American College of Epidemiology
2006 Election
Biographical Sketches and Candidate Statements

ACE President-Elect

James J. Collins, PhD is the Epidemiology Director at The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. He worked previously for the University of Chicago at Argonne National Laboratory, Oakland University, Monsanto, and Ford Motor Company.

Background: Dr. Collins completed his MS in Sociology at the University of Missouri and his doctoral training in epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an Adjunct Research Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focus for the last 30 years is in environmental and occupational epidemiology.

Dr. Collins has served as the ACE Treasurer since 2000. He is currently a member of the Executive Board, the Admissions Committee, and the Finance Committee. He was also on the Communications Committee, Chaired the Finance Committee, and served on two Annual Meeting Planning Committees.

Statement: I am honored to be nominated for President of ACE. The ACE is an important organization for all of us because it advocates policies and provides resources to promote the science of epidemiology. This promotion of the science in past has relied almost entirely on the hard work of our members. Recently, however, with the improving financial position of ACE, we have been able to provide additional resources such as an improved web site, additional awards for epidemiologic accomplishments, and improved support for meetings and workshops. As the Treasurer and a member of various ACE committees, I see the importance of combining the hard work of our membership with a strong financial position for growing the College. On a more personal level, I have enjoyed the diverse backgrounds and perspectives in the College as an epidemiologist who has worked in government, academia, and industry. ACE has represented well the views of epidemiologists of all affiliations.

The College must continue to grow to survive. If elected, I would focus on growth in two areas. First, I would continue the College’s efforts in expanding membership. We can further grow membership by providing opportunities and support for our associate members, increase minorities active in the College, maintain the close collaboration with other epidemiology organizations, hold membership dues at current levels, and continue the improvements in the journal and the newsletter. These steps will make the College more visible and attractive to potential members. Second, I would continue to expand the financial reserves of the College to provide the resources for this growth in membership. We have been very successful raising money for the College with grants from government, academia and industry. In addition, our annual meetings are well attended and continue to be a source of income for the College. Continued emphasis in obtaining meeting grants and assuring annual meetings are well attended will guarantee additional financial resources are available for our membership growth.

Nancy Kreiger, M.P.H., Ph.D., is the Senior Scientist and Director of Research in the Division of Preventive Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario, and Professor of Epidemiology, Departments of Public Health Sciences and Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto.

Background: Dr. Kreiger received her Ph.D. from Yale University and her commercial pilot’s license from Transport Canada. She has been a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology since 1994; has served on its Policy Committee and its Committee on Ethics and Standards of Practice; and is currently the Secretary of the College and Chair of the Admissions Committee. She was the first President of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CSEB) (1991-1993), and remained on the CSEB Board of Directors until 1995. More recently, she was on the Planning Committee of, and was the local host for, the first North American Congress of Epidemiology, held in Toronto in June 2001. Dr. Kreiger’s research encompasses both cancer epidemiology and the epidemiology of osteoporosis: She has conducted studies of risk factors, focusing on reproductive, hormonal, and pharmacological exposures, and habits of nutrition and physical activity; as well as methodological studies relating to response. She has offered courses in epidemiology and epidemiological methods to Master’s and Ph.D. candidates, and to professional students in chiropractic and medical programs.

