Donna Spiegelman

Professor of Epidemiologic Methods, Emerita

Department of Epidemiology

Talks 2018

July 2018: Dr. Donna Spiegelman will be presenting her poster “Power calculations for stepped wedge designs with binary outcomes,” in the XXIXth International Biometric Conference Poster Presentations in Barcelona, Spain.

July 25th: Dale Barnhart, ScD Candidate, will be a speaker at the 22nd International Aids Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her talk will be on “The impact of PEPFAR PMTCT funding on reduced infant morality and improved ANC care in Kenya: A  quasi-experimental evaluation.”

July 28th-August 2nd: Dr. Donna Spiegelman will be presenting her talk “The impact of PEPFAR PMTCT funding on reduced infant mortality and improved ANC care in Kenya: A quasi-experimental evaluation,” at the 2018 Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia.

June 2018

On June 22, Dr. Donna Spiegelman was an invited speaker at the AcademyHealth 2018 Annual Research meeting in Seattle, WA. Her talk was titled “Innovative Methods for Studying Complex Interventions: Applying PCORI Methods Standards to Study Mechanisms and Adaptation.”

On June 5th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman was an invited speaker at the 2018 Statistical Society of Canada’s Annual Meeting at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She presented on “Frequentist and Bayesian methods for estimation and inference about the population attributable risk in the presence of exposure misclassification.”

On June 4th,  Dr. Ashley Buchanan was an invited speaker at the 2018 Statistical Society of Canada’s Annual Meeting at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She presented on “Assessing Individual and Disseminated Causal Package Effects in Network HIV Treatment and Prevention Trials.”

May 2018

In May, Donna wished many of her Graduate students farewell at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Commencement Ceremony. She wishes all the HSPH 2018 Graduates the best of luck in all their future endeavors!

Donna with two EPI MS graduates, who she advised, Michelle Xu and Amanda Kelly.
Donna with a MPH-QM Graduate, Tomi (who she advised), and her family at the 2018 HSPH Commencement Ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

On May 22nd, Dr. Daniel Nevo  presented his poster titled, “On the difference method for mediation analysis in generalized linear models”  at the 2018 Atlantic Causal Inference Conference (ACIC) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

May 15th: Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research & Cancer Section hosted Dr. Donna Spiegelman’s seminar on “An Overview of Methods for Evaluating Effectiveness and Impact of Interventions in Public Health.” 

On May 8th, the Committee on the Advancement of Women Faculty (CAWF) presented Dr. Donna Spiegelman with the 2018 CAWF Mentoring Award.

“Adept at acknowledging the unique expertise everyone brings to the table—and ensuring that everyone is sitting at the table—Professor Spiegelman provides her mentees with evidence-based recommendations, drawing from her rich experience publishing papers and fostering collaborations. Characterized by her mentees as an empathetic listener, she asks questions and shows genuine interest in their answers. She advocates on behalf of her mentees for the recognition they deserve and models self-advocacy.”
-The Committee on the Advacement of Women Faculty

 

On May 4,  Dr. Donna Spiegelman and Dr. Miguel Hernan hosted the 4th Kolokotrones Symposium on the Data Science of Implementation Science where Dale Barnhart, ScD Candidate, presented her talk on “Introduction to Implementation Science:  Definitions, Motivations, and Common Features,” and Dr. Daniel Nevo presented his talk on “Learn-as-you-Go” (LAGO) Design for Multi-Stage Intervention Studies.”

April 2018

On April 16th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman was a speaker at the “Improving Reproducible Research Practices in Schools of Public Health,” symposium at Yale University. Her talk was a part of the panel called “How should faculty/graduate students learn about transparency and reproducibility?”

