College of

2005 Election
Biographical Sketches and Candidate Statements

ACE President-Elect
Vote for One (1)

John F. Acquavella, PhD is Senior Director for Epidemiology at Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks, California. He worked previously for the Environmental Protection Agency, the University of California, Exxon Biomedical Sciences, and Monsanto Company.

Background: Dr. Acquavella completed his MS in Natural Sciences and his doctoral training in epidemiology at SUNY Buffalo’s Roswell Park Memorial Institute. He is an adjunct professor of Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst School of Public Health and at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. His current research focus is pharmacoepidemiology after more than 20 years of concentration in environmental and occupational epidemiology.

Dr. Acquavella served as ACE Secretary, an Executive Board member, and Chair of the Admissions Committee from 1996-2003. He also served on the Communications, Membership, and Education Committees and, from 2002-2004, coordinated educational workshops for the ACE and SER meetings. Currently, he chairs the 2005 ACE Annual Meeting Planning Committee.

Statement: ACE fulfills a critical need among professional epidemiology organizations by advocating policies that advance the practice and stature of epidemiology. ACE is unique because epidemiologists from all backgrounds - government, academia, private industry and non-profit organizations - collaborate on committees and on the Executive Board. As someone with experience in government, academic research and the private sector, I appreciate the perspectives that a diverse membership and leadership can bring to College activities.

The President must be the focal point for ACE leadership and coordination, but the real work of the College results from the efforts of the Board of Directors and individual Members and Fellows on committees. The Policy Committee has been and should continue to be a leading voice working to preserve access for epidemiologists to individually identified data. ACE, through the Ethics and Standards of Practice Committee, showed leadership for the profession by developing guidelines and increasing awareness of ethics. It is important to extend those efforts more broadly and to be a resource for practicing epidemiologists with respect to ethical issues and conflicts of interest. The other themes I would emphasize, if elected, are continuing education at epidemiology society meetings, close collaboration with other epidemiology organizations, and continued growth and diversification of the College’s membership to include more minority epidemiologists, students, and early career epidemiologists.

The College must continue to grow and diversify to represent an evolving profession. It also should offer leadership opportunities for epidemiologists at all stages of their careers and recognize the progression of epidemiologists in their careers. I’d focus on making leadership opportunities widely known and making the promotion process more transparent. Both are important to expand the pool of future leaders of the College and to increase the relevance of the College to epidemiologists at all stages of their careers.

Robert McKeown, PhD, is Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Research at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina. 

Background: In addition to an undergraduate degree in chemistry (Furman University) and a Master of Divinity (Duke), he holds the PhD in philosophical theology from Duke University and PhD in epidemiology from the University of South Carolina. Dr. McKeown is a Fellow of the College a member of its Board of Directors and has chaired its Ethics and Standards of Practice Committee since 2001. Dr. McKeown is also past-chair of the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA), has chaired at various times that Section’s Program, Awards, and Nominations Committees, and has served on the APHA Governing Council. He is currently on the Program Committee for the upcoming Second North American Congress of Epidemiology in 2006. Dr. McKeown has been an active member of the USC Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research since 1997 and is a founding member of the Executive Committee of the USC Research Consortium on Children and Families. Dr. McKeown’s research interests are psychiatric epidemiology, with a focus on children and adolescents, perinatal epidemiology, women’s health, public health ethics, and public health and faith community collaborations. His teaching has focused on epidemiologic methods, ethics, and psychiatric epidemiology. He is the recipient of the Arnold School of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty Service Award, and Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Statement: The American College of Epidemiology occupies a unique place among epidemiologic societies because of our joint emphasis on professional development and scientific research. Thanks to Betsy Foxman’s leadership, we now have a better idea of what those other societies are and the College has played a central role in forging stronger ties among them and laying a foundation for future collaboration. Those efforts must be sustained for the Second North American Congress on Epidemiology and beyond. Our successful sponsorship of pre-conference workshops for both ACE and SER is testimony, not only to the hard work of many of our members, but also to our commitment to that dual emphasis on enhancing professionalism and presenting state of the art epidemiologic methods. We need to work to make sure that the profession continues to regard the scientific value of our annual meeting programs and our journal with the same level of respect. That may require investing in more special sessions with recognized experts to present the most recent developments and challenges in our field. Over the past several years, thanks to the efforts of members of program planning committees, the editorial board, and the editorial staff of the journal, we have seen both the meeting and the journal enjoy an enhanced reputation. Finally, our efforts in the ethics and policy arenas have been at the very forefront of the discipline and a model for other epidemiologic societies. The College, through its Board of Directors must continue to support these efforts and expand them to include joint endeavors with other societies, agencies, and institutions. 

