the use of medical registries and data sets, such as the Connecticut Tumor Registry in technology assessment.
In psychiatry, ROC analysis has been applied for the comparison of psychiatric screening tests in a general medical setting.
Research in progress includes investigating the interactions among violence, anxiety and depression, and alcohol and substance abuse among patients seen in primary care settings; bone fractures and cola consumption among adolescents; and nutrient intake (fiber and fat) in relation to menstrual irregularities in young women; and assessing the impact of torture and trauma on psychiatric symptoms among Southeast Asian refugees; environmental factors and fertility.
Ph.D., 1964, Yale University