March 2018

March 27th: ENAR Spring 2018 Meeting, Atlanta, GA:  Dr. Ashley Buchanan presented a talk on “Assessing Individual and Disseminated Causal Package Effects in Network HIV Treatment and Prevention Trials,” authored by Dr. Ashley Buchanan, Dr. Donna Spiegelman, Dr. Stan Vermund, Dr. Samuel Friedman, and Dr. Judith Lok, and Dr. Spiegelman chaired this session, “Novel Extensions and Applications of Causal Inference Models”.

March 26th, ENAR Spring 2018 Meeting, Atlanta, GA: Benedict Wong presented a talk on his paper “Correcting for Risk Factor Misclassification in the Partial Population Attributal Risk,” as a part of the Contributed Papers: Epidemiological Methods session. In addition,  Dr. Judith Lok presented a talk on “The Adaptive Learn-As-You-Go Design for Multi-Stage Intervention Studies,” authored by Dr. Judith Lok, Dr. Daniel Nevo, and Dr. Donna Spiegelman, and Dr. Donna Spiegelman chaired this session, “Novel Clinical Trial Designs”.

On March 22nd,  Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica in Cuernavaca, Mexico hosted Dr. Donna Spiegelman’s seminar on “Introduction to causal inference and causal mediation analysis.” The seminar was followed by a meet-and-greet with faculty, students, and staff.

On March 21st,  Dr. Donna Spiegelman  presented on “An overview of Methods and analysis for Evaluating effectiveness and impact of interventions in public health,” at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, in Mexico City, Mexico.

       

February 2018

On February 8th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman gave a talk on “Opportunities for Biostatistics in Implementation Science,” at the  Biostatistics Lightning Talk at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

Video Below: Dr. Donna Spiegelman’s talk at the Biostatistics Lightning Talk–begins at 16:27. 

We’re LIVE at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for another round of Lightning Talks! ⚡️ JP Onnela, Donna Spiegelman, Tyler VanderWeele, and Liming Liang give an inside look at some of their exciting new research!

Posted by Harvard Biostatistics on Thursday, February 8, 2018

January 2018

On January 18th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman presented on “Implementation Science and the Practice of Public Health: The Case of PEPFAR,” at the University of Dodoma, College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences in Dodoma, Tanzania.

Dr. Josephat Peter, Chair of the Statistics Department, introduces Dr. Donna Spiegelman.
Dr. Donna Spiegelman presenting at the University of Dodoma, in Dodoma, Tanzania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On January 15th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman was an Honored Speaker at the Silver Jubilee of the Harvard-Tanzania Collaboration in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Her talk was on “Implementation Science and the Practice of Public Health: The Case of PEPFAR.”

On January 8th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman presented her talk on “The Global Nutrition Transition Initiative (GNET) with a focus on Nepal,” at the Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Dr. Donna Spiegelman and Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University with the Nepal Pioneer Worksite Intervention Team. (From left to right: Ashish Deujo, Dr. Dipesh Tamrakar, Deepa Laxmi Makaju, Bhawani Shrestha, Dr. Donna Spiegelman, Dr. Ram Kantha Makaju Shrestha, Dr. Abha Shresta, Dr. Biraj Man Karmacharya, Puspanjali Shakya).
Dr. Donna Spiegelman with the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University, Dr. Ram Kantha Makaju Shrestha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On January 7th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman gave a talk at the B.P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal.  She met with the Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine Department, Professor Anup Ghimire, MD, and with the Assistant Professor of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine Department, Professor Dharanidhar Baral, M.SC.

Dr. Donna Spiegelman presenting at the B.P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal.
Dr. Donna Spiegelman and Professor Anup Ghimire, MD , Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine Department, at B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal.

 

 

Dr. Donna Spiegelman presenting on Biostatistics in Kolkata, India.

 

 

 

 

 

January 2nd-January 3rd: Dr. Donna Spiegelman  was an Invited Speaker at the PC Mahalanobis 125 (PCM 125): International Conference in Statistics and Probability in Kolkata, India. She presented on “Introduction to causal inference and causal mediation analysis.”