Board of Directors

Fellow Nominees
Vote for Three (3)

Richard N. Baumgartner, PhD, is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Clinical Investigative Science, School of Public Health and Information Sciences, University of Louisville, Kentucky.

Background: Dr. Baumgartner joined the American College of Epidemiology as Fellow in 2002. He has served on the ACE Publications Committee since 2003 and the poster committee for the 2002/2003 meetings. He helped to host the ACE 2002 meetings in Albuquerque. He is a long-standing member of SER, ASCN, NAASO, and GSA.

Dr. Baumgartner received a BA in Anthropology from Beloit College in 1973, and an MA in Biological Anthropology from Southern Illinois University in 1977. He obtained his PhD in Community Health Sciences, specializing in Nutritional Epidemiology, from the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston in 1982. He subsequently was a Research Assistant/Associate Professor at Wright State University School of Medicine, where he worked on the Fels Longitudinal Study and developed expertise in human growth, development, and body composition and associated chronic diseases. In 1991, he moved to the University of New Mexico School of Medicine to further extend his research to body composition in aging and chronic disease, including breast cancer. He served as the Associate Director of the UNM Clinical Nutrition Program from 1991 to 1998, and as the Director from 1998 to 2000, when he renamed the program, “Aging and Genetic Epidemiology”. He became a tenured Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Epidemiology in 1999 and served as Interim Chief during 2003/2004. He additionally served as the Associate Director for Science in the UNM Institute for Public Health and as a member of the UNM Human Research Review Committee (IRB). In July, 2005 he took a new position as Distinguished University Professor in the newly formed Department of Epidemiology and Clinical Investigative Sciences, School of Public Health and Information Sciences, University of Louisville, KY.

Dr. Baumgartner is internationally recognized as an expert in body composition methodology, and was the first to develop methods for measuring “sarcopenia”, or age-related muscle loss, in population studies and defining risk factors. He has contributed widely to research on the epidemiology of obesity, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia in relation to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, falls and fractures, and disability. He served as the Principal Investigator of two long-term cohort studies: the Aging Process Study and the New Mexico Health, Eating, Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study. Dr. Baumgartner has served on numerous grant review panels, including the Epidemiology of Chronic Disease (formerly EDC1) Study Section from 1998-2004.

Statement: In the 21st century we anticipate the confluence of two unprecedented epidemics, obesity and aging, that will contribute to trailing epidemics of chronic metabolic disease and disability, as well as the potential reemergence of infectious diseases. If elected, I will help ACE to build bridges with other societies to strengthen multidisciplinary research in these priority areas with a focus on translational research and policy outcomes. I will take a leading role for the College in advocating the inclusion of more epidemiology in the NIH Roadmap Initiative, with an understanding that “translational research” includes population-based studies and interventions. I will promote professional development through workshops and interdisciplinary symposia at the annual meetings, and provide venues for multidisciplinary discussions of how to more effectively meld epidemiology with advances in bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. I will support aggressive policies to develop and maintain the membership base and increase the impact of Annals through the publication of multidisciplinary research in high priority areas.

David E. Lilienfeld, MD, MPH, MSEngin, MBA, FACE, FISPE, FAHA is Senior Director and Head of Drug Safety at Protein Design Labs, Inc, a biotechnology company in Fremont, California. He has directed drug safety and pharmacoepidemiology activities previously at InterMune, a biotechnology company in Brisbane, California, and conducted epidemiologic studies while at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, FMAS, Inc, the EMMES Corporation, and while on faculty at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He also teaches at Stanford University, having given two courses in the past year, and has taught at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and at Rutgers.

Background: Dr. Lilienfeld was in the first class to have completed all requirements of the Public Health Option at the Johns Hopkins University Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He then completed the MSEngin program in statistical computing (mathematical sciences and computer sciences), after which he went to the University of Maryland School of Medicine (MD), followed by a residency in preventive medicine at the Minnesota Department of Health. He received a MPH in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota (Professor Jack Mandel, advisor) and an MBA in health care administration from the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lilienfeld was a co-founder of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, most recently establishing the Western Drug Safety and Pharmacoepidemiology Society. While Dr. Lilienfeld has maintained a focus on pharmacoepidemiology, he has continued his research in the epidemiology of diseases of the pulmonary vasculature, neurodegenerative diseases, and the history of epidemiology (for which he received the SER Professors’ Prize in the History of Epidemiology). He is the co-author of Foundations of Epidemiology, currently in its 3rd edition (4th edition is in discussion). Dr. Lilienfeld has served on many ad hoc study sections for the NIH and the CDCP, and currently serves on the Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases and Aging Study Section (nee EDC-3).