Statement: My interest in the American College of Epidemiology arises from its unique position in the world of professional epidemiology organizations. The College provides a forum and a focus for advancing the research and public health agendas of those who practice epidemiology and its cognate disciplines. It is unusual among epidemiology organizations in its emphasis on policy implementation and professional education. One major theme in my professional life has been that of teaching and mentoring students and junior colleagues. I have taught formal courses in epidemiological methods, research ethics, and hypothesis development; and over the years have supervised more than 40 master’s, doctoral, and post-doctoral students, who have come from all over the world to develop epidemiologic research skills in Toronto. My interests have led me to be involved in: 1) the College’s admission procedures, revised to incorporate “real-time” processing, lowering response time while maintaining the high quality of review and evaluation; 2) revision of the College’s bylaws to allow master’s-trained epidemiologists to apply for membership; and 3) development of vignettes that serve as guides for applicants to the College at all levels. If elected to a leadership position in the College, my continuing interest in mentorship will lead me to focus my efforts in two areas: 1) development of the mentorship program, which has an ambitious agenda of outreach to junior colleagues; and 2) expansion and enhancement of the College membership in its newer membership categories: Ph.D. students in epidemiology, master’s trained epidemiologists, and "overseas" epidemiologists. There are many reasons to stress the ever-increasing involvement of these groups in the College, including developmental opportunities for the next generation of professionals, revitalization of College activities through new ideas brought by those with fresh perspectives, and broadening professional development. As an epidemiologist working “north of the 49th parallel”, I’m interested in the expansion of the College's world-view beyond the confines of national borders; as President of the College, I’d hope to provide a place for us all.

Board of Directors

Fellow Nominees

Faith Davis, PhD is Professor of Epidemiology in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Background: Dr. Davis received her B.Sc degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. She attended the Kennedy School of Government, the School of Public Health at Harvard University, where she received Masters Degrees in Public Administration and Public Health, and the Yale University School of Public Health where she received her PhD in chronic disease epidemiology. She has been a member of the faculty at UIC School of Public Health since 1984. Her research interests focus on cancer epidemiology, particularly brain tumors and radiation exposures. Dr. Davis has over 25 years of experience in conducting epidemiology research and has devoted administrative efforts towards developing an infrastructure to conduct population based studies in the Chicago area. She has served on local, regional and national review and advisory committees and is currently a member of the National Council for Radiation Protection subcommittee on biological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and a co-chair of the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium. She is on the editorial boards for Neuro- Oncology and the Journal of Registry Management. Dr. Davis conducted work with the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the U.S which culminated in a recent change of legislation regarding how brain tumor data will be collected in US surveillance systems in the future.

Statement: Epidemiology is a diverse tool with which to identify and solve defined issues in public health and a broad discipline within which to obtain insights into the mechanism of disease. Each individual member of the discipline has a unique contribution to make; that is, to search for a piece of a puzzle that grasps their interest. This search has maximum value if it is complemented by others working to assemble the puzzle so that the whole of the solution becomes readily apparent. ACE is a unique organization working to support the day to day issues that epidemiologists face, and helping each of us look at the broader picture of the puzzles we are engaged in working on and influencing those public policies that are necessary to continue and implement the results of our work. ACE continues to be at the forefront of policy impacting epidemiology methods and I would consider it an honor to continue to support the American College of Epidemiology’s efforts to promote the discipline.

Sue Hankinson,ScD, MPH is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Background: Dr. Hankinson has a B.S. (nursing) from the University of Maine, an M.S. (environmental health) and M.P.H. (epidemiology) from the University of Minnesota and doctoral degree (epidemiology) from the Harvard School of Public Health. After completing her master’s degree, she worked at both the Minnesota and Massachusetts Departments of Public Health as an epidemiologist. Since completing her doctorate, she has worked primarily with the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II cohort research groups where she serves as a senior investigator. Her research largely focuses on the role of endogenous hormones in the etiology of breast and ovarian cancers in women, including exploring lifestyle and genetic factors that may influence hormone levels. This focus reflects a broad interest in the development and use of biomarkers in epidemiology. Her work is funded through a number of R01’s as well as the ovarian cancer SPORE at the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). She has been actively involved in teaching at the Harvard School of Public Health, including the development of a new course on the use of biomarkers in epidemiology. She is co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Program at the DF/HCC and is currently a standing member of the EPIC (Epidemiology of Cancer) Study Section at NIH. Further, she is an Associate Editor for the journals Cancer Causes and Control and Breast Cancer Research, is on the Editorial Board for Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, and serves on a number of external scientific advisory committees, including at the American Cancer Society (Biologic Specimen Advisory Group) and the Da Costa International Fund for Breast Cancer Prevention.

