2018 Annual Meeting

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




Monday Lunch Roundtables


1.    “Gender Equity in Epidemiology”

Location: University of Cincinnati, Medical Sciences Building (MSB), Room 3051

Sponsor: Policy Committee

Discussants: Lorna Thorpe, PhD, Professor and Director, Division of Epidemiology, Vice Chair, Strategy and Planning, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine and Pauline Mendola, PhD, Investigator, Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Abstract: Females represent the majority of epidemiology trainees and make up the majority of epidemiologic scientific society memberships but appear less likely to be full professors and their publications have arguably less impact.  We are not alone.  Similar stories are heard across disciplines as noted by the Association for Women in Science.  A recent National Academy of Sciences report on sexual harassment of women in science is drawing attention to this unfortunately fairly pervasive concern.  Drs. Thorpe and Mendola will outline recent data on women in epidemiology and discuss broader issues of gender equity with attendees. They will also invite discussion regarding experiences and concerns from roundtable attendees. This conversation effects our discipline broadly with considerations for all gender identities.  All are welcome to attend and join the discussion.

Brief Biographies:

Lorna Thorpe, PhD, is professor and director of the Division of Epidemiology at the NYU School of Medicine in the Department of Population Health, where she also serves as vice chair for strategy and planning. Her research focuses on the intersection between epidemiology and policy in chronic disease prevention and management and on improving modern forms of population health surveillance. Dr. Thorpe spent 9 years at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as Deputy Commissioner of Epidemiology from 2004-2009. She also spent 7 years at the City University of New York School of Public Health directing their Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department. Dr. Thorpe began her research career as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in international tuberculosis (TB) control, completed her Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, M.P.H. at University of Michigan, and B.A. at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Thorpe currently leads several NIH and CDC-funded research initiatives, including: co-leading a CDC-funded Prevention Research Center to evaluate community-clinical linkage interventions to improve chronic disease management in low-income populations, an NCI-funded natural experiment to evaluate the health impacts of a smoke-free housing rule being implemented in public housing authorities,and a CDC-funded national study to examine community determinants of diabetes and obesity. Dr. Thorpe is chair of the Policy Committee of the American College of Epidemiology (ACE), has served on Institute of Medicine committees, and has been an advisor to the CDC on population health surveillance.

Pauline Mendola, PhD, is a Senior Investigator in the Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She earned a PhD in Epidemiology and Community Health from the University at Buffalo. Her research focuses on environmental factors that impact reproductive health, particularly pregnancy outcomes. Her current work addresses immune function during pregnancy and environmental factors that can be used to predict whether maternal asthma symptoms will worsen or improve during pregnancy. She is the current ACE President.

2.    “Careers in environmental epidemiology and making your research impactful for risk assessment and decision making”

Location: University of Cincinnati, Medical Sciences Building (MSB), Room 6051

Sponsor: Mentoring Committee

Discussants: Carol Burns, PhD, MPH, Fellow ACE, and Susan M. Pinney, PhD

Description: Quality epidemiology data is taking on increased importance for human health decision making.  Opportunities to both generate and evaluate these data will be discussed.

Abstract: Enrollment in specialized degree programs in environmental epidemiology is declining.  However, regulators and policy makers are increasingly looking to epidemiology data on which to make decisions.  This is balanced with a shift away from traditional laboratory animal studies toward more mechanistic analyses and sophisticated modeling.  Understanding the needs of regulators can help epidemiology researchers make an impactful contribution.  Careers in sectors of industry, government and academia will be discussed in an open round table forum.

Brief Biographies:

Carol Burns, PhD, is president of Burns Epidemiology Consulting and an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the Central Michigan University College of Medicine, having previously worked in occupational and environmental epidemiology at The Dow Chemical Company for 21 years.  She holds a doctorate degree in epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  Carol’s primary areas of focus are assessing exposure in epidemiology studies and improving the use of epidemiology for use in risk assessment.  She is passionate about communicating the role of epidemiology in decision making to colleagues, community members and government regulators.  Active in the epidemiology community, she was the newsletter editor of the American College of Epidemiology for many years and currently chairs the ACE Career and Mentoring committee.  She serves on the editorial board of the journal Advances of Public Health.  Also active locally, she is a trustee for Alma College, a board member of Adoption Option, Inc., and serves on a health panel for the United Way. 

