2014 – 2016

Spring and Summer 2014

      • The Importance of “Big Data”; Nathan Eagle, adjunct assistant professor in Epi, works on engineering computational tools to explore how data can be used for positive social impact.  Read the full article from Harvard News here.
      • “Sugar, Salt, and Supplements: Sorting the Science” – Epi faculty members discuss the public health implications of food-product label changes recently announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at a HSPH Forum panel discussion.
      • Several members of the department co-authored one of the American Journal of Epidemiology 2013 Articles of the Year, “Incidence of Adult-onset Asthma After Hypothetical Interventions on Body Mass Index and Physical Activity: An Application of the Parametric G-Formula”.  The paper’s first author is Judith Garcia-Aymerich, who was a visiting scientist in the department when this paper was written.  Co-authors include Raphaëlle VarrasoGoodarz DanaeiCarlos A. Camargo, Jr. and Miguel A. Hernan.
      • Epi in Space– An exciting new study led by NASA’s Human Research Program and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute will fund several investigations into the molecular, physiological and psychological effects of spaceflight in an effort to better understand the health impacts of human space exploration.  Identical twins Scott and Mark Kelly, both veteran astronauts, will be the focus of this study.  Scott Kelly will live aboard the International Space Station for one year while his twin brother, Mark Kelly, remains on Earth as a control.   PI Immaculata De Vivo and lab manager Pati Soule are collaborating with researchers at Colorado State University to analyze the effect of spaceflight on telomeres.  Telomeres are stretches of DNA found at the end of chromosomes; they shorten over time as cells divide and are associated with aging, cancer, and a higher risk of death.  The project, “Differential effects on telomeres and telomerase in twin astronauts associated with spaceflight” will study astronaut Scott Kelly’s telomeres during his year in space and compare them to his twin.  The researchers are excited to be a part of this first-of-its-kind investigation.
      • Anger can break your heart” – People who have angry outbursts appear to be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke, especially within the first two hours of an outburst, according to a study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital researchers including lead author Elizabeth Mostofsky as well as Epi professor, Murray Mittleman . Those with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are at particular risk.
      • New school meal standards significantly improve fruit and vegetable consumption- New federal standards launched in 2012 that require schools to offer healthier meals have led to increased fruit and vegetable consumption, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. The study, the first to examine school food consumption both before and after the standards went into effect, contradicts criticisms that the new standards have increased food waste.  HSPH authors included Eric Rimm, senior author and associate professor in the departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition, and Paul Catalano, senior lecturer on biostatistics.
      • Nathan Eagle, adjunct assistant professor in Epi, works on engineering computational tools to explore how data can be used for positive social impact.  Read the article “Why Big Data is a Big Deal” for the full news story.
      • Battling drug-resistant “superbugs”: Watch the FORUM at HSPH from Wednesday, February 5th .  The fascinating discussion included Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the CCDD, Marc Lipsitch.

Fall 2014

Winter 2014


Spring 2015

Summer 2015

  • Dr. Sonia Hernandez-Diaz and her team received one of the “Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement awards in the US for 2015” for their pro-ject “Antidepressant use in pregnancy and the risk of cardiac defects”. N Engl J Med. 2014, 370(25):2397-407.
  • Dr. Karestan C. Koenen was awarded the 2015 Award for
    Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Trauma Psychology.