December 2017

On December 28th,  Dr. Donna Spiegelman delivered The Inaugural Keynote Talk on “Opportunities for Biostatistics in Implementation Science,” at the 2017 Conference of the International Indian Statistical Association (IISA) in Hyderabad, India. She also served as  a panelist for the, “Panel Discussion on Biostatistics Education.”

November 2017

On November 1st, Dr. Donna Spiegelman presented at EMORY, Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, Georgia. She presented on, “The Case for Worksite Interventions to Prevent Obesity and its Consequences, with a focus on Nepal.”

September 2017

On September 7th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman presented a Pre-Conference Workshop on, “An overview of old and new design and analysis methods for causal inference in implementation research,” at the 4th Biennial Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC 2017) Implementation Mechanisms: What Makes Implementation Work and Why?

July & August 2017

July 29th-August 3rd: Dr. Donna Spiegelman delivered her talk on, “Causal Estimation of Direct and Indirect Effects in Studies With Clustering or Social Network Features,” at the 2017 Join Statistical Meetings in Baltimore, Maryland.

June 2017

On June 6th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman presented her abstract, “The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Meets Biostatistics: Next Up, the meeting of environmental health and implementation science?” at the NIEHS Advisory May Council meeting.

May 2017

On May 1st, Dr. Donna Spiegelman delivered the Fuller Lecture at Iowa State University. Her talk was titled, “Measurement error: from Fuller to the future.” Pictured to the right: Dr. Donna Spiegelman with Dr. Wayne Fuller, Iowa State University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Statistics and Economics.

On May 9th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman presented on the “Implementation Science: the what, why and how?”  at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Pictured below: Dr. Spiegelman delivering the presentation.

On May 11, Dr. Donna Spiegelman presented on the “Design of cluster randomized and stepped wedge trials” at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP) in Tlalpan, Mexico.

On May 26th, Dr. Donna Spiegelman presented on the, “Causal Estimation of Direct and Indirect Effects in Studies With Clustering,” at the ASA Lifetime Data Analysis Interest Group Conference in Storrs, Connecticut.

March 2017

Dr. Donna Spiegelman attended the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Workshop on the topic of implementation science in Gaithersburg, MD to deliver a presentation titled “Implementation Science: The What, Why and How”.

Dr. Donna Spiegelman attended the ENAR Spring meeting in Washington, DC. She organized a session on Advances in Measurement Error Methods in which she presented on “Generalized Method-of-Moments Estimation and Inference for the Validation of Multiple Imperfect Measures”, joint work with Xin Zhou of the Epidemiology Department, Eric Rimm of the Epidemiology and Nutrition Departments, Walter Willett of the Nutrition Department, Samuela Pollack of DFCI, and Raymond J. Carroll of Texas A&M University.

Dr. Spiegelman also co-organized and chaired a session on “Estimation of Effects in Public Health Research with Interference”. During the session, her former HSPH Department of Epidemiology postdoctoral fellow, now an Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Ashley Buchanan, presented on “Assessing Individual and Disseminated Effects in Network HIV Treatment and Prevention Trials”, joint work with Drs. Donna Spiegelman, Sten Vermund of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Samuel Friedman of the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.

Dr. Donna Spiegelman chaired another session on Measurement Error. During the session, Dr. Spiegelman’s Biostatistics PhD student Sarah Peskoe gave a presentation titled “There is No Impact of Exposure Measurement Error on Latency Estimation in Linear Models in Many Cases”, joint work with Drs. Donna Spiegelman and Molin Wang of the Epidemiology Department. Ben Wong, another of Dr. Spiegelman’s Biostatistics PhD students, also gave a presentation during the session titled “Correcting for Misclassification in the Partial Population Attributable Risk”, joint work with Dr. Spiegelman.