Statement: I would be very honored to serve on the board. Certainly ACE has made important strides in the last several years to both increase membership and, in particular, to increase the involvement and training/mentoring of junior colleagues (e.g., by increasing the opportunities for Associate Members to be involved in ACE). Further, because of decreased federal funding for epidemiologic research, it’s critical for ACE to continue to use its influence and resources to promote the visibility of epidemiology and its successes to both politicians -- at all levels of government -- and the public sector. Finally, the increase of “big science” and the growing number of consortia activities, while having important scientific advantages, results in a number of challenges (e.g., maintaining core funding for contributing studies, authorship issues for junior investigators) that still need to be grappled with and discussed. As a board member I would work to both continue and expand ACE’s work in these areas. 

Arthur M. Michalek, Ph.D., is Dean of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Graduate Division of the University at Buffalo; Senior Vice President 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 a past-President of the American Association for Cancer Education and has served the College in several ways including Editor of the Newsletter for four years, member of the College’s Communications Committee and as Vice Chair/Chair of the Ethics and Standards of Practice Committee. Dr. Michalek received his B.S. degree in Biology in 1975 from Canisius College; and his M.S. (1977) and 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. He has maintained a number of training grants funded by the NIH, NCI, NSF and private foundations. His research program focuses on cancer in special populations (specifically American Indians), cancer epidemiology, education and ethics. He has published on 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’s held membership on the NCI Network for Cancer Control Research Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, on the Steering Committee of the American Indian and Alaska Native Cancer Leadership Initiative (Spirit of E.A.G.L.E.S.), and is a member of a joint US-Canadian Cross Border Taskforce to examine cancer in North American Native Communities.

Statement: Much has changed since I, and I suspect many of you, completed training. Epidemiology has truly become a multi- and inter- disciplinary field. The past twenty years has witnessed a dramatic paradigm shift in how we practice epidemiology. Our past anxieties over the influence of sociodemographic factors and surrogate measures of disease have been replaced with concerns over the accuracy and meaning of SNIPs and microarrays.

Essentially, emerging laboratory tools and methods have allowed us to improve exposure/genes while simultaneously challenging traditional methods. Even our reliance on something so “obvious” as self-reported ethnicity is today being challenged by lab based approaches that quantify genetic ethnicity. A constant throughout this period has been our reliance on the epidemiologic method. While the scientific armamentarium we bring to the table may have changed, our methodologic approach has remained rigorous and unvarying. One does have to question, however, whether our approach to training has kept pace with these advancements. The role of experiential learning, the internet, virtual realities, podcasts, etc. are challenging us as educators as much as the genome is challenging us professionally. Given my professional position, and personal proclivities, I would like to see the College play a greater role in defining and developing how training can and should be conducted. Our goal should be to develop a prototypical program that builds upon the tried and true and takes advantage of available and emerging technologies to produce a highly skilled, professional epidemiologist. We as a College of practitioners, researchers and educators need to spend as much time developing ourselves as educators as we do in developing our research acumen. The College, as informed by its members, can aid in identifying the training standard for the 21st century. 

Michael C.R. Alavanja, Dr.P.H. is a tenured Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute and a Captain in the USPHS. Dr. Alavanja is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and has served as a member of the Admissions Committee.

