ACE 2017 Election Biographical Sketches and Candidate Statements

ACE President-Elect 
Vote for one (1) of (2) two

Melissa Bondy | Russell S. Kirby


Melissa Bondy, is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, Associate Director of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at the Dan L. Duncan Cancer at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Background: Dr. Bondy received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas School of Public Health and continued her career at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer.  She holds the Dan L. Duncan Professorship and is a McNair Medical Institute Scholar. Her research focus is genetic and molecular epidemiology, and she is at the forefront of developing innovative ways to assess the roles of heredity and genetic susceptibility in the etiology of cancer, primarily brain and breast cancers. She leads the largest multi-national consortium (GLIOGENE) that focuses on familial and sporadic glioma patients. Dr. Bondy also has a research activity in breast cancer (BC) with an active collaboration with the Breast Cancer Program to study molecular predictors of survival after BC treatment and BC health disparities. Dr. Bondy is an established leader within the cancer prevention research community. She is currently the Chair of the American Association for Cancer Research Molecular Epidemiology Group, and served as President of the American Society for Preventive Oncology, and board member of other professional organizations. She was on the Scientific Advisory Board, and a Susan G. Komen Scholar for more than 10 years, and was a founding member and president of the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium.  She is on the Scientific Advisory Board at the National Cancer Institute, and has served on numerous NIH advisory committees, ad hoc review committees for NIH, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, and Department of Defense, and is an advisor to several Cancer Centers. Dr. Bondy is an active member of the ACE BOD since 2014.

Statement: I am privileged and honored to be nominated to serve as president of the American College of Epidemiology.  I am currently on the board and serve on the mentoring committee.  This is my second term on the board and previously I served as chair of the publications committee. I am committed to fostering the careers of our junior members and with this difficult funding climate I would like to help foster and develop more mentoring for the next generation of epidemiologists. This would be an important part of my work with ACE.

Russell S. Kirby, PhD, MS, FACE is Distinguished University Professor and Marrell Endowed Chair in the Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.  Dr. Kirby is a Fellow of the College, and has served on the Board of Directors since 2014.  Dr. Kirby chairs the ACE Finance Committee, and served as program chair for the 2016 Epidemiology Congress of the Americas.

Dr. Kirby is a perinatal and pediatric epidemiologist with training in the social sciences (PhD in geography) and epidemiology (MS in preventive medicine-epidemiology) completed at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Dr. Kirby has extensive experience in epidemiology, from the public health, academic medicine, and academic public health perspectives, and was named a Fellow of ACE in 1996.  He has almost 300 peer-reviewed publications, experience in organizational leadership having served as president of the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research, the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, and the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health and serves on seven editorial boards, including Annals of EpidemiologyPaediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, and Public Health Reports.  Dr. Kirby leads the USF Birth Defects Surveillance Program, with funding from the Florida Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the March of Dimes Foundation, and participates in several research collaborative involved with developmental disabilities, birth defects, assisted reproductive technologies, pregnancy outcomes among migrant women, and statistical methods for handling spatial uncertainty and missingness in disease mapping.

Statement: While there are numerous professional organizations within the discipline of epidemiology, the American College of Epidemiology is the sole U.S.-based organization focusing explicitly on the health and scientific integrity of the discipline itself.  ACE has been and should continue to be a loud voice for career development and mentorship of young professionals in our field, at the forefront of national policy conversations concerning the science of population health and the health of the public.  ACE also accords membership to scientists who meet professional criteria, and has in recent years created a new membership category for Associate Members.  ACE must continue these roles, while also ensuring its relevance to the scientific community of epidemiologists.  We must embrace and support diversity within our profession and our membership, strengthen training opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, pre- and post-doctoral levels, support academic epidemiology programs in a time of transition in public health education, and provide a home for academic leaders in our field.  My experience on the ACE board over the past three years and especially as finance committee chair provides me with keen insights into the challenges and opportunities we face as a profession and as an organization.  As president, I will work to ensure ACE’s place at the table in relevant national policy discussions, strive to grow and retain our membership, and ensure the financial stability of our organization not only for the present, but into the foreseeable future.


