Skip to content

Online Events


Stay tuned for updates!


“How to peer review: an open Q & A with journal editors”

November 16, 2021, 12:00PM – 1:00PM (EASTERN TIME)


The peer review process can seem like a black box. As a reviewer, you may receive an invitation, give a review and even see the decision without getting any feedback on the utility of the review you provided. Are there components you absolutely should or should not include in your peer review? This panel includes editors from three top epidemiology journals. They will give their perspectives on how to give the most useful peer review, and address other issues in the peer review process including fairness, equity, and inclusion. Almost half of this webinar will be dedicated to YOUR questions and discussion, please come and share your questions about the peer review process.  


Sunni Mumford
University of Pennsylvania


Jonathan Snowden
Oregon Health & Science
Portland State University


Jennifer Zeitlin

Virtual Speed-Networking

June 17, 2021 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm (Eastern Time)

Network and connect virtually with your SPER experts and colleagues  at this speed-networking event! Join us in small group virtual breakout rooms as we connect with leaders in the field. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and hear advice from mentors at various career levels, as they discuss their career and professional development experiences.


Lisa Bodnar
University of Pittsburgh


Erika Braithwaite
Precision Analytics


Theresa Chapple-McGruder
Oak Park Department of Public health


Dominque Heinke
Center for Birth Defects research and Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Public Health


Penelope Howards
Emory University


Anne Marie Jukic
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences


Sunni Mumford
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


Laura Schummers
University of British Columbia


Peter Tennant
University of Leeds, UK

Creating an online presence

May 25, 2021 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Eastern Time)

Our world is becoming more virtual, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when physical presence is restricted. As epidemiologists, online platforms such as LinkedIn, Google scholar, and other social media e.g. twitter, may present an opportunity for us to share our work and ideas. However, how can we establish a strong presence online and use it to communicate effectively? Our panel of speakers will discuss and share their personal experiences on creating an online presence as epidemiologists.


Matthew Fox,
Boston University
Read more


Theresa Chapple-McGruder
Read more


Eleanor Murray,
Boston University
Read more


Ugochinyere Vivian Ukah,
McGill University
Read more

The role of wealth accumulation in Black-White preterm delivery disparities: a causal mediation analysis approach

May 18, 2021 – 1:00pm (Eastern Time)


Collette Ncube
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences
Northeastern University


Jessie Buckley
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Health & Engineering
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The U.S. has the highest rate of preterm birth of all industrialized nations, as well as striking racial/ethnic disparities. I adopt the perspective that a racial group is defined through the social construction of race in the context of a hierarchical, racialized historical and contemporary context. The U.S. racial classification system is powerful and can define generational experiences of advantage or disadvantage for those groups, shaping multiple aspects of their lived experience. During this talk we will discuss the design and findings of our recent study estimating the potential effect of Child Development Accounts (an intervention to change the distribution of family wealth) on racial disparities in preterm delivery. Additionally, we will discuss opportunities and challenges to examining structural racism in epidemiology studies.

Suggested readings

Bailey ZD, Krieger N, Agénor M, Graves J, Linos N, Bassett MT. Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: evidence and interventions. Lancet. 2017 Apr 8;389(10077):1453-1463.

VanderWeele, Tyler J.; Robinson, Whitney R. On the Causal Interpretation of Race in Regressions Adjusting for Confounding and Mediating Variables, Epidemiology: July 2014 – Volume 25 – Issue 4 – p 473-484

New insights into environmental exposures and uterine leiomyomata

May 11, 2021 – 12:00pm-1:30pm (Eastern Time)


Ami Zota


Anna Pollack


Amelia Wesselink


Birgit Claus Henn


Traci N. Bethea

Identifying cardiovascular severe maternal morbidity in epidemiologic studies

April 21, 2021 – 12:00pm-1:00pm (Eastern Time)


Isabelle Malhamé
Assistant Professor, McGill University
Physician, Obstetric Medicine and General Internal Medicine
Department of Medicine
McGill University Health Centre

This event is co-sponsored by the Society of Epidemiologic Research (SER).