Susan M. Pinney, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Health in the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, the Deputy Director of the Center for Environmental Genetics, and the Cancer Risk, Control and Prevention Program Leader for the Cincinnati Cancer Center. Dr. Pinney has conducted research in the area of environmental epidemiology for the last 25 years. She has conducted studies incorporating exposure biomarkers of radiation, uranium, cotinine, phenols, phthalates, phytoestrogens, organochlorides, and most recently, the perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs) including perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and has developed methods for incorporating environmental biomarker measurements into models for estimating exposure.

3.    “Annals of Epidemiology: New Leadership, New Vision, and New Ways to Engage ACE Membership”

Location: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), Location D, Level 2, Room 20

Sponsor: ACE Publications Committee in conjunction with the Annals of Epidemiology

Discussants: Patrick Sullivan, DVM, PhD, Editor-in-chief, Annals of Epidemiology and Cory Woodyatt, BSN,RN, Managing Editor, Annals of Epidemiology

Abstract: Annals of Epidemiology is the official journal of the American College of Epidemiology (ACE), and this roundtable is an opportunity for members of ACE to engage with Editor-in-Chief Dr. Patrick Sullivan and Managing Editor Cory Woodyatt. We will discuss our vision for the journal, and how to increase the journal’s impact in the field. Sullivan will also present the ways in which ACE members can get involved in the journal, including the advantages of submitting to the journal as an ACE member or fellow. The session will finish off with an open-floor discussion on how the journal can be of more value to ACE members and their research efforts.

Brief Biographies:

Patrick Sullivan, DVM, PhD, is the Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Epidemiology. Dr. Sullivan currently serves as a Charles Howard Candler Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Sullivan spent 12 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including five years as Chief of the Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch. He is a Co-Director of the Emory CFAR Prevention Sciences Core and in this role, he supports NIH-funded investigators in ways to integrate Internet-based and mobile technologies into HIV research and prevention. Dr. Sullivan was the founding editor of JMIR Public Health and Surveillance and has served in guest editor roles for The Lancet, Public Health Reports, and Open AIDS.

Cory Woodyatt, BSN, RN, is the Managing Editor of Annals of Epidemiology. Mr. Woodyatt currently serves as an Emergency Room nurse at Emory Healthcare. Prior to joining Emory Healthcare, he spent 5 years at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health as a Project Manager for AIDSVu.org, an interactive online map illustrating the prevalence of HIV in the United States. Cory also served as a Project Officer for 3 years at the Public Health Agency of Canada where he assisted in the development of national STI and HIV prevention programs and guidelines. Cory has published on public health topics including transgender health, intimate partner violence, sexual agreements, and HIV non-disclosure laws.

4.    Dept. of Epidemiology Chairs Luncheon (by invitation only)

Location: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), Location D, Level 2, Room 27

5.    “Developing Healthy People 2030: Exploring Data Issues and Needs”

Location: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), Location D, Level 2, Room 40

Sponsor: Leda Gurley, NCHS, – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Discussants:CDR David T. Huang, PhD, MPH, CPH, Chief, Health Promotion Statistics Branch, CDC/National Center for Health Statistics, Leda Gurley, MSM, MPH, Supervisory Team Lead, Health Promotion Statistics Branch, CDC/National Center for Health Statistics, Ayana Johnson, MSPH, Public Health Advisor, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, US Department of Health and Human Services

Description: This Healthy People 2030 roundtable session will provide an overview of the Healthy People initiative and discuss the importance of current data and data tools to track and measure progress throughout the decade. Additionally, the session will explore data issues and needs related to the development of the new iteration of Healthy People, Healthy People 2030.

