2018 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 2018 Elections will include voting for the following positions:

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

2018 Members of SPER are entitled to one vote per category. Learn more about the candidates below.
Voting will conclude on April 20th. 


2018 Elections are now closed.

President-Elect Candidates

Jean M Lawrence, ScD, MPH, MSSA
Senior Research Scientist
Division of Epidemiologic Research
Department of Research & Evaluation (R&E)
Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC)

Jean M Lawrence, ScD, MPH, MSSA. As an active member since 2003, I had the pleasure of serving The Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research (SPER) as a Member-At-Large from 2004-2008 during which time I oversaw the abstract review for the annual meeting.  A pediatric and perinatal epidemiologist by training, I received my Doctor of Science (ScD) in Maternal and Child Health from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Pubic Health (now Bloomberg School of Public Health) and completed postdoctoral training at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.  During this fellowship, I focused on women’s health and preventing perinatal HIV transmission. I am currently a Senior Research Scientist (Research Scientist III) in the Division of Epidemiologic Research, Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Read more

Brian W. Whitcomb, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

As a long time active member of the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, I am honored to have been nominated for President. I have attended and/or participated in the Annual Meeting starting as a doctoral student. I served as Student Representative on the Society Executive Committee in 2005-2006, during which time I helped to organize the first SPER Methods Workshop. I subsequently served as member-at-large from 2011-2015. It was a privilege and learning experience to have served on the Executive Committee and to have been involved with the Annual Meeting in these capacities. My involvement with SPER has been greatly rewarding, and I would love the opportunity to contribute to the Society as President. Read more

Member-at-Large Candidates

Daniel A. Enquobahrie, MD, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor,
Departments of Epidemiology and Health Services, 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, 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 since 2009 and teach the undergraduate and graduate courses on maternal and child health epidemiology while leading related seminars.  I am currently director of the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education, Science, and Practice in the School of Public Health. I have collaborated with several local, domestic, and international investigators on research that spanned reproductive/perinatal, genetic, and, epigenetic epidemiology. My research involves three themes: risk factors and mechanisms of pregnancy complications, placental (the intrauterine environment) transcription and transcription regulation, and early life origins of cardiometabolic risk. Read more

Kelly Ferguson, PhD, MPH
Epidemiology Branch
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Mine is a new face at SPER. As an environmental epidemiologist, I have spent my career investigating how chemical exposures play a role in adverse outcomes of pregnancy and child development. My goal now is to integrate this work with the rigorous epidemiologic methods employed by investigators in SPER. At the same time, I hope to contribute to the society my unique perspective and enthusiasm for understanding environmental exposures, the mechanisms by which they act, and their consequences. Read more

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.  Currently, I am Director of the Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Area of Emphasis at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.  Additionally, I serve as Affiliate Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Microbiome and Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Women’s Health Research and Innovation, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute.  Committed to training the next generation of RPP epidemiologists, I serve as a Steering Committee Member of the Women’s Reproductive Health Research Career Development Program at Magee-Womens Research Institute and an Executive Committee Member of the Translational Research in Adolescent Health and Development Post-doctoral Training Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Read more

Teresa Janevic, MPH PhD
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science
Assistant Professor of Population Health Science & Policy
Women’s Health Research Institute
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

It is with my pleasure I express my candidacy for Member-at-Large in the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research. I am a perinatal epidemiologist with an interest in the influence of social exposures, such as neighborhood context, racial discrimination, migration, and stress, on perinatal and reproductive health outcomes, and the role of quality of health care in these relationships. SPER has been a steady source of professional insight and collaboration for me since I first became a member in 2005. In my current role of Assistant Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science and Population Health Science and Policy at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, epidemiology serves as a the bridge between etiologic research, outcomes research, and health services research. As such, I understand the importance of a professional organization such as SPER to sustain and advance the disciplinary perspective of epidemiology while encompassing the diverse range of researchers who contribute to the field of pediatric and perinatal epidemiology, including clinicians, public health practitioners, and academics. Read more

Anne Marie Jukic, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology
Yale School of Public Health

I attend SPER every year for one simple reason: I love this stuff.

And at SPER I have found a home with a group of similarly passionate people who, like me, clearly love this stuff.

Each year SPER draws experts from around the world into one room to share ideas, promote collaborations, and discuss the challenges in our field. Each year SPER revitalizes and rejuvenates me both through attending the meeting itself and through reviewing abstracts and award nominations. I would be honored to serve the SPER community as a member at large. Read more

Claire E. Margerison
Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Michigan State University

It would be an honor to serve as Member-at-Large for SPER. I have been a member of SPER since 2009. SPER has been instrumental in expanding my knowledge about perinatal epidemiology topics and methods through the training workshops and annual meeting, and I truly enjoy the welcoming, collegial environment of the organization. Over the past eight years, I have reviewed abstracts for the annual meeting and judged student posters, and I helped organize a roundtable discussion on Zika virus and microcephaly for the 2016 annual meeting. I am now excited for the opportunity to become more involved with the SPER executive committee. Read more