Dr. Polyna Khudyakov also attended the ENAR Spring meeting to present on “Survival analysis with measurement error in a cumulative exposure variable: radon progeny in relation to lung cancer mortality”, joint work with Drs. Donna Spiegelman and Xiaomei Liao of the Epidemiology Department, Jonathan Samet of the USC Keck School of Medicine, Charles Wiggins of the University of New Mexico, and Angela Meisner of New Mexico Tumor Registry.

Dr. Donna Spiegelman gave an invited talk at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT. Her presentation was titled, “Towards a unified methodology of study design and statistical analysis for causal inference in implementation science.”

January 2017

Dissertation supervisors, Drs. Kuldeep Saxena and Donna Spiegelman, celebrate with PhD candidate, Abbas Ismail, after his dissertation proposal was accepted with minor revisions at the departmental level of the Department of Statistics in the School of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Dodoma in Dodoma, Tanzania. Congratulations, Abbas!.

On the left is another picture from the celebration. From left to right: Dr. Frank Sandi, Dr. Josephat Peter, Dr. Obeid Joseph Masaini, Dr. Azan Nyundo, Abbas Ismail, Dr. James Charles, Arnold Fulment Kabyemela, Dr. Donna Spiegelman, Janelle Billing, and Dr. Kuldeep Saxena

 

 

Dr. Spiegelman’s Biostatistics Ph.D.  student, Ben Wong has been selected to receive one of the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics in Epidemiology Young Investigator Awards for his paper titled “The Effect of Risk Factor Misclassification on the Partial Population Attributable Risk”.

 

December 2016

Dr. Donna Spiegelman attended the NIEHS Environmental Health Science (EHS) FEST in Durham, North Carolina, where she presented a poster on “The impact of measurement error in epidemiologic studies on burden estimates”, joint work with Dr. Francine Laden and Biling Hong of the Epidemiology Department, and Breanna Alman, Neal Fran, Kirk Baker, and Karen Wesson of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Polyna Khudyakov also attended EHS FEST to present a poster on “Survival analysis with measurement error in a cumulative exposure variable: radon progeny in relation to lung cancer mortality”, joint work with Dr. Donna Spiegelman and Xiaomei Liao of the Epidemiology Department, Jonathan Samet of the USC Keck School of Medicine, Charles Wiggins of the University of New Mexico, and Angela Meisner of New Mexico Tumor Registry.

November 2016

Dr. Donna Spiegelman gave an invited talk as part of the CUNY School of Public Health Grand Rounds series. Her presentation was titled, “Towards a unified methodology of study design and statistical analysis for causal inference in implementation science.”

On November 16, 2016, Dr. Donna Spiegelman participated in the SERdigital Fall 2016 Semi-Annual Student Novel Methods Web Conference on the Application of Novel Epidemiologic Methods in Student Research. Click here to view the live plenary session on “Perspective of relative versus absolute effect measures.”

September 2016

Dr. Donna Spiegelman attended the 28th Annual International Society for Environment Epidemiology Conference in Rome, Italy, where she presented a highlighted poster on “Survival analysis with measurement error in a cumulative exposure variable: radon progeny in relation to lung cancer mortality”, joint work with Polyna Khudyakov and Xiaomei Liao of the Epidemiology Department, Jonathan Samet of the Keck School of Medicine, Charles Wiggins of the University of New Mexico, and Angela Meisner of the New Mexico Tumor Registry.

Dr. Spiegelman was invited to present at the NIH/NCI Implementation Science Forum in Rockville, MD. Her presentation was titled “Towards a unified methodology of study design and statistical analysis for causal inference in implementation science.”

August 2016

Dr. Donna Spiegelman attended the Joint Statistical Meetings in Chicago, IL to give an invited talk entitled “Estimation and inference for the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for censored survival data”, work with Drs. Molin Wang and Polyna Khudyakov in the Department.

Dr. Spiegelman attended the Global Partnerships to Advance NCD Research conference at Emory University in Atlanta, GA with postdoctoral fellow, Archana Shrestha to lead a workshop, “Implementation Science: The what, why, and how.”