Background: Dr. Alavanja is the author/co-author of over 125 peer reviewed articles in cancer, environmental and occupational epidemiology and Dr. Alavanja is the author of several book chapters. He has also served on the Expert Panel that wrote the IARC Monograph on Smoking and Health ( volume 83, 2004) and on the review panel for the recent Surgeon Generals report on Second-Hand Smoking and Health. He has received numerous professional awards and honors including the Public Health Service Meritorious Service Medal (1999) for his work as principal investigator of the Agricultural Health Study, the Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal (1992) for his work in the quantitative risk assessment of environmental carcinogens, the Outstanding Unit Commendation Medal (1997) for his leadership role in developing a mentoring program in the Public Health Service, two Public Health Service Commendation Medals for highly productive research into the environmental causes of cancer (1997, 1992), the Unit Commendation Medal (1992) for his research on environmental causes of lymphomas, and a Public Health Service Citation for Chairing the Surgeon General’s, Scientist Professional Advisory Committee (1997). He has also been awarded the Career Scientist of the Year Award (2000) by the Surgeon General’s professional advisory committee for sustained contribution to cancer research and public health and the Distinguished Federal Employee Award (2000) for continuing volunteer service to the Frederick County Volunteer Action Agency (Mission:out reach to the poor). He has also received a certificate of appreciation for his four years of service on the Committee of Scientists (1998), which is responsible for improving the quality of work life in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and an the Equal Opportunity Officer’s Recognition Award (1990) for his efforts to further diversity in the workplace. Dr. Alavanja is also on the Graduate Faculty of Environmental Biology at Hood College. Currently, Dr. Alavanja is the Principal Investigator of the Agricultural Health Study and is also the Principal Investigator of a series of case-controls studies which are investigating the etiology of lung cancer. Additionally, he serves on numerous inter-Departmental Committees to provide expertise in cancer epidemiology and quantitative risk assessment. DR. Alavanja has also served as the Chair, and Vice Chair of the Scientist Professional Advisory Committee, for the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Alavanja is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East and in American Men and Women of Science. Dr. Alavanja is active in community service and in service to his church, he served as a volunteer coordinator for the Frederick County, MD soup kitchen for the past 17 years and serves as an advisor to the Frederick Community Action Agency which sponsors Health Care for the Homeless of Frederick MD.

Statement: The American College of Epidemiology has been a positive force for promoting epidemiologic research and for promoting the career development of epidemiologist since its inception. With tight research budgets and growing privacy restrictions on epidemiological research the challenges to epidemiologist are formidable. Imaginative new initiatives by the American College are needed to ameliorate some of these problems. I propose two. One focuses on promoting mentoring which is consistent with the education mission of the College. The other focuses on designing “model systems” that will address the privacy concerns of government while promoting epidemiological research, a core value of the College.

Effective mentoring is important at all stages of a research career, but it is indispensable in the early formative stages of a career. Many research institutions, to their credit, provide outstanding mentoring, but many others do not. Epidemiologist unable to secure an effective mentoring relationship at their home institution should be able to turn to experienced members of the American College of Epidemiology as an alternative or as a supplement to existing mentoring. An American College of Epidemiology mentoring program could draw on a wealth of talent from its members, fellows, and emeriti. The American College of Epidemiology has world class expertise in all facets of epidemiology and members of the College have had distinguished careers in all sorts of professional settings. From this pool of talent I propose that a mentoring committee be established that will organize the American College’s mentoring program. A cadre of epidemiologist eager to serve as mentors should be identified. A referral mechanism should be put into place to receive requests for mentors and to match these requests to appropriate mentors. A “no fault” evaluation process should be established whereby the success of an individual match could be evaluated after a suitable period of time. The College’s annual meeting could be a forum for face-to-face meetings between mentor and protégé. I have been involved with successful “mentoring at a distance” programs in other forums including the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service. I believe a similar program can be effective within the College.

There is a growing concern throughout America for the legitimate protection of personal privacy and personal privacy rights. At times legislation and/or administrative procedure established to protect the personal privacy of individuals inadvertently interferes with vital epidemiological research. Too often a polarization then develops, pitting two groups against one another, while each is earnestly attempting to protect and promote a vital societal goal. The American College of Epidemiology should be a strong proponent of maintaining personal privacy rights, but in a manor that is harmonious with timely execution of important epidemiological research. I propose a conference and an ongoing dialog, sponsored by the College, together with representatives of agencies charged with protecting the privacy of medical records, disease registry data and vital records. The objective of this meeting will be to devise “model systems” that would promote timely epidemiological research while also addressing privacy concerns effectively. Periodic meetings of this type could be used to monitor progress and respond to emerging concerns. As a member of the Board of Directors I would be honored to serve to promote these and other goals of the American College of Epidemiology with integrity and energy. 