Obesity in Pregnancy

December 8, 2020 – 12:30pm-1:30pm (Eastern Time)

This session will explore the implications of maternal body mass index or obesity on pregnancy and offspring health. The presentations were selected from abstracts submitted to the SPER 2020 annual meeting.

Session Chair:

Elizabeth Widen
University of Texas at Austin


Taniqua Ingol
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Maternal Weight Trajectories from Pre-Pregnancy through Postpartum and Childhood Obesity Risk: A Latent Class Analysis Using a Large US Pregnancy Cohort”

Kimberly Glazer, PhD, MPH
“Term labor induction and cesarean delivery among obese women: Generalizability of evidence from low-risk populations”

Amy Nichols, MS, RD
University of Texas at Austin
“Increasing Prepregnancy Obesity Class in Twin Pregnancy is Associated with Decreased Gestational Weight Gain”

Ke Pan, MPH
Tulane University
“BMI-associated metabolic profiles and pathways in the 1st trimester serum”

Speed Poster Session - Obstetric Health

December 4, 2020 – 12pm-1pm (Eastern Time)

Susannah Leisher
“Prenatal exposure to maternal stress and leukocyte telomere length in newborns”

Erin Hetherington
“Birth outcomes and pregnancy complications after the 2013 Calgary flood: a difference in difference analysis”

Ellen Caniglia
“Policies mandating priority access to opioid use disorder treatment during pregnancy and buprenorphine prescriptions to women of childbearing age in the United States”

Mekhala Dissanayake
“Postpartum hospital encounters and complications among women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, California 2008-2012”

Diane Putnick
“Trajectories of depressive symptoms from four months to three years postpartum: Relations with demographic and perinatal factors”

Social and structural determinants of pregnancy health

December 2, 2020 – 2pm-3pm Eastern Time

The goal of this session is to explore the impact of social and structural factors on pregnancy health. The presentations were selected from abstracts submitted to the SPER 2020 annual meeting.

Session Chair:

Anne Marie Jukic


Brittany Rosen
University of Massachusetts
“The Association Between Neighborhood Poverty and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Hispanic Women”

Jaime Slaughter-Acey
University of Minnesota
“Ignoring the Cost of Color on Black Maternal Health: The Influence of Skin Color, Gendered Skin Tone Bias and Prepregnancy Body Mass Index.”

Liying Zhang
Wayne State University
“Intimate Partner Violence, Perceived Stress, and Substance Use among Pregnant Black Women”

Irene Headen
Drexel University
“Housing type and preconception health care utilization: Baseline associations prior to public housing redevelopment in San Francisco”

Stillbirths Count: Parent, provider, and epidemiological perspectives on stillbirth research

December 1, 2020 – 12:00pm-1:30pm (Eastern Time)

Stillbirth is a devastating and all-too-common outcome of pregnancy; worldwide around 2 million families lose a baby before birth, including 23,000 in the US, each year. Families often experience isolation and a lack of support, leading to substantial mental health burdens in the time following the stillbirth and in subsequent pregnancies. Despite the enormous burden of stillbirth, which falls disproportionately on Black families, the investment in research to identify causes and best care practices has only recently started to increase; large knowledge gaps remain. 

In the first part of this symposium, we will provide an overview of stillbirth and current research efforts to better understand the causes of stillbirth in the US. We will then discuss the challenges of stillbirth epidemiology. Next, parents will share their experience with stillbirth.

Following presentations (20 minutes) on these topics, we will have a 60-minute moderated panel discussion on the current state of stillbirth care, research, and policy, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on stillbirth risk and care, followed by an audience Q&A. 

Suggested Readings:

Stillbirth is more common than you think — and we’re doing little about it. Sarah Muthler, Washington Post.