Dr. Lilienfeld has served the College in many roles, having organized the first workshop on epidemiology and the law at the 1985 Annual Meeting, co-chaired the 1995 Program Committee (with W. Satariano), and reviewed abstracts for submitted papers for many ACE Annual Meetings. For the past 5 years, Dr. Lilienfeld has served on the Publications Committee, and for the past 2 ½ years directed the ACE Pages Subcommittee, with the charge of managing the ACE pages in each issue of the Annals of Epidemiology.

Statement: The ACE has grown considerably stronger during its 23 years. It continues to serve a unique role for the epidemiology community as the only organization representing epidemiologists as such. The ACE provides a forum for the discussion of issues germane to the field. Although the Annual Meeting provides one means for such discussion and the ACE pages in the Annals of Epidemiology are beginning to provide another one, further work is needed in this regard. Issues such as training the next generation of epidemiologists and funding the current one will need considerable debate for the field (and the College) to develop a position to be communicated to the appropriate parties, particularly in an era in which funding available at the National Institutes of Health is and will likely remain tight. Other issues such as addressing privacy concerns while still facilitating the conduct of epidemiologic studies also require discussion, policy formulation, and dissemination of the resulting policy. Although the College has enjoyed some success in fostering such discussions, and in formulating and communicating its stands on such issues, much work remains to be done. My focus would be to develop additional avenues for these discussions and on effectively communicating the ACE position such that the epidemiology community is well served.

Arthur M. Michalek, Ph.D., is Dean of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Graduate Division of the University at Buffalo; Chair of Educational Affairs; a full member of the Institute’s Cancer Prevention & Epidemiology Program; and Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University at Buffalo.

Background: Dr. Michalek has been a Fellow of ACE since 1991. He is the immediate past-President of the AACE and has served the College as Editor of its Newsletter, as a member of the Communications Committee and as Vice Chair of the Ethics and Standards of Practice Committee. Michalek received his B.S. degree in Biology in 1975 from Canisius College; and his M.S. degree (1977) and his PhD in Epidemiology (1980) from the University at Buffalo. At Roswell Park Cancer Institute (an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center), he is responsible for the oversight and implementation of graduate (MS, PhD), clinical, and post-graduate training programs. His research program focuses on cancer in special populations, such as American Indians, cancer epidemiology, education and ethics. He has published cancer studies ranging from classical cancer control to molecular epidemiology. He recently served as PI within an International Consortium conducting a leukemia case-control study in areas of the Former Soviet Union contaminated from fallout of the Chernobyl accident.

He is a member of the NCI Network for Cancer Control Research Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, a member of the Steering Committee of the American Indian and Alaska Native Cancer Leadership Initiative (Spirit of E.A.G.L.E.S.), and was recently appointed to a joint US-Canadian Cross Border Taskforce to examine cancer in North American Native communities.

Statement: Our profession is confronted with a number of challenges, including diminished federal funding; increased governmental regulations; a growing array of increasingly complex subspecialties both internal and external to the profession; increasing need to interact with other scientific disciplines; and increasing expectations to conform to certain standards of practice. Each challenge has different stakeholders, different issues, and different approaches. However, the common denominator to the solution of all these disparate concerns is detailed in the College’s Strategic Plan. In particular, Goal II of the Plan which focuses on educational initiatives. Whether the target group is the legislature, policy makers, fellow epidemiologists or other scientists/clinicians, the keys to success reside in an open exchange of ideas through innovative, multidisciplinary training programs. In addition, the College is obligated to be an agent of change; to represent the members and enhance the ability of its members to practice their profession. I believe that my professional experiences make me an ideal candidate to assist the College in achieving its educational goals and by doing so - advancing our profession.

Denise M. Oleske, Ph.D. is Professor, Departments of Health Systems Management and Preventive Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. In the Department of Health Systems Management, she is also Associate Chair.

Background: Dr. Oleske, an ACE Fellow, has served in a variety of capacities in the organization including the Program Planning Committee for the 2003 meeting, as judge on poster committees for several years, and the Publications Committee. She has served on the Finance Committee as a member, Vice-Chair and currently is Chair. As Chair of the Finance Committee, she is leading in the development of policies and procedures to support the sound fiscal growth of ACE.

