2018 Annual Meeting

Applying Epidemiology Across the Lifespan to Improve Health Care,
Inform Health Policy and Enhance Population Health




Concurrent Session 1b

Location: University of Cincinnati, Medical Sciences Building (MSB), Room E-351

Applications of Infectious Disease Epidemiology from the Micro to the Macro

Chair: Stephanie Donauer, PhD, Xavier University, Department of Health Services Administration

Abstract: Among the many challenges to health across our lifespan, infectious diseases are unique in terms of their potential for explosive global impact, ability to adapt against pressures aimed at their destruction, and potential for prevention. The successes we have made toward the control of infectious disease have stemmed from a wide range of approaches, and this session will highlight a few key epidemiological approaches, from the molecular perspective to improving vaccine uptake.

Brief Biography:

Stephanie Donauer, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University.  Dr. Donauer received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Dayton, and her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Cincinnati.  Prior to joining Xavier University, Dr. Donauer completed a general academic pediatric fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Donauer’s research interests include environmental health, immunotoxicity, and vaccine effectiveness.



Sharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH, FAAP, Department of Pediatrics/ Division of Emergency Medicine, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, Professor of Pediatrics, UMKC School of Medicine, "HPV vaccination: Data is the new bacon"

Description: This presentation will highlight the epidemiology of HPV burden and HPV vaccination, as well as efforts to improve coverage using quantitative and qualitative data.

Abstract: This presentation will highlight the epidemiology of HPV burden and HPV vaccination, and show how these facts are being used to design interventions to improve coverage. We'll discuss how scientific explanations of encouraging data can, perversely, fuel vaccine hesitancy. And, in this presentation on The New Bacon, lettuce not forget the important contribution of qualitative data in improvement efforts.

Brief Biography:

Sharon Humiston, MD, MPH, FAAP, is Professor of Pediatrics at University of Missouri –Kansas City, School of Medicine and Children's Mercy. She is a clinician and health services researcher; her research focuses on innovative and practical approaches to improve vaccine delivery.  She works on HPV vaccination initiatives for the Academic Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has served on the Steering Committee of the American Cancer Society’s HPV Vaccination Roundtable and is the Associate Director for Research for the Immunization Action Coalition. In her glory days she was a Medical Epidemiologist in the CDC’s National Immunization Program (now the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases).


Betsy Foxman, PhD, Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, "Does the microbiome mediate risk of viral infection?”

Description: I will present results of studies exploring the interactions between the composition and structure of commensal bacteria found in the nasal pharynx and respiratory infection.

Abstract: Applications of high throughput ‘omics technologies to the microbes living in and on humans (the microbiota) are rapidly changing our perspectives of the importance of microbiota to human health.  If microbiota enhance or reduce the effects of viral infection on the host, we might manipulate the microbiota for our benefit. Alternatively, or in addition, microbiota might respond to exposure-induced changes in host functions, and thus microbiota characteristics could be used as a diagnostic or prognostic tool.  I will provide examples of ongoing epidemiologic studies examining whether the composition and structure of commensal bacteria mediate risk of respiratory infection.

Brief Biography:

Betsy Foxman, PhD, is the Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where she directs the Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, the Integrated Training Program in Microbial Systems, and the Certificate program in Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control. Her research focuses on the transmission, pathogenesis, ecology and evolution of infectious agents, with an emphasis of transmission.  She has over 250 publications in the scientific literature, is author of a textbook, Molecular Tools and Infectious Disease Epidemiology, and recently edited a special issue of the Annals of Epidemiology on the “Microbiome and Epidemiology”.


Todd Jusko, PhD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Medicine, "Environmental Toxicants: The New Anti-Vaxxers?"

Description: This presentation will give a brief overview of what is known about infectious outcomes in relation to early life chemical exposures. The state of infectious disease outcome assessment in this context will also be discussed.

Abstract: Many environmental chemicals are well-studied in terms of their potential effects on reproductive and neurobehavioral outcomes, but immune outcomes have received considerably less attention. Animals studies demonstrate that these exposures can lead to immune suppression, resulting in an increased risk of infection. To overcome some of the limitations inherent in measuring infection risk in human cohorts, antibody “responses” to scheduled childhood vaccinations have been a convenient endpoint with which to interrogate potential immunotoxicity in developmental studies of environmental exposures. An overview of what is known about the increased risk of infection in relation to these chemical exposures will be reviewed, and the limitations of these approaches considered. Next steps, particularly as they relate to measuring infection and morbidity, will also be discussed.

Brief Biography:

Todd Jusko, PhD, is an environmental epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, NY. His research focuses on how environmental chemicals contribute to adverse immunological development over the entire lifespan. He is interested in the immune system as both a disease endpoint (e.g., infection, lowered vaccine response, development of autoimmunity), and as a mechanism of susceptibility for other disease outcomes, such as neurobehavioral development. Dr. Jusko trained at the University of Washington and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biomarker-based epidemiology at NIEHS, NIH.

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