Dr. Spiegelman attended an invited workshop in Banff, Alberta, Canada on Newest Developments and Urgent Issues in Measurement Error and Latent Variable Problems and gave an invited talk on “Generalized methods-of-moments estimation and inference for the validation of multiple imperfect measures”, joint work with Samuela Pollack, Walter Willett, Eric Rimm and Andrea Chomistek of the Nutrition Department. Click here to watch the recorded presentation.

July 2016

Three postdoctoral fellows from our biostats group presented at the International Biostatistics Conference in Victoria, Canada. Ashley Buchanan presented on ‘Individual and Disseminated Package Effects in a HIV Prevention Network-Randomized Trial.’ Claudia Rivera gave a talk titled ‘On the analysis of two phase designs in cluster-correlated data settings.’ Daniel Nevo presented on ‘Inference for mediation proportion in generalized linear models.’

Dr. Spiegelman traveled to Durban, South Africa to present on ‘Assessing Individual and Disseminated Effects in a Network Intervention for HIV Prevention’ at the International AIDS Society Conference. Doctoral student, Emma Thomas, also presented at the conference on ‘Estimating HIV prevalence from data on false positives in screening programs: implications for 90-90-90.’

June 2016

Dr. Donna Spiegelman was invited to chair the session on “Causal Estimation of Direct and Indirect Effects in Studies with Clustering or Social Network Features” at the Epidemiology Congress of America conference in Miami, Florida. Postdoctoral fellow, Ashley Buchanan, also participated in the session.

Dr. Spiegelman’s abstract entitled ‘Generalized methods-of-moments estimation and inference for the assessment of multiple imperfect measures of diet and physical activity in validation studies’ was selected as a poster presentation. Dr. Molin Wang’s abstract entitled ‘Statistical Methods for Studying Disease Etiologic Heterogeneity’ was also selected as a poster presentation. Because of the impending delivery of his son (now born), Dr. Spiegelman presented post-doctoral fellow, Mingyang Song’s presentation titled ‘The Missing Covariate Indicator Method is Nearly Valid Almost Always.’

May 2016 

Dr. Donna Spiegelman attended the SAMSI-SAVI Workshop on Statistical Methods and Analysis of Environmental Health Data in Mumbai, India where she presented on “Methods to Correct Measures of Effect for Bias due to Exposure Measurement Error.”

Above: Dr. Spiegelman presenting at the SAMSI-SAVI Workshop. To the right: Dr. Spiegelman with other workshop attendees.
April 2016

Dr. Donna Spiegelman attended a CANSSI workshop at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada to give an invited talk titled “The Missing Covariate Indicator Method is Nearly Valid Almost Always”.

Dr. Spiegelman visited the University of California San Francisco to delivering an invited talk titled, “Towards a unified methodology of study design and statistical analysis for causal inference in implementation science”. She presented on the same subject shortly after at UC Berkley.

Dr. Spiegelman attend the Measurement Error and Complex Data Workshop at Texas A&M University to give an invited talk on the “Generalized methods-of-moments estimation and inference for the assessment of multiple imperfect measures of diet and physical activity in validation studies”. Click here to see the presentation.

March 2016

Dr. Spiegelman was invited to speak at the 2016 ENAR Spring Meeting in Austin, Texas. Her talk was titled “Estimation and inference for the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for censored survival data”.

February 2016

Dr. Donna Spiegelman gave an invited talk on “Towards a unified methodology of study design and statistical analysis for causal inference in implementation science”, at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health on February 10th, 2016. Click here to watch the recorded presentation.

Dr. Xiaomei Liao, a Research Scientist in Dr. Spiegelman’s group, was recently mentioned in a press release from Harvard University regarding her work with Drs. Maryam Farvid, Walter Willett, Heather Eliassen, Eunyoung Cho, and Wendy Chen on “Dietary Fiber Intake in Young Adults and Breast Cancer Risk.” The full press release can be seen here.