Member Nominees-1

Dr Anton-Culver, Ph.D. is Professor and Chief of the Epidemiology Division in the School of Medicine University of California, Irvine. She holds joint appointments as a professor in the Department of Microbiology and molecular Genetics and in the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine. She is also the Director of the Genetic Epidemiology research Institute (GERI) and associate Director of Cancer Control and Population Sciences of the Comprehensive cancer Center at UC Irvine. She is also the principal investigator on many NIH/NCI and other research grants in epidemiology. She served on several NIH Study Sections including EDC2. She is a member of NCI’s Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) since 1999, which provides scientific advice on matters concerning scientific program policy, progress, and future direction of the Institute’s extramural research programs, and concept review of extramural program initiatives. She is also working part time in NCI’s Division of Cancer Biology (DCB) under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA). She is an advisor on the state of the science and research opportunities for new collaborations between DCB and other NCI Divisions, particularly Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS).

Background: Dr. Anton-Culver completed her PhD degree in Epidemiology in 1968 from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, UK. Her Post-Doctoral training and first academic appointment were in the Department of Epidemiology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. This was followed by academic appointments (Assistant Professor, and then Associate professor) in the Department of Preventive Medicine, at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. Since 1978 she has been at The University of California, Irvine, as an Associate Professor, then Professor and Chief of the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Anton-Culver is an accomplished epidemiologist who served since 1990 as Dr. Anton-Culver is a highly regarded and accomplished scientist with a long list of peer-reviewed publications (more than 140) to her credit, largely in areas of cancer epidemiology and cancer genetics. Research contributions by Dr Anton-Culver are in cancer epidemiology with special emphasis on etiology, molecular genetic characterization, evaluation of genetic-phenotype correlation, and genotype-environment interaction using large populations of cancer patients, their relatives, and unaffected controls. Dr Anton-Culver’s research theme takes advantage of population genetics, to predict the proportion of cancers that can be attributed to genetic variation and exposure to environmental risk factors in the population. She developed and has been successful in implementing this research theme in the understanding of several cancers, particularly breast, colorectal, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Gene-environment interactions are important components in several cancers in human populations and the knowledge generated from this research will help in planning of cancer prevention and control. 

Dr. Anton-Culver is the Founder and the Chair of the Organized Research Unit at the University of California, namely the Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute (GERI). The Institute brings together a multidisciplinary team of exceptional scientists from complementary fields, including epidemiology, developmental and cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry, evolutionary biology, genetics, immunology, statistics, bioinformatics, and environmental and behavioral sciences. With the revolutionary progress being made in all of the component sciences, the Institute will concentrate on the following four primary goals: To combine epidemiologic approaches with basic science methods to test hypotheses related to genetic bases of the etiology and progression of disease.
To facilitate research to apply newly discovered molecular biological processes and genetic characteristics in health and disease in well-characterized human populations. To provide epidemiological information that will influence our understanding of the basic processes leading to disease, such as environmental and lifestyle factors, and to test their effects as modifiers of genetic predisposition. Use latest advances in information sciences and communication technology to allow for efficient data mining and pattern recognition for genetic epidemiological data. GERI promotes and initiates educational workshops, symposia, and a seminar series devoted to specific research issues of interest to this diverse group and the campus community at large. Since 1978 Dr Anton-Culver has served as the Course Director for the Epidemiology and Biostatistics course for second year medical students. She is the co-director of the joint PhD graduate program in epidemiology between the College of Medicine and the School of Social Ecology. She serves as an advisor to PhD candidates. Dr Anton-Culver has also been providing mentoring to junior faculty particularly from clinical departments to advance their academic careers in epidemiology. Dr. Anton-Culver also chairs the Mentoring Committee at UCI School of Medicine in research advancement of junior faculty. 

