2017 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 2017 Elections will include voting for the following positions:

  • President-Elect
  • Treasurer
  • Member-at-Large
  • International Representative
  • Student Representative

2017 Members of SPER are entitled to one vote per category. Learn more about the candidates below.
Voting will conclude on May 5th. 



2017 Elections are now closed

President-Elect Candidates

Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD
Associate Professor
Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

I first encountered reproductive epidemiology accidentally, as a medical student, by registering in the wrong elective course. Before I even realized that what I had accidentally run into was epidemiology – of the reproductive variety – I found myself conducting a study of determinants of age at menarche (my first paper), and getting involved in the planning and recruitment of a time to pregnancy study of women working in agriculture (my second paper). After that, there was no coming back. I moved to Boston and completed my Masters, Doctoral and Post-doctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health, where I am now a member of the faculty. Read more

Courtney D. Lynch, PhD MPH
Associate Professor
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Courtney D. Lynch, PhD MPH. As an active member since 2000, I am honored to have been nominated to be the President of the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research (SPER). I had the pleasure of serving on SPER’s Executive Committee from 2007-2013, first as a Member-At-Large and then as the society’s Secretary. I have served on the Editorial Board of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology since 2014. Read more

Treasurer Candidates

Catherine Haggerty, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor
Director, Reproductive, Perinatal & Pediatric Area of Emphasis
Graduate School of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

As Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health since 2004, my research is focused on the role of infection and inflammation in adverse gynecologic, reproductive and pregnancy outcomes.  I received my MPH and PhD degrees in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh and subsequently completed a post-doctoral fellowship funded by an individual NRSA.  I have always had a love of quantitative disciplines, having obtained an undergraduate degree in Mathematics with minors in finance and computer science. Read more

Candice Johnson, PhD
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as SPER Treasurer. Although Treasurer might not seem like a very exciting position to everyone, I come from a family of accountants and as a result I have a keen appreciation of the importance of financial management and accountability to every organization. If selected for this position, I look forward to communicating the financial situation to the executive committee and membership, as well as identifying potential areas of strength and vulnerability that could impact the long-term functioning of the society. Read more

Neil J Perkins, PhD, MS
Staff Scientist
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

I am honored to be nominated for election as Treasurer of SPER. My background in biostatistics, as well as business, coupled with my regular attendance at the annual meetings since 2004 provide me with a unique set of skills and familiarity with SPER that would enable me to make valuable contributions to the society, the Executive Committee and the members. SPER has been one of my primary professional homes. I have participated regularly in the annual meeting, including attending and teaching the Advanced Methods Workshops. These experiences were formative to my career and supplied the inspiration to seek a leadership role in organization.  Read more

Member-at-Large Candidates

Tania Desrosiers, PhD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology
Gillings School of Global Public Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

It was June 2006 in Seattle: the cherries were in season, the sun was shining on Mt Rainier, and I was attending my very first SPER meeting as a doctoral student in epidemiology. I remember being star-struck as the esteemed “celebrities” of our field shared the stage. I also distinctly remember that the dialogue between senior investigators and those of us less seasoned was constructive yet nurturing. For me, participation in the annual meeting that year would yield new ideas, professional connections, and a renewed enthusiasm for my chosen career. It was this experience that cemented SPER as my professional home. It would be my honor to serve the SPER community as one of our elected Members-at-Large. Read more

Nicole Talge, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Michigan State University

I would welcome the opportunity to serve as a SPER member-at-large.   My introduction to this society followed my first year of postdoctoral training in perinatal epidemiology at Michigan State University (MSU), and I have enjoyed an increasing level of participation ever since.  

Like much of the SPER membership, my academic background is interdisciplinary.  I completed my Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the University of Minnesota in 2007, and then participated in the MSU training program in perinatal epidemiology to strengthen my background in pregnancy health and acquire population-based expertise. Read more

International Representative Candidate

Natasha Nassar, PhD, MPH, BEc
Associate Professor, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology
Menzies Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia

It would be a privilege to serve as the International Representative of the SPER Executive Committee and welcome the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the global reach of SPER in this role.

The SPER annual meeting has been an important part of my professional career since 2006 and I have been an abstract reviewer since 2012. For me, it is the only conference, worldwide, that successfully spans and provides the breadth of reproductive, perinatal and pediatric content and epidemiological rigor in study design and advanced methods.  Read more

Student Representative Candidates

Carmen Messerlian, PhD
Research Fellow
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

My initiation into SPER occurred at the Annual Meeting in Boston in 2013, while I was a PhD student in epidemiology at McGill University working under the mentorship of Olga Basso.  I was invited to present part of my doctoral thesis work on low technology assisted reproduction and the risk of preterm birth. It was my first real presentation at a large conference during my PhD and the meeting had a lasting impact on my training and future career trajectory. Networking at SPER eventually led me to make my way back to Boston as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard in 2014.  Read more

Keewan Kim, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral fellow
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

I am excited to have the opportunity to run for SPER student representative.  I am currently a second-year postdoctoral fellow in the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where I joined after completing my MPH in Epidemiology and PhD in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Albany, State University of New York.  My primary areas of interest include toxic environmental exposures and diet and their impact on reproductive outcomes.  As a graduate student, I studied toxic heavy metals and human ovarian follicular fluid high density lipoproteins and their relationship with oocyte/embryo quality among couples undergoing in vitro fertilization. Read more