Pruitt SM, Hoyert DL, Anderson KN, et al. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Fetal Deaths — United States, 2015–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1277–1282. DOI:


Jodi Abbott, MD
Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist
Boston Medical Center and Associate Professor
Read more

Lauren Christensen-Lindquist, PhD
Assistant Professor
Emory Rollins School of Public Health

Wes Duke, MD, MPH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Medical Officer
National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

Ruth Fretts, MD
Atrius Health and Assistant Professor
Harvard Medical School

Nneka Hall
Quietly United Together in Loss Campaign; Infant Loss Advocate
Read more

Dominique Heinke, ScD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Wendy Nembhard, PhD 
Professor and Chair
Department of Epidemiology and Director
Arkansas Center for Birth Read more


Sarah Muthler, MPH
Program Coordinator
North Carolina Division of Public Health
Read more

Mahsa Yazdy, PhD, Director
Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Speed Poster Session - Pregnancy Health and Development

November 20, 2020 – 1pm-2pm (Eastern Time)

Ginna Doss
“Comparing Methods to Estimate Gestational Age and Assessing Predictors of Embryonic Growth in the Time to Conceive (TTC) Study”

Kathryn Wagner
“The Impact of a Lifestyle Intervention on Physical Activity among Latinas with a History of Abnormal Glucose Tolerance in Pregnancy: Estudio PARTO”

Jennifer Yland
“A prospective study of preconception asthma and spontaneous abortion”

Andrew Williams
“Joint effects of ethnic enclave residence and air pollution exposure on risk of gestational diabetes mellitus among Asian/Pacific Islander women in the United States”

Colleen Reynolds
“Unintended pregnancy among racial/ethnic and sexual minority college women: An application of a quantitative intersectional analysis”

Cesarean birth and maternal morbidity among Black women and White women after implementation of a blended payment policy

November 18, 2020 – 12pm-1pm (Eastern Time)

Jonathan M Snowden
Associate Professor
School of Public Health, Oregon Health & Science University/Portland State University
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Oregon Health & Science University
Cesarean birth and maternal morbidity among Black women and White women after implementation of a blended payment policy

Sarah Osmundson, MD MS
Assistant Professor
Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Cesarean Delivery Rates and Costs of Childbirth in a State Medicaid Program After Implementation of a Blended Payment Policy

Infectious Diseases and Pregnancy: old and new

November 17, 2020 – 1pm-2pm (Eastern Time)

Catherine L. Haggerty, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

Brandie DePaoli Taylor, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor, College of Public Health, Temple University


Deshayne Fell, PhD
Associate Professor
School of Epidemiology and Public Health
University of Ottawa Scientist
CHEO Research Institute

Ashley V. Hill, MPH, DrPH
Postdoctoral Scholar
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Health
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Annette Regan, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Nursing and Health Professionals
University of San Francisco

Pregnancy-induced physiological changes can make pregnant women more susceptible to severe complications due to infections compared to non-pregnant populations. Furthermore, infections disrupt the receptive immunological state at the maternal-fetal interface. For example, viral infections can prime innate immune receptors leading to an excessive influx of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria in the genital tract. Read more

Register for the 2020 Advanced Methods Workshop

November 10, 2020 – 12pm-2pm (Eastern Time)

“Semi-competing risks: Accounting for death as a competing risk in public health research when the the outcome of interest is non-terminal.”

The workshop will provide an overview of semi-competing risks data analysis. Briefly, semi-competing risks corresponds to the setting where primary interest lies in some non-terminal event, the occurrence of which is subject to a terminal event. Although not as well-known as standard competing risks, semi-competing risks arise in any study of any event that is not mortality but where the force of mortality is strong. Read more

Sebastien Haneuse, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Harrison Reeder
PhD Student
Biostatistics Department
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Speed Poster Session - Maternal Health

November 12, 2020 – 1pm-2pm (Eastern Time)

William Gardner
“Global, Regional, and National Coverage of Maternal Care Interventions: An Analysis from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease Study”

Laura Schummers
“Travel time to delivery facility and adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes”

Susitha Wanigaratne
“Severe maternal morbidity among asylum seekers in Ontario, Canada: a population-based study”

Diane Korb
“Risk of severe maternal morbidity in women with twin pregnancy according to the mode of conception”

Marit L. Bovbjerg
“Risk of perineal trauma by maternal birth position: a comparison of data from the US and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) for birth years 2012-2016”

