2016 Elections

SPER’s Executive Committee is comprised of eight officers and includes a President, a President-Elect, an Immediate Past- President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and four Members-at-Large, a Student Representative, and an International Representative. The 2016 Elections will include voting for the following positions:

  • President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Member-at-Large
  • Student Representative

2016 Members of SPER are entitled to one vote per category. Learn more about the candidates below.
Voting will conclude on April 25th. 



President-Elect Candidates

Olga Basso, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Heath
McGill University

I have been a reproductive epidemiologist for over twenty years, with a particular interest in the role of complex determinants, such as preterm birth and infertility, on child health. After obtaining my PhD in Italy, I have worked in Denmark and in the United States, and I am currently Associate Professor of epidemiology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Read more

Dawn P. Misra, MHS, PhD
Professor and Associate Chair for Research
Department of Family Medicine & Population Health Sciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Each year I look forward to the SPER meeting as the one place where I know I will find colleagues committed to the study of pediatric and perinatal epidemiology and who are open to new questions, new ideas, and new methods.  I began attending in the 1990s just after my PhD and only a broken bone or serious illness can keep me away!  I agree with our past presidents that this is a welcoming and stimulating society and sharing this experience with trainees is a priority for me.  This is a society that truly values ideas over your position so that graduate students are treated with the same respect as a senior scientist.  I was Secretary 2005-2007 and have participated in student prize paper reviews, abstract reviews, and as a moderator of oral presentations. Read more

Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza, PhD, MPH
Senior Scientist
Division of Reproductive Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC

I would be honored to be elected as President for SPER. I have been working in the maternal and child health field for 28 years first as a nurse and then as a pediatric and perinatal epidemiologist. My education and experience give me a broad perspective of the field that would serve SPER and its members well. Read more



Secretary Candidates

Una Grewal, PhD, MPH
Deputy Director
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

I am honored to be nominated for re-election as Secretary of SPER, having held this position since 2013. My desire to continue in a second term is keen, driven by several motivations. Most basic, I have a deep, abiding appreciation of the opportunity to serve, which has enabled me to make contributions of value to SPER members, in ways that are also personally rewarding, exciting and enjoyable. SPER has been one of my primary professional homes. Throughout my decade as a member, I have participated regularly in the annual meeting. These experiences were formative to my career and supplied the inspiration to seek a leadership role in organization. Read more

Candice Johnson, PhD
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

After almost a decade of attending SPER meetings, I am excited about the possibility of serving as Secretary. I enjoyed my time as SPER Student Representative in 2011-2012 and have been looking forward to becoming more involved in SPER again. As Secretary, my primary objective will be to continue to provide the excellent behind-the-scenes logistical support that translates to members’ positive experiences at the annual meeting and throughout the year. Secondary objectives will include finding new volunteer opportunities for students at the annual meeting, and identifying small, simple changes in operations that might result in improved member experience. Read more



Member-at-Large Candidates

Jenifer E. Allsworth, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Departments of Biomedical and Health Informatics and Obstetrics & Gynecology
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri

I would welcome the opportunity to serve SPER as a member-at-large.  I discovered my passion for social and reproductive epidemiology in graduate school where I sought to understand the impact of lived experiences, including sexual violence and discrimination, on women’s reproductive health outcomes.  I completed my bachelor’s degree at Brown University where I studied human biology with a minor in race and gender studies.  I continued this line of inquiry through my graduate studies where I received a doctorate in epidemiology with a minor in medical sociology also from Brown University. Read more

Daniel A. Enquobahrie, MD, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the SPER executive committee as a member-at-large. I received medical training at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and MPH and PhD degrees in Epidemiology at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, WA, before completing a post-doctoral training in the departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA. I have been faculty in the Department of Epidemiology at the UW since 2009. I teach the “Epidemiology of Maternal and Child Health Problems” course and a Discovery Seminar on “Fetal Origins of Adult Diseases – A Public Health Perspective”. Read more

Abigail Fraser, PhD, MPH, MA
Senior Research Fellow
MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol
School of Social and Community Medicine
University of Bristol