Board of Directors
Fellow Nominees
Vote for three (3) of six (6)
Linda B. Cottler | Marcella Devoto | Daniel Hoffman | Lisa M. Klesges | Jennifer L. St. Sauver | James C. Torner


Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE is Associate Dean for Research at the College of Public Health and Health Professions and Dean’s Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Florida.  Cottler’s 28 years of continuous research funding, focused on underrepresented populations, includes: development of culturally reliable and valid measures for identifying substance use, abuse and dependence, along with psychiatric disorders and their risk factors; innovative methods for conducting national surveys of high risk behaviors; and community based, peer-delivered interventions to change HIV risk behaviors and substance abuse. This work has been international in scope, extending to Sydney, Taipei, Bangalore, Kenya, Afghanistan, and most recently Haiti, with a landmark health survey. Dr. Cottler’s community focus includes her HealthStreet model, a hub for linking community residents to social and medical referrals, health messages, and research opportunities.  She is PI on the NIDA T32 UF Substance Abuse Training Center in Public Health, and PI of a Fogarty International Center Training Program partnering with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India beginning in 2001. She has directly mentored more than 90 trainees, from undergraduates through postdoctoral fellows, who are now themselves making important contributions to research, and she has received numerous awards for mentoring and excellence in research, including the American College of Epidemiology Special Award for Outstanding Contributions Through Systemic Epidemiologic Approaches to Improving Health in 2015.

Statement: There are many professional organizations in which epidemiologists can participate, but it is imperative that we maintain a place where we can support one another while we share and disseminate best practices of our field. In addition, we must create a vital venue for training the next generation of scientists, especially now with the graying of our field. Having just completed 19 years as Treasurer of two professional organizations, I am ready, available and interested in participating in ACE on the Board of Directors.

Marcella Devoto, PhD, MSc, FACE, is Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. A fellow of the College since 2007, she is member of the International Genetic Epidemiology Society, the International Epidemiological Association, the American Society of Human Genetics, and the European Society of Human Genetics, where she served on the Board of Directors in 1994-1999 and the Scientific Program Committee in 1998-2002.

After training in Statistics and Demography at the University of Bologna, Italy, and Applied Statistics at the University of Oxford, UK, she did post-graduate training at Columbia University and Rockefeller University in New York. In 2000 she became Head of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Laboratory at the Nemours Children’s Clinic in Wilmington, DE, before moving to Penn and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2006. Her research focuses on understanding genetic predisposition to complex pediatric disorders, and is included in more than 160 publications. She was Section Editor of the European Journal of Human Genetics and Editor-in-Chief of Human Heredity. Since 2013, she chairs the Organizing Committee of the Symposium on Genomics, Epidemiology, and Statistics. She is a permanent member of the Infectious, Reproductive, Asthma, and Pulmonary Conditions (IRAP) NIH Study Section of the Population Sciences and Epidemiology IRG. Her expertise in genetic epidemiology has been sought by numerous international funding agencies including the Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council. In addition to teaching genetic epidemiology at Penn and academic institutions in Europe and Asia, she co-directs the Genetics Concentration of the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology and chairs the PhD Program in Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Statement: I am honored and excited to present my candidacy to the ACE Board of Directors. We are witnessing an incredible expansion of opportunities for population science. Powerful technologies allow us to collect an unprecedented amount of information on multiple levels that will inform us about the determinants of health and disease. Genomics and other “omic” sciences hold exciting promise towards a precision medicine approach to prevention and treatment. In this time of “big data” research, it is imperative that scientific studies are conducted using the rigorous methodological approaches that characterize our discipline. ACE is unique in that its constituency includes a large variety of professional profiles and specializations working in health agencies, hospitals, industry, and academic institutions, and for this reason it can have a tremendous influence on medicine and biomedical research. I believe our College serves a fundamental role in ensuring that new approaches to prevention and treatment are based on rigorous and scientifically sound research. Each of us has a responsibility in affirming the importance of epidemiology and population science within our sub-specialties, and if elected to the ACE Board of Directors, I would like to work with others towards the proper incorporation of “omics” data into epidemiological investigations. In addition, and because of my interest in education, I would be interested in serving on the Associate Members or Career Mentoring Committees. 

