On Friday August 7, a group of faculty, post doctoral fellows and students participated in a retreat for the Medicare Air Pollution Study, entitled Data Science in Environmental Health. The retreat is an annual event that is jointly organized by Francesca Dominici, Professor of Biostatistics and Senior Associate Dean for Research at the Chan School, Michelle Bell, Professor of Environmental Health at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Roger Peng, Associate Professor of Biostatistics at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Cory Zigler and Brent Coull are also heavily involved in the planning and success of the retreat. This year Chirag Patel, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the Harvard Medical School presented with his team members.
Topics of discussion included: statistical methods for the analysis of large spatio temporal data to adjust for measured and unmeasured confounding, methods for causal inference to assess the effectiveness of environmental interventions, and methods for reproducible research. The methods were applied to the linked Medicare data, air pollution data, and data on power plants to address questions related to health impacts of air pollution, climate change, wildfires and other environmental and social stressors.