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

I would be thrilled to continue to serve the SPER Executive Committee in 2018-2019.  As the Student Representative over the last year, I have worked to advance and promote the needs of students, post-doctoral fellows, and early investigators on the SPER Executive Committee.  Alongside other SPER EC members, I aimed to be reflective and responsive to new opportunities and programs that support the growth and development of young investigators. As a woman, I have also advocated for fair and diverse representation. I not only believe in the relevance of SPER’s annual meeting in providing an essential venue to expand networks and build partnerships, I also consider that exposure to cutting-edge research and methods through high-quality presentations and workshops encourages trainees and faculty alike to critically appraise their own work and explore new avenues of research.  As the Member-at-Large, I will continue to commit myself to supporting the Executive Committee at SPER in advancing reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiologic research, to actively encouraging growth and opportunities for members-at-large, and to promoting the spirit and mission of SPER. Read more

Anna Z. Pollack PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Global and Community Health
College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University

It is a great privilege to be nominated as Member-at-Large for SPER, an organization that has been central to my development as a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist. I have been a member of SPER since 2009 and have had the good fortune to regularly attend SPER meetings, where I have learned so much and forged strong professional connections.

I have had the honor of serving as the SPER Student Representative from 2012-2013 and in that role, organized the Advanced Methods Workshop in 2013. This experience showed me the value and importance of developing an excellent and engaging program for the meeting. In addition, I regularly review abstracts for the SPER Annual Meeting and have benefitted from the insightful comments of my fellow attendees when presenting my work at SPER. I serve as section editor for epidemiology methods in Current Environmental Health Reports and am an ad hoc reviewer for 15 journals, which have prepared me for the Member-at-Large role of coordinating abstract review for the SPER Annual Meeting. Read more

Melissa M Smarr, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental Health
Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University

It would be a privilege to serve SPER as Member-at-Large. Having been introduced to this professional society during the first year of my postdoctoral fellowship with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), this community has provided me a platform to present my research, expand my training, and engage in critical discussions with leaders in the field. In return, I am eager to dedicate my time and resources to the Society. Read more

Student Representative Candidates

Samantha Drover, MSc.
Doctoral Candidate
Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

I am grateful to be nominated for SPER student representative; it would be a privilege to take on this role. My interest in maternal health and child development arose during my undergraduate degree and was further fostered by studying the development of social cognition in preschool-aged children during my Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology. My pivot to Epidemiology was motivated by my desire to continue studying maternal health and child development, but from a public health perspective. Read more

Dana Goin, MA
PhD candidate
Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

I am in the fourth year of my PhD in Epidemiology, during which I have worked under the mentorship of Jennifer Ahern. I also work as a research intern with Damini Jawaheer at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), and have recently completed a masters degree in Biostatistics under the mentorship of Nicholas Jewell. I first attended SPER at the 2017 meeting in Seattle, WA, and was impressed by the discussion and critique of such a wide range of projects related to perinatal and pediatric epidemiology. The tone of the scientific criticism was thoughtful, respectful, and constructive—qualities which are not always present at other scientific meetings. My discussions with other attendees left me feeling encouraged and motivated to continue my work with the goal of returning to SPER. I am enthusiastically running for the SPER student representative because I want to contribute to this community. Read more

Dominique Heinke, ScD
Post-doctoral Researcher
Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

As a newcomer to SPER, I am in awe of this amazing organization and excited to be considered for Student Representative. At the 2017 annual meeting, I stood, for the first time, in a room full of passionate researchers dedicated to studying pediatric and perinatal health. From the presentations, questions and answers, and conversations in the hallways, the commitment to rigorous methodology by all was clear and inspiring. I knew then that this was an organization in which I could grow and whose mission I hoped to serve. Read more

Stephanie Leonard, PhD, MS
Postdoctoral Fellow
Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
Stanford University

I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve as Student Representative for SPER. I began conducting research in perinatal and pediatric epidemiology as an undergraduate student in Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, before working for WIC and a nonprofit health organization, and earning an MS in Epidemiology from UCLA in 2014 and PhD in Epidemiology from UC Berkeley in 2017. I am currently an NICHD F32 postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, where my research focuses on severe maternal morbidities and disparities in maternal health. I am a member of the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences and work closely with the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. My primary interests are in maternal health, developmental origins of health and disease, and applying novel epidemiologic methods in perinatal health research. Read more

Catherine Wright, MPH
Ph.D. Student
University of Washington

I would welcome the opportunity to serve as SPER Student Representative. I value the work of SPER and its members in advancing research in reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric health, areas to which I have long been committed.

I earned a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. For several years thereafter, I worked as a data analyst and project manager for the Family Planning Council in Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization which provided reproductive health care to a predominantly low-income patient population. My responsibilities included evaluating delivery of reproductive health services; making recommendations for program planning; and designing and conducting original research studies. My experiences in this role served to strengthen my conviction that high-quality reproductive health care is essential to overall health and well-being. Read more