Daniel Hoffman, Ph.D., MSPH, FACE
, is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The George Washington University (GWU) Milken Institute School of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. in environmental and cancer epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) from 1969 to 1992. He was a senior epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, where he conducted research on environmental determinants of cancer. He was appointed as the Assistant Director for Science for the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Later, he was appointed as the Associate Director for Science of the National Center of Environmental Health and Injury Control at the CDC. During his time at CDC he was involved in many domestic and international environmental health and injury control projects and served on numerous Federal and State committees. He co-chaired a Federal Committee that reviewed the risks and benefits of fluoridation of water supplies. In 1992, he was appointed to the faculty at the GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In 1997, he was one of the founding faculty of a new School of Public Health at GWU and was appointed Associate Dean. He conducted research on the health effects of environmental exposures in Russia in collaboration with the Russian Ministry of Health and the U. S. Department of Energy. In 2003, he was one of the founders and the co-Director of the Masters of Science Program in Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases. He was a Deputy Editor for Public Health Reports and has been a reviewer for several professional journals. He was elected as a Fellow to the American College of Epidemiology (ACE) in 1983 and has served as Program Chair for the ACE Annual Scientific Meeting (1993). He also served for two years on the Education Committee. He recently was named Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology by the School of Public Health.

Statement: As a Fellow in the ACE for over 3 decades, I am honored to be nominated for the ACE Board of Directors. During the past 15-20 years of my professional career as an academic and practicing epidemiologist, my primary passion has been that of training the next generation of epidemiologists. I developed new academic programs and courses and worked with several private and public organizations that were developing epidemiologic competencies for both practicing epidemiologists and public health graduate students. My belief is that ACE plays an essential role in not only working with other professional organizations on promoting epidemiologic excellence in training but helping to set the standards on how to evaluate training programs. If elected to the Board, I will work diligently to carry out these educational activities in collaboration with other members of both the ACE Board and members of other organizations to promote epidemiology and help to train the next generation of epidemiologists.

Lisa M. Klesges, PhD, MS, is Professor of Epidemiology and Founding Dean Emeritus in the School of Public Health, University of Memphis, and Senior Advisor, Implementation Science and Public Health, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Klesges received a M.S. in Psychology from University of Memphis with a concentration in quantitative methods, and a Ph.D. in Behavioral Epidemiology from University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Before joining the University of Memphis, she held academic positions at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (2006-2008), the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (2004-2006), and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Department of Preventive Medicine (1995-2004). With three decades of experience as a principal investigator or co-investigator on over 50 funded projects supported by NIH, national foundations, and local agencies, her research has focused primarily in measurement methods and behavioral epidemiology related to tobacco control, obesity prevention, and cancer prevention and control. Her publications have appeared across journals of public health, epidemiology, medicine, and behavioral science. She continues to build her work in dissemination and implementation research methods with applications to improved lung cancer care, sickle cell disease transitions in care, and rural cancer control. Dr. Klesges is a Fellow and Past-President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, has served on numerous local, national and international advisory boards, and currently serves on the Health Care Industry Council of the Eighth District Federal Reserve Bank.

Statement: As a Fellow in the American College of Epidemiology, I would be honored to serve on the ACE Board of Directors and advance the work of the College. I am keen to support our strategic goals in pursuit of improved health of populations, and to address emerging opportunities of special importance to the field.  First is to consider advancements in implementation science and its application to further promote the translation of epidemiologic research evidence into public health, healthcare and community health systems. Second is to expand epidemiologic methods to consider complex systems approaches and emerging innovations in computational modeling and “big data science” along with more traditional approaches. Third is to continue to foster interdisciplinary multi-sector partnerships to advocate for funding and policy positions, in particular that address health disparities related to age, place, wealth, race, and culture. Finally, given past experience in academic public health, I would promote professional development and educational initiatives to ensure our epidemiology students and early career professionals can lead into the future. ACE is uniquely poised to influence the next generation of epidemiologic leaders, to create new knowledge in research discoveries, and to translate evidence to impact the practice community and public policy. As a Board member I would continue advocating our position among other professional groups and within the national research and policy forum.  

Jennifer L. St. Sauver, Ph.D., M.P.H
., is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Mayo Clinic Department of Health Sciences Research and the Associate Scientific Director of the Population Health Science Research Program in the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. 