Abstract: Since 1979, the Healthy People Initiative has served as a roadmap to advance the nation’s health by developing a new set of science-based, 10-year national objectives each decade. As part of the user-driven process for developing the next iteration of the initiative, Healthy People 2030 (HP2030), this roundtable session will provide an opportunity for attendees with expertise in public health data, policy, and epidemiology to participate in an interactive discussion on how data can be used to inform the development and selection of HP2030 objectives. This session will explore issues related to both national and subnational data, as well as potential opportunities to engage stakeholders through supplemental indicators and data linkages. Finally, the session will give participants an opportunity to engage in discussions on data issues related to Healthy People outreach and dissemination, including providing technical assistance to stakeholders and making data accessible and user friendly to website users.

Brief Biographies:

CDR David T. Huang, PhD, MPH, CPH, is the branch chief for the Health Promotion Statistics Branch, leading a staff of 18 who provide data and statistical support to the national Healthy People initiative at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).  He holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MPH in quantitative methods from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.  CDR Huang is a member of the charter class of Certified in Public Health (CPH) professionals and has authored scientific articles and charts appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), American Journal of Public Health, Annual Review of Public Health, American Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 

Leda Gurley, MSM, MPH, is a supervisory epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Health Promotion Statistics Branch (HPSB), which provides data and statistical expertise to the Department of Health and Human Services’ national health goals as outlined in the Healthy People initiative.  She provides expertise and leadership to the analysts within HPSB in the collection, analysis and reporting of statistical data related to Healthy People. She also serves on working committees of the Department of Health and Human Services dealing with the development of these goals.  Ms. Gurley has over 17 years’ specialized experience in public health. She holds a Master of Science in Management from Wilmington University and a Master of Public Health with a dual concentration of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University. 

Ayanna Johnson, MSPH, is a public health advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). At ODPHP, she manages Healthy People 2020 strategic partnerships with state health departments and other non-federal organizations. Ms. Johnson works on external outreach related to the development of Healthy People 2030, including hosting listening sessions across the country. Ms. Johnson focuses on a variety of public health issues, serving on working committees for the Department on health equity, women’s health, adolescent health and healthy aging. Prior to joining ODPHP, Ms. Johnson served in the Office of the Surgeon General as a health policy fellow for the division of Science and Policy. Previously, she was a health policy manager at the National Consumers League focusing on consumer health, health professional graduate training, and chronic disease management.  She holds a Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.


 6.    “Career trajectories, career paths in government/academia/industry and gender issues that influence them”

Location: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), Location D, Level 2, Room 44

Sponsor: Associate Member Committee

Discussant: Michele FormanPhD, FACE, Distinguished Professor and Department Head, Department of Nutrition Science, College of Health and Human Science, Purdue Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University

Description: The ACE Members Luncheon Roundtable will focus on: career trajectories, career paths in government/academia/industry and gender issues that influence them.  From the lens of an academic who spent 28 years at NIH and CDC, we will discuss how to move up the career ladder in different environments with different criteria for promotion and tenure as well as how women have fared in these environments compared to men.

Abstract: Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are hard-working, passionate and talented.  There are steps we can do to help maximize chances of success as you move up the ladder. The array of elements to career trajectory include: selection of mentors; a mentorship plan; deciding on the most appropriate environment as the next step that also coincides with the most appropriate track; support and training in proposal development for government and non-governmental agencies; networking; and lessons learned from those of us who have moved up the ladder in different environment. To add to this mix, the element of gender differences in salary and in promotion remain.

Brief Biography:

Michele R. Forman, PhD, FACE, has a career focuses on nutritional epidemiology and clinical nutrition research across the globe with an emphasis on early life exposures and risk for chronic disease as well as the role of nutrition in growth and health across the life course.  As her research foci have shifted from low birth-weight to chronic disease, the still point of the compass has remained fixed; she examines the developmental origins of disease. Much of her research is designed either as a longitudinal prospective cohort study that spans the peri-conceptional period through adulthood or dietary interventions in the free-living state or under controlled feeding conditions or randomized clinical trials. Her laboratory addresses nutritional assessment of individuals from infancy through adulthood; and tests dietary interventions amongst high risk groups such as chronic renal disease patients.  She has over 180 peer reviewed publications, numerous invited presentations nationally and internationally, is on many institutional committees, advisory boards. She has mentored over 80 postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students.

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