American College of Epidemiology
2009 Election
Biographical Sketches and Candidate Statements

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ACE President-Elect
Vote for One (1)

Faith Davis, PhD, is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health where she is the Senior Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Studies. She served as the Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics from 1997-2001 and has served on the Board of Directors for the American College of Epidemiology for two full terms. Dr. Davis has served on several national cancer committees and currently serves on the Radiation Advisory Committee of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Environmental Protection Agency, is co-chair of the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium, serves as an advisor to the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States and is on the board of the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society. Dr. Davis is currently co-director of an NCI funded cancer education and prevention training grant and a CDC funded multidisciplinary public health training grant. Dr. Davis has worked in academia since 1984 where she has actively engaged students in the study of cancer epidemiology, conducted case-control studies of rare cancers to address environmental risk factors in the Chicago region and directed a cohort study funded by the Department of Energy involving a radiation exposed cohort along the Techa River in the Southern Urals of Russia. 

Statement: I have been so pleased to be a part of the college over the last decade. I have learned that our success lies in the energy of the membership through the time and commitment that members bring to committees. The vitality of the annual meetings in addressing salient and emerging issues relevant to epidemiologists across a broad spectrum of specialties is a key ingredient to the organization and one I will make every effort to ensure continues. I will support the emphasis on policy development and the newer mentoring initiatives that committees have been working so hard on and help keep the signature workshops that meet the needs of a broader community. I would like to see this organization retain its forward looking stance and its agility in responding to issues and needs of the field as they arise. The American College of Epidemiology is a vital organization which provides an overarching service to the discipline and one I would try to ensure remains fiscally sound through solid stewardship and membership growth. My agenda is to support the outstanding work of the ongoing committees and listen to the suggestions and needs of the membership. Through all the emerging changes in our science and policy environment we will keep the discipline poised at the forefront of public health.

James G. Gurney, Ph.D. is Associate Director for Clinical Research in the Department of Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Michigan Congenital Heart Outcomes and Discovery Program at the University of Michigan. He is a Fellow of ACE, member of the Board of Directors, past Chair of the Publications Committee, and member of the Mentoring Committee. As an Associate Editor for the Annals of Epidemiology, he has served as the liaison between ACE and the Annals through the Publications Committee for many years.

Background: Dr. Gurney completed his M.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1994) degrees in epidemiology from the University of Washington School of Public Health. His primary research focus is on childhood cancer epidemiology and long-term adverse effects of treatment among survivors. Recently, he expanded his outcomes work into complex congenital heart disease and pediatric cardiology. Dr. Gurney received the American Brain Tumor Foundation Award for Excellence in Epidemiology from the Society for Neuro-Oncology in 2001; the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center Recognition of Excellence in 2002; the Clinical Sciences Scholar Award from the University of Michigan in 2005; and he has received several teaching awards and commendations throughout his career.

Statement: Working in a medical school with few colleagues trained in our profession, I often feel akin to an expatriate living in a foreign country. I embrace the language and people, but I live outside my familiar cultural base where public health science is the principal focus of work and values. Graduating epidemiologists starting their career, and epidemiologists who are working in industry, pharma, consulting or in health provider systems, often express similar feelings, with desire to be better connected to colleagues and to the profession at large. I greatly appreciate ACE for providing us with an embassy where we can refresh and re-energize our professional foundation, and where opportunities exist to actively contribute to the organization’s mission of advocating for and promoting sound epidemiologic science and sound epidemiologists, regardless of the work setting. This is one of the key functions and responsibilities of ACE: to provide a shared environment where the profession of epidemiology and our role in public health science is protected and continually improved through the active membership – in committees, at the annual meeting, and through the Board of Directors.

It has been my pleasure to serve ACE through the tenure of many outstanding ACE Presidents. If elected to this office, I do not plan to reinvent any wheels, but rather to continue the fine efforts of the leadership before me. One issue that is very important – we must strive to bring the energy and ideas of graduate students and newer graduates of epidemiology programs into the College. With new input and fresh viewpoints, ACE will remain dynamic and relevant. I will work with the Board and the committees - Mentoring, Admissions, Minority Affairs, and all the others - to continue our efforts to attract new membership, young and not as young, and activate existing membership, by encouraging an environment of opportunity for professional stewardship.