Isabel Morgan
“Social Determinants of Health and Prevalence of Postpartum Visit Attendance – Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2010-2017”

Speed Poster Session - Pediatric Health

November 12, 2020 – 2pm-3pm (Eastern Time)

Deshayne Fell
“Obstetric, perinatal and early childhood health outcomes following pertussis immunization during pregnancy in Ontario, Canada”

Izzuddin Aris
“Childhood Patterns of Overweight and Wheeze and Subsequent Risk of Current Asthma and Obesity in Adolescence: A comparison of Latent Class Growth Models and Inverse Probability Weighting of Marginal Structural Models.”

Julie Petersen
“Support for Nutritional Depletion in the Relation between Short Interpregnancy Intervals and Increased Birth Defect Risk”

Hannah E. Laue
“Prospective associations of the infant gut microbiome and microbial function with social behaviors related to autism at age three years”

Kristin Sznajder
“Prenatal Stress is Associated with Sleep and Attention Problems at 36 Months”

Speed Poster Session - Methods and Design

November 4, 2020 – 3pm-4pm (Eastern Time)

Lauren Rossen
“Rural-urban differences in maternal mortality trends in the US, 1999-2017: Accounting for the impact of the pregnancy checkbox”

Safyer McKenzie-Sampson
“Maternal nativity and risk of adverse perinatal outcomes in Black Women”

Michelle Dimitris
“Increased Risk of Gestational Diabetes in Twin Pregnancies is Not Primarily Mediated by Gestational Weight Gain”

Eugene Wong
“Residual Dried Blood Spots for Epidemiologic Studies of Birth Defects: Participation and Research Implications”

Megan Harvey
“Predictors of Postpartum Loss to Follow-up among At-Risk Latinas enrolled in a Pregnancy Lifestyle Intervention”

September 10, 2020 – 12pm-1pm (Eastern Time)
“Improving health communication: now, more than ever before”

Lee Badgett, PhD
Department of Economics
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Author of The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World

Julia Marcus, PhD MPH
Assistant Professor
Department of Population Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Charlotte Sutton
Asst. Managing Editor for Business
Health and Built Environment
The Philadelphia Inquirer


Luther-King Fasehun, MD, MSc
Sonia Grandi, PhD

The evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanied unique vulnerabilities for mothers and children presents an opportunity to reexamine the important issue of health communication. How should we, as epidemiologists, better communicate our science to a mosaic of audience types? As stakeholders in pediatric and perinatal health, what are the important issues to be aware of and how can we improve the feedback loop of health communication. Our panel of speakers will explore these issues and present their personal experiences in health communication.

May 12, 2020 – 12pm Eastern Time

Online Journal Club

#SPER_ONLINE presents: “Father matters: Paternal effects on reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric outcomes”



Dr. Jens Peter Bonde, Professor
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Aarhus, Denmark


Dr. Sunni Mumford, Earl Stadtman Investigator, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, United States


Dr. Bola Grace, Research Fellow
Institute for Women’s Health, Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom


Dr. Lauren Wise, Professor,
Department of Epidemiology, Boston University, United States

Please join us for a one-hour SPER webinar entitled “Father matters: Paternal influences on reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric outcomes.” The webinar will feature three expert panelists who will summarize the scientific evidence on the extent to which paternal exposures affect reproductive and offspring health outcomes. The panelists will also discuss ideas for increasing male engagement and participation in epidemiologic studies on reproductive health. Specifically, Dr. Jens Peter Bonde will present on “Paternal environmental exposure and offspring health,” Dr. Sunni Mumford will speak on “Paternal exposures and reproductive outcomes,” and Dr. Bola Grace will speak on “Male participation in reproductive health research: how can we better engage men in our studies?” The webinar will be moderated by Dr. Lauren Wise. Each speaker will present for about 12-15 minutes, and the final 15-20 minutes will be devoted to discussing challenges and controversies in the field, including recommendations for future research.