Dr. Anton-Culver’s research achievements, and strong commitment to advance Epidemiology as an academic discipline are significant as evidenced by: a) the number of peer-reviewed publications (over 140); b) the significant level of awarded competitive peer-reviewed research grants and contracts; c) the recognition of her scientific stature; d) her collaborations with the top national and international scientists in epidemiology and genetics; and e) teaching and mentoring of medical students, graduate students and junior faculty in Epidemiology.

Statement: The American College of Epidemiology has an essential role among epidemiologists and other health professionals. ACE joins epidemiologists and their colleagues and organizations to a unified philosophy, common policies, and a focused goal to advance epidemiology as a discipline. Epidemiology is unique in that it has a central role in the understanding of human health and disease in its full spectrum; from etiology to progression, from prevention to outcomes, and from basic mechanism and theory, to clinical and behavioral outcomes. The ACE leadership must recognize its role in supporting a mission that has depth and breadth which should be known and adopted by all epidemiologists. The overall objective of the board need to include promoting, active, interested, highly motivated, and diverse membership. It should also include awareness of needs, strengths, accomplishments, and future vision for all members of the College. Through the participation of ACE members in committees and working groups, the college gains expertise and valuable input from members with wide spectrum of interests, backgrounds, educational and research accomplishments and types of affiliations to institutions and agencies . The existing committees are great examples of the magnitude of the strength of input by the ACE members. The outcome of each committee must be focused and directly related to the overall growth of the College membership including advancement, diversity, training, carrier development, mentorship, improvement of research funding, and engaging in interdisciplinary projects and programs to promote the value of epidemiology and epidemiologists.

As a member of Board of Directors, if elected, I will support and promote all of the above areas. However, my service will be in areas where I feel that I have some strength. These are: mentoring young epidemiologists to achieve their maximum potential; to promote collaborations between senior and junior epidemiologists as well as epidemiologists and other scientists from other disciplines, to maximize the development of an outstanding next generation epidemiologists; and identify ways that universities recognize the importance of epidemiology as a discipline in their teaching and research and faculty promotions. 

Jonine Bernstein, Ph.D., M.S. is an Associate Attending Epidemiologist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in both the Departments of Community and Preventive Medicine and the Department of Oncologic Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Background: Dr. Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Yale University, an M.S. in Applied Biometry from the University of Southern California, and an A.B. from Brown University. Her research has focused on understanding the joint roles of environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility in the etiology of cancer. She is currently involved in etiologic studies examining the roles of ATM, BRCA1/2, CHEK2, and other DNA repair genes in breast cancer. In addition, Dr. Bernstein is working on projects developing and validating biomarkers of disease. The common goal of all of these projects is to identify women at highest risk because of gene carrier status, environmental exposures, or a combination of both. To help carry out these studies, Dr. Bernstein has spear-headed an international multi-disciplinary consortium involving over 25 institutions in the US and abroad. She serves as a standing member of the NIH review group EPIC and has served as an ad hoc reviewer on over 20 reviews for the NIH, DOD, and VA. In addition to her work as the Chair of the ACE Membership Committee, she has served on numerous committees for the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), and has organized scientific symposia for AACR, SER, and ISEE. Dr. Bernstein was co-founder and co-Chair of the mentoring program at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC and elected Board member of the Woman’s Faculty Group.

Statement: I would be honored to serve as a member of the ACE Board of Directors. Through my work as a member, and later Chair of the ACE Membership Committee, I have come to appreciate the unique and important role that ACE plays in unifying the diverse interests and needs of the members it serves. From its newer mentoring programs to its long-standing successful public policy advocacy, ACE remains committed to its vision statement, “for epidemiologists to promote good science and the public health.” Today, however, scientists face mounting challenges from a federal government that would put politics above science. This threat to the integrity of our work cannot be ignored. ACE must continue to champion the cause of scientific research free from political influence and health policy dictated by scientists, not politicians. To continue to be successful, ACE needs an active and expanding membership that promotes the interests of epidemiologists. If elected to the Board, I will work tirelessly to achieve these goals.