Fall 2015

  • JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, Professor in the Department of Epidemi-ology at the Harvard T.H. Chan SPH and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medi-cal School, received the Thomas Clarkson Out-standing Research Award from the North American Menopause Society in October 2015 for exceptional contributions to the under-standing of women’s cardiovascular health. She was recognized for her contributions to the prevention of heart disease in mid-life women.
  • Dr. Frank Hu, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology was elected to the National Academy of Medicine(NAM), formerly known as the Institute of Medicine. Election to the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Dr. Hu is an internationally recognized researcher in epide-miology focusing on prevention of obesity and diabetes. His research group has conducted detailed examinations of the relationship between dietary and lifestyle factor and risk of chronic diseases.
  • Dr. Karestan Koenen, received the 2015 Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the Inter-national Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, as well as the 2015 Outstanding Mentor Award, from the Harvard T.H. Chan Postdoctoral Association.
  • Dr. Michelle Holmes is one of the partnering recipients of a 10 million dollar Breakthrough Award from the De-partment of Defense’s, Office of Congressionally Di-rected Medical Research Program. Along with her col-leagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) the trial will test whether aspirin helps women with breast cancer avoid recurrence and live longer. This is the first ever ran-domized trial in the U.S. testing aspirin in the disease, which impacts more than 3 million American women who are living with a breast cancer diagnosis.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Katz, Professor of Epidemiology and Environ-mental Health, as well as long time Faculty Instructor of Epi 208, the largest summer course in the Department of Epidemiology, was honored with the Clement B Sledge, MD and Thomas S. Thornhill, MD Distinguished Chair in Orthopedic Surgery on Octo-ber 28, 2015.


Spring 2016

  • Michelle A. Williams, S.M. ’88, Sc.D. ’91, a distinguished epidemi-ologist and award-winning educator known for her influential studies of maternal and child health around the world, will be-come the next dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, starting in July 2016.
    Since 2011, Williams has been the Stephen B. Kay Family Professor of Public Health and chair of the Epidemiology Department at the Harvard Chan School.
    The principal investigator on several international research projects and training grants funded by the National Institutes of Health, and co-author of more than 400 published research pa-
    pers, Williams is also the faculty director of the Harvard Catalyst’s Population Health Research Program and the Health Disparities Research Program. Her scholarship is especially known for its creative integration of epidemiological, biological, and molecular approaches to a range of public health challenges, and her teaching and mentoring have been recognized with awards from Harvard, the University of Washington, the American Public Health Association, and the White House.
  • The Aging Workforce: Challenges and Benefits for the Public’s Health, included panelists Francine Grodstein (from left), a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School; Christina MatzCosta, a senior research associate at the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College; Lisa Berk-man, the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population at the Harvard Chan School; and moderator NPR correspondent Chris Arnold.
  • Dr. Brittany Charlton is first author on a study that appeared online in BMJ. The study found that Oral contraceptives taken just before or during pregnancy do not increase the risk of birth defects, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Statens Serum Institute in Denmark. They found that the prevalence of major birth defects was consistent (about 25 per 1,000 live births) across all pregnant women in the study population regardless of contraceptive use. Dr. Charlton is an Alum of the Epi Doctoral Program and was a Rose Traveling Fellow recipient .
  • Paula A. Johnson Named President of Wellesley College Wellesley College announced that it will appointed Dr. Paula A. Johnson, a Professor at Harvard Medical School & the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and advocate for women’s health, as its president, making her the first African-American to lead the school. Johnson will become the 14th president of the women’s liberal arts college in July.
  • Movember Updates BellissiMo, the team that represents Harvard Hospitals, Harvard Chan School, MIT, Boston University, and friends and associates , raised over $52,000. They ranked 11th in the na-tion, and placed as the #1 academic Team in the world. Fantastic work! Dr. Mucci received the “Hey Mo Sista Whiska” award for 2015!
  • Dr. Donna Spiegelman spoke at Columbia Univer-sity Mailman School of Public Health’s monthly Columbia University Epidemiology Grand Rounds (CUEGR) on February 10th, on “Towards a unified methodology of study design and statistical analysis for causal inference in implementation science” and met with faculty and students in Columbia’s epidemiology and biostatistics departments.

