Environmental health biostatistician whose work has impacted air pollution regulation joins Harvard School of Public Health

For immediate release: July 9, 2009

Boston, MA — Francesca Dominici, PhD, a biostatistican whose work has affected air pollution regulation, has joined the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) as professor of biostatistics.

Dominici comes from Johns Hopkins University, where she was a professor in the Department of Biostatistics. She focuses on developing new mathematical and statistical methods for identifying subtle but important health risks within complex databases. She is particularly interested in developing models to better understand the health effects of air pollution. She led the statistical analyses for the two large nationwide studies of particulate matter and ozone — the National Morbidity and Mortality Study (NMMAPS) of daily air pollution and health in the largest U.S. cities, and the National Medicare Air Pollution Study (MCAPS), a study of acute and chronic exposure to air pollution. Her contributions have helped inform current air pollution regulation in the U.S. In addition, she has also focused on developing statistical tools to analyze patient safety data to reduce medical errors and has worked on methods to elucidate the epidemiology of smoking patterns.

“Air pollution can cause disease and has a profound effect on life expectancy,” said James H. Ware, PhD, Dean for Academic Affairs and Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics at HSPH. “Rigorous data are essential in helping us protect our society, particularly our most vulnerable populations. Dr. Dominici’s outstanding work has advanced the field. She has developed research methods involving enormous surveillance data sets to explore the environmental health impact of air pollution. She is also interested in applying these approaches to medical errors and other public health issues.”

Dominici earned her doctoral degree in statistics from the University of Padua, Italy. She is a winner of the prestigious Spiegelman Award from the American Public Health Association and the Rosenblith Award from the Health Effects Institute. She has served on multiple committees for the National Academy of Sciences.