Dr. Oleske earned a B.S. in biology (1971) at Marquette University followed by degrees from the University of Illinois including a BSN (1974), an MPH (1974), and a PhD (1983) in epidemiology, the latter two which were from the School of Public Health.

She has extensive experience teaching epidemiology to physicians and medical, nursing, and allied health professions students.

In the 80’s, she was among the pioneers of the application of epidemiology for benchmarking and evaluating the quality of health care services through the use of administrative databases. Her textbook on the subject, Epidemiology and the Delivery of Health Care Services: Methods and Applications, is in its second edition, with a translation in Chinese. Today, Dr. Oleske focuses on occupational epidemiology and breast cancer epidemiology. Her current research involves examining the role of new prognostic factors for breast cancer recurrence (genetic markers) and the methodological aspects of longitudinal studies in the workplace particularly ergonomic exposure modeling for cumulative trauma disorders.

Her board experience includes serving as an elected Director-at-Large of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and a member of the Governing Council of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge Illinois, nationally recognized for nine consecutive years in the US News and World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals’ ranking.” She is also Chair of the Cancer Incidence and End Results Committee of the ACS.

Statement: Epidemiology has not only given me the tools to engage in scientific evaluations of the operations of the health care system, but it is also language I use to bring multi-disciplinary and even trans-disciplinary groups together to problem-solve for improving health care. It is exciting to be associated with a professional organization such as the American College of Epidemiology that embraces this philosophy. If I am elected, I plan to promote the recognition of epidemiological practice more broadly in areas such as risk assessment, outcomes research, testing population based-self management strategies, and the evaluation of the impact of system changes in a wide variety of populations including community-dwelling, insured, non-insured, and vulnerable populations. The collegiality of the traditional-oriented epidemiologists alongside new practitioners will help not only to promote our membership base, but the increased diversity will help us build a better vision of the future strategic position of the College. With this diverse base, the College will be in a better position to favorably influence policy-making, legislation, and the legal arena for the sensible use of data for epidemiological research, a major potential future barrier to our profession. I would be honored to serve and if elected, I look forward to being responsive to the membership’s interests.

Robert Spirtas, M.S., Dr.P.H. is Chief of the Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch, Center for Population Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD.

Background: At the NICHD, Dr. Spirtas directs a program supporting research on the discovery, development, efficacy, safety and mechanisms of action of various methods of contraception, as well as on reproductive health and epidemiology. His research interests are in the fields of environmental health and reproductive health. His most recent project was the Women’s Contraception and Reproductive Experiences study (a multi-center, population-based, case-control study which examined the relationship between the risk of breast cancer and the use of oral contraceptives among women aged 35-64 years). His administrative responsibilities include consultation and collaboration with other governmental agencies, including FDA, CDC, and USAID, and frequent interactions with non-governmental organizations. In addition to service on various NIH committees, he has prepared and given congressional testimony. Dr. Spirtas is a coordinating agency scientist on various World Health Organization committees dealing with contraception and reproductive health. Prior to his joining NICHD, Dr. Spirtas served as a statistician with the National Air Pollution Control Administration (a predecessor to the Environmental Protection Agency), a Research Associate with the Occupational Health Studies Group at the University of North Carolina, Chief of the Illness Effects Section, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and a biostatistician in the Environmental Epidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute. He holds a B.A. in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois, an M.S. in Statistics from the University of Iowa, and a Dr.P.H. in Biostatistics with a Supporting Program in Epidemiology and Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service and is active in the Commissioned Officers Association. He has been an officer in the Statistics Section of APHA, and was a member of the National Death Index Advisory Committee. He is a Fellow of the ACE, and a member of the American Public Health Association, the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (he currently serves as an epidemiologist on the Threshold Limit Values Committee of the ACGIH). Dr. Spirtas has received the Statistics Section, APHA Award, the NIH Directors Award, and the Charles C. Shepard Science Award.

Statement: If elected, I would strive to increase the efforts of the College to inform the public regarding important public health issues. My general approach is to work persistently within the system to get the job done. The College has shown itself to be an effective, external voice for research integrity and societal concerns, working in collaboration with epidemiologists in government, industry, and academia. I believe the College can be even more effective as it addresses the major public health problems facing us: obesity and its consequences, terrorism (bio-, nuclear, and chemical), HIV/AIDS and other new and old infectious agents (TB, malaria), the health effects of tobacco products, and population-environment interactions (global warming, unintended pregnancy). It is imperative that we view these problems as global issues in this interconnected age. With my scientific background in environmental and reproductive health and experience with national and international organizations, I feel that I could contribute to this activity. It would be a great honor to serve on the Board.