December 2015

Dr. Mingyang Song, a current Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, presented at the Statistical Methods in Epidemiology Working Group in December 2015. His talk was titled “The Missing Covariate Indicator Method is Nearly Valid Almost Always,” a project he had collaborated with Dr. Spiegleman. Click here to watch the recorded presentation.

November 3rd, 2015

Dr. Donna Spiegelman was featured in NIEHS’s on-line newsletter, Environmental Factor, on the impact of the Pioneer Award on her research career. To read the full story, please click here.

October 22nd, 2015

Dr. Donna Spiegelman will present at the Global Health and Population Brown Bag Seminar on October 22nd, 2015. Her topic will be “A New Statistical Toolkit for Implementation Science.” This will be located in the GHP Conference room in Building 1, 12th floor from 12:30 – 1:30pm. See the official flyer here.

 

Our team was recently showcased by the Harvard Multi-media team for our work in Environmental Epidemiology, supported by NIH Grant R01 ES 09411. For more information about our 9-city validation study of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5), click here. To learn about how to use these data to correct for bias in exposure measurement error in air pollution epidemiology studies, click here.

Epi 515 – Measurement Error and Misclassifcation in Epidemiology

For the Fall 1 quarter for 2015, Dr. Spiegelman is teaching Epi 515 “Measurement Error and Misclassfication in Epidemiology.” This class will be co-taught with Dr. Molin Wang, with assistance from their doctoral student TA Sarah Peskoe. Please click here for more information.

Current Post Doctoral Fellow Opening:

Dr. Spiegelman is actively searching for a post doctoral fellow to join her group. This position will work in collaboration with Dr. Spiegelman and her colleagues in the Departments of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Nutrition, Global Health and Health Policy and Management. It is envisioned that this position will focus on some or all of the following:

  1. Evaluation of health outcomes in relation to the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act in a “Big Data” context
  2. Proposal development of cervical cancer vaccine implementation trials in domestic and global settings
  3. Evaluation of cervical cancer screening and treatment programs in Dar Essex Salaam, Tanzania
  4. Co-editing a book or monograph on Implementation science and translational epidemiology, focusing on methods
  5. Co-developing a short course on implementation science methodology

Background in the above areas is not necessarily required but is a plus. Competitive candidates should, however, demonstrate keen interest in one or more of the above topics

If interested, please visit here for the full job description as well as steps to apply.

Recent News

September 2015 – Two New Post-Doctoral Fellows join Dr. Spiegelman’s group:

Xinpicture

Dr. Xin Zhou joins Dr. Spiegelman’s group as a post-doctoral fellow to work on developing optimal screening algorithms for colorectal cancer prevention after completing his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation focused on using machine learning techniques to develop optimal treatment regimes for precision medicine. His research interests include machine learning, optimal treatment regimes, dynamic treatment regimes and high dimensional data analysis.

Xin likes sports such as soccer, badminton and cycling. He also enjoys travelling and sight-seeing with his family.

Danielpicture

Dr. Daniel Nevo has completed his PhD in statistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the supervision of Prof. Ya’acov Ritov. His thesis involved both theoretical challenges and applications in biostatistics. He worked on model selection in high-dimensional regression and on Bayesian robust regression when the number of predictors and the number of samples grow in a similar rate.  His research also involved the development of methods to account for measurement error in biomarkers and misclassification of subtypes in the analysis of tumor data. Daniel also worked on construction of reference charts for fetal measurements.

As a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Spiegelman’s group, Daniel will work on statistical methods for implementation science and the analysis of tumor subtype data using biomarkers. Daniel likes hanging out with his family (wife, daughter, cat), sports, statistics, and learning new things.

