Stay tuned for upcoming events.
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.
University of Pittsburgh
Oak Park Department of Public health
Center for Birth Defects research and Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Anne Marie Jukic
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
University of British Columbia
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, DSc, MPH, is a Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Global Health at Boston University. Dr. Fox joined Boston University in 2001. His research interests include treatment outcomes in HIV-treatment programs, infectious disease epidemiology (with specific interests in HIV and pneumonia), and epidemiologic methods.
Dr. Fox works on ways to improve retention in HIV-care programs in South Africa from the time of testing HIV-positive through long-term treatment. As part of this work, he is involved in analyses to assess the impact of changes in South Africa’s National Treatment Guidelines for HIV. Dr. Fox also does research on quantitative bias analysis and co-authored a book on these methods, Applying Quantitative Bias Analysis to Epidemiologic Data (http://www.springer.com/public+health/book/978-0-387-87960-4 ). He is also the host of a public health journal club podcast called Free Associations designed to help people stay current in the public health literature and think critically about the quality of research studies (www.pophealthex.org/FA). He currently teaches a third-level epidemiologic methods class, Advanced Epidemiology as well as two other doctoral level epidemiologic methods courses. Dr. Fox is a graduate of the Boston University School of Public Health with a master’s degree in epidemiology and biostatistics and a doctorate in epidemiology.
Dr. Theresa Chapple-McGruder is a governmental and applied epidemiologist. Her research areas and applied expertise are in reducing maternal, fetal, and infant death, as well as combatting epidemics impacting this population. She has dedicated her life to public service, with the majority of her career spent at local, state, and federal health agencies, or with organizations with missions that directly support governmental public health. Through her work, Dr. Chapple-McGruder has been able to aid nearly every U.S state and territory in addressing maternal and child health outcomes or in combatting Covid-19. Most recently, she assisted states in developing maternal mortality review committees, reviewing their maternal mortality data to create innovative programs and statewide policies, assisting 19 states in creating emergency preparedness plans inclusive of pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children with special health care needs. She’s also aided 27 schools/school districts in creating school reopening plans during Covid-19. Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Chapple-McGruder has provided expert consultations to recreational sports teams, news media platforms, and community-based organizations with the goal of flattening the curve and promoting vaccination. She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA from Clark Atlanta University
Dr Murray is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health who focuses on improving methods for evidence-based decision-making and human-data interaction. Her work primarily focuses on applications to public health and clinical epidemiology, including applications to HIV, HPV, cancer, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, social and environmental epidemiology, and maternal and adolescent health. Dr Murray also conducts meta-research evaluating bias in existing research. During the COVID pandemic, Dr Murray has been working on improving science communication about epidemiology and public health concepts, and identifying and addressing barriers to equitable vaccination distribution and acceptance. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, working on causal inference for comparative effectiveness and real-world evidence in the HSPH Program on Causal Inference. She holds an ScD in Epidemiology and MSc in Biostatistics from Harvard, an MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and a BSc in Biology from McGill University. Dr Murray is an Associate Editor for Social Media at the American Journal of Epidemiology, and can be reached on Twitter at @epiellie.
Ugochinyere Vivian Ukah,
Dr. Ugochinyere Vivian Ukah is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health at McGill University, funded by Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRQS), and supervised by Drs. Robert Platt and Natalie Dayan. Her research focuses on the short- and long-term outcomes of pregnancy complications, and development and validation of prediction models in maternal and perinatal health. Vivian holds a Master’s degree in Public Health (Health services research) from the University of Sheffield, England and a PhD in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences from the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is also currently the Vice President Academic of the McGill Association of Postdoctoral Fellows (APF).
The role of wealth accumulation in Black-White preterm delivery disparities: a causal mediation analysis approach
May 18, 2021 – 1:00pm (Eastern Time)
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences
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.
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. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30569-X
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 https://doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000000105
New insights into environmental exposures and uterine leiomyomata
May 11, 2021 – 12:00pm-1:30pm (Eastern Time)
Birgit Claus Henn
Traci N. Bethea
Identifying cardiovascular severe maternal morbidity in epidemiologic studies
April 21, 2021 – 12:00pm-1:00pm (Eastern Time)
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.
University of Texas at Austin
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
“BMI-associated metabolic profiles and pathways in the 1st trimester serum”
Speed Poster Session - Obstetric Health
December 4, 2020 – 12pm-1pm (Eastern Time)
“Prenatal exposure to maternal stress and leukocyte telomere length in newborns”
“Birth outcomes and pregnancy complications after the 2013 Calgary flood: a difference in difference analysis”
“Policies mandating priority access to opioid use disorder treatment during pregnancy and buprenorphine prescriptions to women of childbearing age in the United States”
“Postpartum hospital encounters and complications among women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, California 2008-2012”
“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.
Anne Marie Jukic
University of Massachusetts
“The Association Between Neighborhood Poverty and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Hispanic Women”
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.”
Wayne State University
“Intimate Partner Violence, Perceived Stress, and Substance Use among Pregnant Black Women”
“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.
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: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6937a1
SPEAKERS AND PANEL MEMBERS:
Jodi Abbott, MD
Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist
Boston Medical Center and Associate Professor
Education Center American Medical Association
Lauren Christensen-Lindquist, PhD
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
Dominique Heinke, ScD
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Wendy Nembhard, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Epidemiology and Director
Arkansas Center for Birth Read more
Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
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)
“Comparing Methods to Estimate Gestational Age and Assessing Predictors of Embryonic Growth in the Time to Conceive (TTC) Study”
“The Impact of a Lifestyle Intervention on Physical Activity among Latinas with a History of Abnormal Glucose Tolerance in Pregnancy: Estudio PARTO”
“A prospective study of preconception asthma and spontaneous abortion”
“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”
“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
School of Public Health, Oregon Health & Science University/Portland State University
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Oregon Health & Science University
Sarah Osmundson, MD MS
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
School of Epidemiology and Public Health
University of Ottawa Scientist
CHEO Research Institute
Ashley V. Hill, MPH, DrPH
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Health
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Annette Regan, PhD
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
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Speed Poster Session - Maternal Health
November 12, 2020 – 1pm-2pm (Eastern Time)
“Global, Regional, and National Coverage of Maternal Care Interventions: An Analysis from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease Study”
“Travel time to delivery facility and adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes”
“Severe maternal morbidity among asylum seekers in Ontario, Canada: a population-based study”
“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”
“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)
“Obstetric, perinatal and early childhood health outcomes following pertussis immunization during pregnancy in Ontario, Canada”
“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.”
“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”
“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)
“Rural-urban differences in maternal mortality trends in the US, 1999-2017: Accounting for the impact of the pregnancy checkbox”
“Maternal nativity and risk of adverse perinatal outcomes in Black Women”
“Increased Risk of Gestational Diabetes in Twin Pregnancies is Not Primarily Mediated by Gestational Weight Gain”
“Residual Dried Blood Spots for Epidemiologic Studies of Birth Defects: Participation and Research Implications”
“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
Department of Population Medicine
Harvard Medical School
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
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; https://doi.org/10.1093/1je/kwz189 [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.