2017 Annual Meeting

SPER’s 30th Annual Meeting will be held in downtown Seattle, Washington, at the Westin Seattle, June 19-20, 2017. Registration is now open and a preliminary agenda is available on the SPER web site. Please note that because we will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary we have an extended meeting that will include extra sessions on Day 1!


Online registration for the 2016 meeting is open and can be accessed here. The registration fees include attendance at all sessions, meeting materials, continental breakfast, box lunch, and refreshment breaks. Registration may be completed by mail, fax or via the internet. The early registration deadline is May 15, 2017. A confirmation letter will be sent upon receipt of the completed registration form. Payment can be made by check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express. Payment must be received prior to admittance to the meeting. Please note that anyone selected to present either a talk or a poster at the SPER meeting is required to join SPER in order to be eligible to present.

Accommodations and Transportation

The 2017 SPER meeting will be held in downtown Seattle, Washington at The Westin Seattle.
Address: 1900 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101
Phone: 206-728-1000


The Seattle Westin Hotel is now sold out. Please call A Room With A View for information on the official designated overflow hotel. They will secure the lowest available rates at the best available hotels within a short distance of The Westin Seattle. Reservations processed by A Room With a View are automatically on a waitlist for rooms at the Westin should cancellations occur within the SER group block. This is a FREE SERVICE for all SPER attendees.

1-800-780-4343 (M-F, 9am-5pm CST); international attendees can reach them at reservations@aroomwithaview.net

Shuttle from Sea-Tac Airport

The Westin recommends the Downtown Airporter by Shuttle Express (855-566-3300). It departs from Level 3 of the parking garage, island 2. Follow the signs to ground transportation, taxis, limos, hotel shuttles on the third floor of the parking garage. A one-way ticket for adults is $18 and roundtrip is $36; children 17 years and under ride free. The shuttle departs Sea-Tac Airport and downtown Seattle 24 hours a day, every day and leaves the airport approximately every 30 minutes. Reservations are required for trips from downtown to the airport.

Light Rail

Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail runs from the airport to downtown. The cost is $3 and it takes 35 minutes each way. The Westlake station is a three minute walk to the hotel.


The Westin Seattle is 15 miles from the airport and a taxi from the airport to the hotel will cost approximately $45 each way.

Advanced Methods Workshop – Monday, June 19th, 9:00 – 12:00pm

We are pleased to offer the Advanced Methods Workshop immediately preceding the SPER Annual Meeting. We have two exciting sessions during the 2017 Workshop: “Sensitivity Analysis for Missing Data: The ‘how to’ for the ‘what if’”, led by Dr. Neil Perkins; and “Causal impact: a gentle introduction to pursuing more policy-relevant epidemiologic investigations”, led by Drs. Daniel Westreich and Elizabeth Rogawski. Click here for more details on the sessions, including information about our presenters.

When you register for the Annual Meeting, don’t forget to also register for the Advanced Methods Workshop! Registration for the Workshop includes admission to both workshop sessions.

Opening Panel Discussion and Special Plenary Session – Monday, June 19th, 2:00 – 5:30pm

The first session will be a panel celebrating the first 30 years of the Society’s work. Five of our past student prize winners will present a discussion of changes and advances that we have made in Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology over the past thirty years. Following the panel we will have a special plenary session devoted to the 50th anniversary of NICHD and recognizing their work in the scientific community, and the prominence of NICHD scientists in SPER.


We are looking forward to two Round Table discussions at the upcoming meeting — which provide an excellent opportunity for informal discussion and getting to know fellow SPER colleagues. They will take place from 7:00-8:00 am on June 20.  Anyone is welcome to attend!  Please see below for descriptions of this year’s Round Tables.

Topic:  Epidemiologic perspectives on physiologic pregnancy and childbirth: a growing field of epidemiologic inquiry
Leader:  Jon Snowden, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Oregon Health & Science University / Portland State University School of Public Health
Description:  While studies focusing on pregnancy and obstetric complications abound, epidemiologists have devoted limited attention to the science of physiologic childbirth. Yet knowledge of the latter is a prerequisite to understand and define the former. Physiologic childbirth research has grown considerably in recent years, a trend that is likely to continue. Perinatal epidemiology focuses on the distribution and determinants of health-related states – not just diseases – so we are well-suited to lead in this field. This roundtable will highlight the multi-disciplinary movement toward physiologic childbirth research (including high-impact findings on labor progression and defining “low-risk” pregnancy), and how our epidemiologic concepts and tools will be central in advancing this research.

Topic:  Teaching reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology – challenges & obstacles to training the next generation
Leader:  Michael Bloom, PhD, MS, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY
Description:  What readings, case studies, exercises, and approaches are most effective for engaging graduate students and generating excitement and enthusiasm; which are ineffective?  What fundamental or emerging issues are critical topics for inclusion in every course syllabus?  Come share your thoughts and experiences, as an instructor or as a student, and together we’ll become more effective teachers and build a bright future for our discipline!

Keynote Speaker

Our Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Fred Rivara, the Seattle Children’s Guild Endowed Chair in Pediatrics, Professor of Pediatrics, and editor-in-chief of JAMA Pediatrics.  He will talk about youth violence and the epidemiology of firearm injuries, as well as how this scientific work has been politicized.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to judge for the 2nd Annual Trainee Poster Awards!

We will continue the student/trainee poster awards this year after their popular introduction in 2016. We are looking for volunteers to act as poster judges during each of the sessions. Judges are typically asked to judge 4-5 posters. If you are able to help, please contact Sarah Pugh at sap790@gmail.com. Thank you!