Associate Professor of Epidemiology
My methodologic research concerns how we distinguish between association and causation in the biomedical and social sciences and the study of the mechanisms by which causal effects arise. The current focus of my work includes the analysis of pathways, assessments of interaction, and the evaluation of spillover effects in which one person’s exposure will affect the outcomes of another. My research employs counterfactual theory and ideas from causal inference to clarify and formalize concepts used by epidemiologists, biomedical researchers and social scientists. This methodology in causal inference is relevant for comparative effectiveness research, evaluating and improving policy recommendations, and explaining mechanisms.
My empirical work has been in the areas of perinatal, psychiatric and genetic epidemiology; various fields within the social sciences; and the study of religion and health. In perinatal epidemiology, I have worked on evaluating prenatal care indices, on the analysis of trends in birth outcomes, and on assessing the role of preterm birth in mediating the effects of prenatal exposures on mortality outcomes. In genetic epidemiology, I have been studying gene-environment interaction and the pathways by which genetic variants operate. In psychiatric epidemiology, I have been studying the feedback and inter-relationships between depression, loneliness and subjective well-being. My work in the social sciences has included the study of educational interventions, micro-finance programs, social network effects, and judicial decisions. My work in religion and health is oriented towards assessing the mechanisms by which religion and spirituality affect health outcomes.
Link to: Research Publications
Ph.D. (Biostatistics) 2006, Harvard University
A.M. (Biostatistics) 2005, Harvard University
M.A. (Mathematics) 2005, University of Oxford
M.A. (Finance) 2002, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
B.A. (Philosophy and Theology) 2000, University of Oxford
B.A. (Mathematics) 2000, University of Oxford