Summer 2016

  • Dr. John Jackson and Dr. Sonja Swanson are the 2016 winners of the Kenneth Rothman Epidemiology Prize. This award of $5000 is funded from a private endowment and is given annually for the best paper published in the journal in the preceding year. The winning paper, titled “Toward a Clearer Portrayal of Confounding Bias in Instrumental Variable Applications”, appeared in the July 2015 issue of Epidemiology .A study by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that the ill effect dissipates within hours, yielding to benefits for moderate drinking. The work, led by instructor in epidemiology Elizabeth Mostofsky, analyzed the findings of a range of studies on alcohol and health conducted between 1966 and 2015.
  • Dr. Alkes Price was awarded the McLennan Dean’s Challenge Grant. The $50,000 award by the McLennan Family Fund was created to support strategic investments that foster rapid innovation and advance a shared vision for a stronger, more dynamic, and more globally-engaged school.
  • Dr. Eric Rimm and Dr. Qi Sun received a 4 year $3.1 M R01 to study diet, the microbiome and coronaryheart disease in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and in the Nurses’ Health Study II.
  • The 3rd annual International Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE) Meeting took place in Boston on May 12th and 13th, 2016. This meeting is chaired by Dr. Shuji Ogino. The meeting was a huge success with attendance topping 150 attendees from 17 countries and 400 viewers livestreaming worldwide. The 4th International MPE meeting will be held Spring 2018.
  • Dr. John Jackson, a current Yerby Postdoctoral Fellow, will be joining the faculty at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as an Assistant Professor with the Pharmacoepidemiology Group within the General Epidemiology and Methods Track. Dr. Jackson will continue working on diagnostics for causal inference and also methods for addressing disparities in treatment and out-comes, particularly in the realm of mental health.
  • Dr. Donna Spiegelman was invited to speak at the 2016 Eastern North American Region International Bio-metric Society Spring Meeting and the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute. The titles of Dr. Spiegelman’s talks were, “Estimation and Inference for the incremental cost-effectiveness ration for censored survival data” and “The Missing Covariate Indicator Method is Nearly Valid Almost Al

Fall 2016

  • Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center (DFHCC) Nodal Award (Dr. Shuji Ogino Dr. Tyler VanderWeele) “Transdisciplinary Approach to Colorectal Cancer Immunity, Molecular Pathology, and Clinical Outcome”. This Nodal Award mechanism aims to enhance interdisciplinary research by diverse disciplines. $98K direct for 2 years from 6/1/16.
  • Dr. Liming Liang, Associate Professor of Statistical Genetics, led the organization of the first Youth in Public Health Symposium in China, together with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Post-doc Association at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The symposium, which took place at Harvard Center Shanghai between August 24th and 26th was created to provide younger Chinese generations with exposure to a range of areas within the field of public health, skills to develop research questions, and resources and a network of colleagues within the field of public health. The 3-day symposium leveraged the existing Public Health 101 nano-course series at the School was very well received by a total of 71 high school students from top high schools across the country. According to a survey based on 66 questionnaires, more than 83% of the students would be more likely to pursue public health as a career or education after the symposium.
  • Grants Manager, Louis Venturelli completed the “Research Excellence in Administration Certification at Harvard”(REACH) program through Harvard’s Office of Sponsored Research. The program is designed as an interactive and engaging certificate that is specifically designed for Harvard Research administrators and other personnel who engage in the assistance and management of sponsored funds.
  • Dr. Sari Reisner, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology was profiled as a leader in transgender health by The Lancet.“Trans people face social and economic marginalisation and exclusion across the world. A human rights-based approach is vital to improving the health of our communities.
  • Dr. Bill Hanage, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, and faculty member in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics addressed global concerns regarding antibiotic resistant bacteria on the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) with host Tavis Smiley.
  • Carlos A. Camargo, M.D., Dr.P.H., Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Emergency Medicine and Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was awarded by the American College of Emergency Physicians(ACEP) the Outstanding Contribution in Research Award for his leading research in the areas of respiratory/allergy diseases and of health policy issues in emergency care.
  • In September, 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.”, collaborated 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.