April 15, 2020 – 12pm EDT

Online Journal Club

“Estimating the obstetric co‐morbidity burden using administrative data: The impact of the pregnancy‐related assessment window”

This event is co-sponsored by the Society for Epidemiologic research.

February 25, 2020 – 12pm EDT

A Tweet is worth a thousand words: using Twitter for epidemiologic research, a joint webinar from two research groups

Part 1: Twitter-derived measures of sentiment towards minorities and birth outcomes.

Quynh Nguyen, PhD, MSPH is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Twitter handle: @quynhcnguyen

Interpersonal and structural racial bias are leading explanations for the continuing racial disparities in birth outcomes but research to confirm the role of racism has been hampered by challenges in both measuring racial bias and evaluating its impact. We use Twitter data to characterize area-level racial hostility and examine the associations with birth weight and preterm birth. In this webinar, we cover Twitter data collection and processing, sentiment analysis, and use of machine learning to classify tweets for racist content. Use of nontraditional data sources like Twitter has the potential to lead to greater tracking of area-level racial bias and to provide essential information needed to develop interventions to reduce the impact of racial bias on health.

Part 2: Discussions of Miscarriage and Preterm Birth on Twitter.

Nina Cesare is a Postdoctoral Associate at Boston University School of Public Health. Twitter handle: @nlcesare

Studies suggest that there is a trend towards expressing disenfranchised grief on social media. However, no large studies have investigated trends and discussions around miscarriages and preterm births on Twitter. Our presentation will review findings from a study analyzing disclosure of miscarriage and preterm birth on Twitter. First, we will show that there are multiple conversation topics related to miscarriages and preterm births. Second, we demonstrate that specific events usually drive surges in discussions. Lastly, in addition to grief, we illustrate that women who have experienced a miscarriage may use social media to share feelings towards insensitive comments by clinicians, friends and family; healthcare costs; legislatures affecting women’s health etc. Our findings are intended to inform both researchers utilizing digital data for healthcare experience research, as well as clinicians seeking to guide conversations about miscarriage and preterm birth and improve patient care.

December 11, 2019 – 12:00-1:00pm EDT
Dr. Jeanette A Stingone

Incorporating machine learning approaches into perinatal and pediatric epidemiology: opportunities and challenges

The use of machine learning, broadly defined as analytic techniques that fit models algorithmically by adapting to patterns in data, is growing in use across many areas within public health and epidemiology. This talk will provide attendees with broad exposure to the elements of machine learning and its practical applications within perinatal and pediatric epidemiology. The talk will include discussion of technical aspects of machine learning, as well as important ethical and scientific considerations of using data-driven methods for epidemiologic research. A number of examples from the scientific literature will be presented and a general listing of resources for additional information and training will be provided.

Jeanette A Stingone PhD MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Dr. Jeanette Stingone is an environmental epidemiologist with a focus on perinatal and pediatric health. She received her BS in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, an MPH from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, she conducts research that couples data science techniques with epidemiologic methods to address research questions in children’s environmental health. Supported by an NIEHS-funded career development award, her current research seeks to uncover the combinations of air pollutants associated with adverse child health outcomes within high dimensional public health data. Read more

Recommended Readings:

It is recommended to read the overview by Bi et al and then skimming the others, as Dr. Stingone will refer to these in the talk when providing examples.

1.  Overview of ML approaches: Bi Q, Goodman KE, Kaminsky J, Lessler J. What is machine learning? A Primer for the epidemiologist. AJE 2019; [epub ahead of print]

2.  Examples of implementation:

a.   Pan I, Nolan LB, Brown RR, Khan R et al Machine learning for social services: a study of prenatal case management in Illinois. AJPH 2017; 107:938-944.

b.   Chiavegatto Filho ADP, Dos Santos HG, do Nasciemento CF, Massa K, Kawachi I Overachieving municipalities in public health: a machine learning approach. Epidemiology 2018; 29:836-840.

c.   Das LT, Abramson EL, Stone AE, Kondrich JE, Kern LM, Grinspan ZM. Predicting frequent emergency department visits among children with asthma using HER data. Pediatr Pulmonol 2017; 52:880-890.