Member Nominees
Vote for One (1)

Jorge Ibarra, M.D., M.P.H., is a County Epidemiologist in Tucson, Arizona. He is also Co-Director of Mesa Public Health Associates, a consulting firm in the US-Mexico border region. As a member of the American College of Epidemiology he has served on the Minority Affairs Committee. He is a partner in the CityMatCH perinatal periods of risk multi-city project. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of two international non-governmental organizations.

Background: Dr. Ibarra has a long term interest in child survival issues, the application of epidemiological methods, asthma in children, and the management of communicable diseases and health surveillance systems. He was a pioneer in the establishment of the Mexican Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca, serving along side numerous key Mexican leaders in public health. During that time he taught social medicine and basic epidemiology at the School of Medicine in Mexico City. Later, he joined the University of Arizona where he served in different capacities including assisting and conducting research on asthma in children at the USA-Mexico Border.

In his current position he has had the opportunity to study infectious disease outbreaks of different magnitudes and assess surveillance systems for various public health purposes. Currently, Dr. Ibarra is part of a multi-city CityMatCH team (University of Nebraska) for the study of health disparities through the assessment of perinatal periods of risk. He also participates in several local and state committees working on the identification of health needs for maternal and child issues as well as obesity prevention policy.

Dr. Ibarra earned a medical degree from the University of Mexico, a master in public health at the University of Arizona and has extensive course work on community medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and in epidemiology from Boston University.

Statement: If elected for a Board of Director position, I will be honored to serve the College promoting linkages between applied epidemiology and research. In particular, I will work to promote ACE’s use of its influence to advocate for both minority and non-minority frontline epidemiologists in the nation. I will encourage a comprehensive, accessible, in-service training policy to benefit acting epidemiologists at the state and local levels. I also believe in the potential for increasing the rational use of existing data to better conduct epidemiological studies to improve research overall and positively increase the timely impact of that research in the communities providing needed data. As a part of this, much can be done by ACE to promote these concepts in schools and colleges of medicine and public health, in coordination with epidemiology units at the state and local levels. Another approach to improving frontline linkages is the fair distribution of funding to support the practicing epidemiologists serving in the frontlines of public health. I believe the ACE should use its influence in collaboration with community members and key leaders to help establish criteria and policy agendas to promote this wider distribution of needed resources.

Joshua P. Metlay, M.D., PH.D. is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a Staff Physician and Research Associate at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. He is the Director of Medical Education for the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Background: Dr. Metlay received his MD from Cornell University Medical College and his PhD in Immunology from the Rockefeller University. After completing his residency training in Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Metlay completed a Masters of Science in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 1997, he joined the Department of Medicine and the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania where he has helped establish a leading research program in the epidemiology of acute respiratory infections and emerging bacterial drug resistance. Current projects include an NIH funded study on risk factors for pneumococcal drug resistance, an FDA funded study on long term safety of antibiotic use, and a VA funded study on improving the quality of antibiotic use in emergency department settings. Dr. Metlay is a co-Principal Investigator of the Penn Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs), which is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and focuses on improving utilization of antibiotics in community and hospital settings. He is also the co-Principal Investigator of the AHRQ funded Penn Center of Excellence in Patient Safety, which focuses on studies to improve the safety of medication use, particularly by older adults in community settings. Dr. Metlay also leads several medical student educational programs, specifically developing opportunities for students to participate in epidemiological research projects. He has been a member of ACE since 2000.

Statement: The American College of Epidemiology has played a critical role in promoting the expansion of epidemiology training among scientists and public health officials. Yet, I believe there are important opportunities to further that expansion, particularly in terms of promoting a sense of common professional identity among this diverse and growing community. Increasingly, teams of individuals are working across organizational divides to promote multidisciplinary studies and community-based research, often bound by a common epidemiological language. Through ACE, we can work to expand these multidisciplinary collaborations by expanding opportunities for participation and interaction at meetings, highlighting research opportunities through publications, and providing a strong voice to funding agencies. Many professional clinical societies and public health organizations are rapidly expanding members with epidemiological training and ongoing interests that are synergistic with ACE. Assuring strong ties to this expanding population of epidemiologists would be a major priority for my work as a Board member. In addition, even as we work to expand opportunities for current epidemiologists, we must recognize that the future of the discipline is dependent on a continuous stream of talented and committed trainees. As a Board member, I would work to create, sustain and publicize opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue epidemiological training and participate in epidemiological research.

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