I am very excited to be considered for the role of Member-At-Large for SPER. I am an epidemiologist at the University of Bristol, UK. I completed an MPH at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel where I grew up. I moved to Bristol in 2006 as a PhD student and have been here ever since. My post-doctoral research has focused on maternal health in pregnancy and its long term implications for both mothers and their children, and on the life course epidemiology of women’s reproductive health and its relation to chronic disease risk, mainly cardiovascular disease. I am also interested in improving causal inference by using a variety of relatively novel analytical methods in my work. Read more

Michael Kramer, PhD
Assistant Professor
Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University

I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as member at large on the SPER executive committee.  I have been a member of SPER since 2008, and have enjoyed attending, presenting, and learning from the warm and collegial environment fostered at annual meetings ever since. I first attended SPER as a T32 trainee in pediatric and perinatal epidemiology, and now as an assistant professor at Emory University, I particularly enjoy sharing the meeting with trainees and students.  Read more

Karen C. Schliep, PhD, MSPH
Assistant Professor
University of Utah Health Sciences Center
Department of Family & Preventive Medicine
Division of Public Health

It is with great enthusiasm that I present my candidacy for SPER’s Executive Committee as a Member-at-Large. I discovered SPER eight years ago, one year into my doctoral degree program, at the 2008 conference in Chicago. The connections I made during the Advanced Methods Workshop, Poster and Plenary Sessions, and Breakfast Round Table Discussions not only cemented my passion for the field of reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology but truly set me up for success in my doctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral work. It was at this conference that I learned of the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Program that led me to DC for two summers to carry out my dissertation work and for three years to pursue my postdoctoral training. Read more

Edwina Yeung, PhD
Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institutes of Health

It would be a great privilege to serve as Member-at-Large for SPER, an organization that has not only been instrumental in my development as a perinatal/pediatric epidemiologist but also is home to treasured friends and colleagues in the field. I started attending SPER first year of my postdoc at NICHD and have attended the meeting every year since, presenting papers and connecting with people. I also had the wonderful honor of receiving the Rising Star Award in 2015. The key word is “relevant” here, everything from the methods workshops to the debates and symposia are relevant to what I do every day. Read more



Student Representative Candidates

Carolyn Cesta, MSc
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Karolinksa Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

My interest the perinatal and reproductive research field began on a high school biology class field trip to the local hospital affiliated research institute to learn about the role of the placenta in pregnancy.  Since then I have completed an undergraduate degree, including four 4-month long co-op placements in different reproductive biology/perinatal research groups within Canada, a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences within the reproductive biology research department at McMaster University, focusing on prenatal exposure to nicotine and its effect on offspring fertility, and now I am a third year doctoral student in epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, undertaking studies to examine the association between psychological health and fertility.  Read more

Florence Kanu
PhD Candidate
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of Georgia, College of Public Health

I welcome the opportunity to serve as the SPER student representative.  I am currently a second year PhD student in Epidemiology at the University of Georgia in Athens.  Additionally, I am the PRAMS/SSDI Epidemiologist at the Georgia Department of Public Health.  My primary area of interest and expertise is maternal and child health epidemiology with a focus on maternal behaviors and experiences before, during, and immediately following pregnancy.  I enjoy working in maternal and child health because it is one of the public health realms that involves and fosters collaborative efforts between all silos of public health. Read more

Yu Li (Seashore), MD, MPH
PhD Candidate
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Michigan State University

I am presently in my third year of the PhD Epidemiology program at Michigan State University, working with Dr.Margerison-Zilko, and also get involved in POUCH (Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health) group, working with Dr.Holzman. I was raised by my grandparents. My grandma was a physician and my grandpa was an epidemiologist in China, so my indoctrination into epidemiology commenced since I started to read epidemiology textbooks as my “word introducing book” at age 3. Then I went to medical school in China, during my residency in Department of OBGYN, I found myself very interested in maternal and perinatal health. Read more

Sarah Pugh, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral Fellow
Epidemiology Branch

I am currently a first-year postdoctoral fellow in the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development where I am continuing my training after completing my MPH and PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. My primary research interests include identifying modifiable risk factors for improved fetal growth and pediatric and perinatal health with a particular emphasis on maternal obesity and gestational weight gain. My dissertation focused on maternal obesity, gestational weight gain, and child cognitive development. Read more