Member Nominees

Sunday Clark, MPH, ScD is the Research Director in the Department of Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Background: Dr. Clark received her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health and her ScD from Harvard School of Public Health. After working with the Emergency Medicine Network (EMNet) at Massachusetts General Hospital since 1998, she recently joined the Department of Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital as the Research Director. Her research has focused on respiratory and allergic diseases, particularly asthma and anaphylaxis, among emergency department patients. She has been a member of ACE since 2001.

Statement: The American College of Epidemiology plays a unique role among public health and epidemiology organizations in its efforts to help shape epidemiology as a specialty. Our organization’s greatest asset is the College membership. As a member of the Membership and Admissions Committees and Admissions Committee liaison to the Communications Committee, I have had the opportunity to observe the way we recruit new members, the way we consider potential members who will join us as we promote our specialty, and the ways we communicate within ACE and with individuals and groups outside of our organization. If given the opportunity to serve as a Board member, I would work to ensure that all committees work closely together. Increasing these efforts will help us to reach of the collective goals of our organization. I also would work to help create additional opportunities for ACE to collaborate with other public health and epidemiology organizations. Increasing and strengthening our ties with these organizations will only increase our success as we continue to promote epidemiology. In addition, I would work to continue increasing opportunities for the membership to be actively involved in College activities. Active participation of our diverse membership can only serve to strengthen our organization and our specialty.


Sandra I. Sulsky, MPH, Ph.D. is a member of the Applied Epidemiology group of ENVIRON International Corporation, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She earned her MPH at Boston University, and her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts.

Background: Dr. Sulsky has had experience conducting research in academic, business and governmental settings. Prior to joining ENVIRON, she worked at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (Tufts University), at Epidemiology Resources, Inc., and at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She was a Senior Epidemiologist and Vice President of Applied Epidemiology, Inc., where she headed the injury epidemiology research group. Over the course of her career, Dr. Sulsky has maintained a deep interest in epidemiological methods and their application to diverse areas of inquiry, with a current focus on occupational and non-occupational injury, health intervention program evaluation and health surveillance. Dr. Sulsky is currently a member of the ACE Policy Committee and the Planning Committee. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Safety Research and as a peer reviewer for several other journals.

Statement: If elected to the Board, I will work to continue three major areas of progress achieved by the College in recent years: Increased mentoring for those new to epidemiology carries the obvious benefits of allowing for the sharing of hard-earned wisdom and of promoting organizational longevity. Additionally, mentoring provides an opportunity for the more established of our membership to benefit from the fresh perspectives offered by those at an earlier career stage, who might otherwise have remained distant from the larger epidemiology community. There are opportunities for all members of the College to participate in mentoring. In the policy arena, activities have been undertaken to address concrete threats to the practice of epidemiology. These include efforts to ensure more uniform application of HIPPA regulations by institutional review boards; lobbying for increased federal funding for epidemiology research; and improving the federal grants review process by ensuring that proposals are read by qualified panelists. Partnership with other professional organizations has played a key role in these activities. Finally, the College has expended considerable energy to confront and defuse historical divisions between our colleagues based on their employment in academic, business or government settings. While never comfortable, acknowledging these divisions is the only means to eventually bridge them, thus promoting useful dialogue and opportunities to share ideas. I may have special insights to offer in this effort, due to my personal experiences in all three arenas.

In these examples, I see as themes the opening of communications and the building of connections within and outside of the College, between members of our profession and those in allied fields. I view these developments as a sign of organizational maturation and the fruits of these activities as a source of strength and expanded potential for the College.