I am a post-doctoral research fellow in the Causal Inference Program within the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, where I work under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen.
I am principally working to implement and extend causal inference techniques in complex survey data with a special emphasis on applications involving high risk sexual behavior. Obtaining representative information from hidden and hard-to-reach populations is fundamental to describing the epidemiology of HIV. Unfortunately, in such settings simple random sampling is difficult and impractical. Complex sampling has been used to sample from these populations, but often at the cost of potential selection bias. I am using causal diagrams to identify the sufficient conditions under which the sampling strategies used by complex surveys can induce selection bias. However, the usual statistical approach to account for the design of such surveys can be inefficient. As a remedy, I am developing a likelihood-based approach for analyzing complex survey data that optimizes efficiency at no cost to validity.
As part of my fellowship research, I collaborate with pediatricians at the University of Botswana School of Medicine to assess risk factors for and the immunologic effects of measles infection among HIV-infected children and adolescents living in Botswana. Measles is one of the few diseases hypothesized to have a paradoxical suppressive effect on HIV. However, very little data supporting this theory exists and no studies have been conducted since the widespread introduction of antiretroviral therapy. We have compiled a cohort of nearly 2,000 pediatric HIV patients in Botswana comprising more than 22,000 clinical encounters over a three year period during which a severe measles outbreak occurred throughout Southern Africa. I am also the lead epidemiologist for a multi-site randomized trial of neonatal male circumcision in southeastern Botswana at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute and a prospective cohort study of treatment outcomes among HIV-exposed, uninfected infants hospitalized for severe pneumonia in Gaborone, Botswana.
ScD, Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 2011
BA, Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003
Kelly MS, ConwayM, Wirth KE, Potter-Bynoe G, Billett A, Sandora TJ. Microbiology and risk factors for CLABSI among pediatric oncology outpatients. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 2013 [in press].
Wirth KE, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Silverman JG, Murray M. How does sex trafficking increase the risk of HIV infection? An observational study from Southern India. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2013 [in press].
Plank R, Ndubuka N, Wirth KE, Mwambona J, Kebaabetswe P, Bassil B, Lesetedi C, Hussein F, Magetse J, Nkgau M, Mosetsana, Makhema J, Mmalane M, Creek T, Powis K, Shapiro R, Lockman S. A randomized trial of Mogen Clamp versus Plastibell for neonatal male circumcision in Botswana. JAIDS. 2013 [in press].
Welch H, Steenhoff AP, Chakalisa U, Arscott-Mills T, Tiwarenge S, Madan S, Gokhale N, Mazhani L, Mokomane M, Foster-Fabiano S, Wirth KE, Skinn A, Pernica JM, Smieja M, Goldfarb DM. Hospital-based Surveillance for Rotavirus Gastroenteritis using Molecular Testing and Immunoassay during the 2011 Season in Botswana. 2013 [in press].
Kelly MS, Conway M, Wirth KE, Potter-Bynoe G, Billett A, Sandora TJ. Moving CLABSI prevention beyond the intensive care unit: risk factors in pediatric oncology patients. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2011; 32(11):1079-85.
Silverman, JG, Decker M, Cheng D, Wirth KE, Saggurti N, McCauley H, Balaiah D, Raj A. Gender-based Disparities in Infant and Child Mortality based on Maternal Exposure to Spousal Violence: The Heavy Burden Borne by Indian Girls. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. 2011; 165(1): 22-27.
Wirth KE, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Murray M. Adjustment for missing data in complex surveys using doubly robust estimation: Application to commercial sexual contact among Indian men. Epidemiology. 2010; 21(6):863-71.
Rein DB, Wittenborn JS, Lee PP, Wirth KE, Sorensen SW, Hoerger TJ, Saaddine JB. The The Cost-Effectiveness of Routine Identification and Subsequent Medical Treatment of Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 2009; 116(5):823-32.
Ford CA, Nonnemaker J, Wirth KE. The Influence of Adolescent Body Mass Index, Physical Activity, and Tobacco Use on Blood Pressure and Cholesterol in Young Adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2008; 43(6):576-83.
Wirth KE, Rein DB. The Economic Costs and Benefits of Dog Guides for the Blind.Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 2008; 15(2):92-8.
Rein DB, Hicks KA, Wirth KE, Billah K, Finelli L, Fiore AE, Hoerger TJ, Bell BP, Armstrong GL. Cost-effectiveness of routine childhood vaccination for hepatitis A in the United States. Pediatrics. 2007; 119(1):e12-21.
Armstrong GL, Billah K, Rein DB, Hicks KA, Wirth KE, Bell BP. The Economics of Routine Childhood Hepatitis A Immunization in the United States–The Impact of Herd Immunity. Pediatrics. 2007; 119(1):e22-9.
Honeycutt AA, Anderson WL, Wirth KE, Coleman MS. Cost-Effectiveness of Standing Orders for Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations in North Carolina Hospitals. Vaccine. 2007; 25(8):1484-96.
Rein DB, Saadine JB, Wittenborn JS, Wirth KE, Hoerger TJ, Sorenson SW, Narayan KMV, Clemons T, Ferris FL. Cost-effectiveness of vitamin therapy for age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmology. 2007; 114(7):1319-26.
Rein DB, Wirth KE, Johnson CA, Lee PP.Estimating Quality-Adjusted Life Year Losses Associated with Visual Field Deficits Using Methodological Approaches. Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 2007; 14(4):258-64.
Rein DB, Zhang P, Wirth KE, Lee PP, Hoerger TJ, McCall N, Klein R, Tielsch JM, Vijan S, Saadine J. The Economic Burden of Major Adult Visual Disorders in the United States. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2006; 124(12):1754-60.