August 2015 – New Post-Doctoral Fellow joins Dr. Spiegelman’s group:

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Dr. Archana Shrestha completed her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. Her dissertation was focused on exploring dietary patterns and their association with Type II diabetes and obesity in urban Nepal. She is interested in developing, testing, and implementing preventive interventions to reduce the impact of global diabetes and cardiovascular disease epidemics in low and middle-income countries. She will work on a worksite-based diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention program in India  contributing to study design, project management, data analysis, and manuscript development under Dr. Spiegelman’s supervision and in collaboration with colleagues at Emory University and the Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi (PHFI).  The context of the research is an ongoing global effort to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease through primary prevention, including dietary and activity changes. Apart from indulging in data, she likes to swim, dance, paint, and walk.

July 2015 – New Post-Doctoral Fellow joins Dr. Spiegelman’s group:

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Dr. Claudia Rivera joined Dr. Spiegelman’s team after completing her PhD in Biostatistics at the University of Auckland in New Zealand under the supervisor of Dr. Thomas Lumley. In her dissertation, she focused on applying survey-sampling methods to improve efficiency of proportional hazard models under two phase sampling designs induced by risk-set samples. The methods make use of information on the entire cohort. She is also interested in efficiency of estimators when the sampling mechanism is not independent such as risk-set sampling designs. In her new positions as a postdoctoral fellow at the in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Claudia is investigating methods that yield better estimates under two-phase sampling designs when the auxiliary information is only marginal. Claudia is a vegan and runner that loves sustainability programs.  She likes traveling (especially Asia) and getting to know other cultures and people.

May 26, 2015 – Spiegelman & colleagues’ work strengthens the causal evidence for the health effects of chronic exposure to air pollution by eliminating uncertainty due to exposure measurement error

October 6, 2014 – Donna Spiegelman has received a Director’s Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for $500,000/year of direct costs for the next 5 years.

Read more in News.

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I am one of the few people in the world with a joint doctorate in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. As a result, I can freely speak the languages of both disciplines, and switch between these two professional cultures, playing the role of interlocutor for either. My research is motivated by problems which arise in epidemiology and require biostatistical solutions. In particular but by no means exclusively, I have focused on methods for study design and data analysis which reduce bias in estimation and inference due to measurement error or misclassification in the exposure variable. I am currently completing an extensive project of methods development and re- and new analysis of several major studies of the effects of long-term exposure to constituents of air pollution on the risk of overall, cardiovascular and lung cancer mortality, collaborating with epidemiologists, statisticians and environmental scientists in the Netherlands, Israel, and the University of Washington in Seattle. The goal is to substantially reduce, if not eliminate, exposure measurement error as a major source of bias in the available results to date, and involves solving challenging mathematical and computational problems in the realm of survival data analysis. We will soon be publishing revised estimates of the health impact of exposure to air pollution constituents in the Netherlands and in the U.S., adjusted for bias due to measurement error.

My website is one of the most visited at the Harvard Chan School, because it contains much user-friendly and well-documented freeware implementing non-standard methods useful in epidemiologic research (see software). I am the statistician for the Nurses’ Health Study 2, the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, and the Harvard PEPFAR greater Dar es Salaam site, and a multitude of spawn of these efforts.

My most recent interest has been to work actively with others in Epidemiology, Nutrition, Environmental Health, and Global Health and Population, to greatly increase global public health efforts at the Harvard Chan School. In particular, I am interested in developing, testing and implementing public health oriented preventive interventions for achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5, to complement health systems strengthening efforts of great interest currently; developing, testing, and implementing preventive interventions to abate the global diabetes and cardiovascular disease epidemics; and developing new methodology to better evaluate the individual and population-level impact of efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa to end the AIDs epidemic through prevention. Expertise in the methodology of project monitoring and evaluation, and for randomized and observational implementation science endeavors, are a critical specific contribution that I bring to the table in these endeavors. For example, in the area of diabetes prevention, I provide leadership to a large group of researchers throughout the world as part of the Global Nutrition and Epidemiologic Transition Initiative.