Dr. St. Sauver received a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota in 1992.  She then completed her M.P.H. and Ph.D. degrees in Epidemiology in 1996 and 1999 respectively at the University of Michigan.  Dr. St. Sauver joined the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in 1999, and has worked as an epidemiologic methodologist on a wide range of clinical research questions, with a specific focus on the rigorous design and conduct of observational research.  She has authored over 150 original manuscripts, and is currently the Co-Principal Investigator of the Rochester Epidemiology Project (NIA, AG034676), an epidemiologic research infrastructure that has supported over 2,400 publications since its inception in 1966.  She also funded by NIA to conduct research focused on the development and outcomes of multiple chronic conditions in the aging population.  She is a Fellow of the College, and has served as a member of the Awards Committee since 2013. 

Statement: It would be a privilege to serve on the Board of the American College of Epidemiology.  As an epidemiologic methodologist, I work with a wide range of colleagues, ranging from clinicians to bioinformaticians, and I have seen first-hand how our unique training in study design, rigorous study conduct, and accurate interpretation of study results are absolutely essential to addressing a wide range of population health questions. Epidemiologic studies are essential for both identifying health issues and for determining if policy changes or population health interventions are effective.  Therefore, I am especially interested in how epidemiologic research can be translated into population health improvement.  If elected to the Board, I will work to support the Board’s continuing emphasis on recognizing and promoting excellence in epidemiology and enhancing the translation of epidemiology into policy in health agencies, hospitals, and research institutions.  Thank you for considering me as a possible member for ACE’s Board of Directors.

James C. Torner, MS, PhD, FAHA, FACE is Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Iowa. Dr. Torner has secondary appointments in Surgery and Neurosurgery. At the University of Iowa he was Head of the Division and the Department from 1991 until July, 2017. He was elected as a Stroke Fellow of the American Heart Association in 1985 and fellow of the American College of Epidemiology in 1996. He was elected to the Delta Omega Society in Public Health in 2006. He has mentored over 55 graduate students and created advanced degree programs in epidemiology and clinical epidemiology and an undergraduate program in translational research. He has taught classes in epidemiology design, analysis and theories, evidence based public health, neuroepidemiology and clinical trials.  His area of research is in statistical epidemiology, neuroepidemiology, disability prevention, prognostic registry studies, acute and preventive clinical trials. He has published over 365 articles. His methodological expertise is in the design of early phase clinical trials of neuroprotectants and rTPA, the design of phase III clinical trials in head injury and stroke including utilization of methods such as responder analysis, sliding dichotomy and proportional odds regression. Dr. Torner has been the methodological leader of several research studies including the Cooperative Aneurysm Study, the International Study of Intracranial Aneurysms, and the longitudinal cohort study (MOST) of development and progression of knee osteoarthritis. He is a founding investigator of the Women’s Health Initiative and of the Iowa VA women’s health studies, evaluating need and utilization of services. Dr. Torner has been overseeing in system evaluation of trauma and stroke registries in Iowa as well advising the Iowa Department of Health on public health evaluation and public health informatics. He is a design member of NeuroNEXT. He is has been on NIH study sections as a member and serves on several OSMB and DSMB committees. His service includes state public health and national epidemiology and disease organizations. He was a founding member of the Council of Epidemiology Chairs. He is a current member of the membership committee of ACE.

Statement: The breadth of epidemiology has never been as large as it is now. From the gene to big data the knowledge needed is expanding rapidly. Its application has extended beyond public health to health care and policy. The core values of the discipline and the roots of epidemiological design and methods are being stretched. Challenges in keeping an academic discipline that can reach the growing scientific and practice community is essential for the American College of Epidemiology. The College needs be diverse to be inclusive of uses of epidemiological methods to varied populations and yet focused on the core competencies in education of both research and practice. The College needs to be the home for academic values of the discipline. It also needs to address challenges in funding, in regulation, and in relevancy. The College should be the identifying body that epidemiologists can relate to and the home of the guidelines for academic discipline research and practice. The College needs to expand its membership through reinforcing its mission so epidemiologists desire to be part of the epidemiology discipline in addition to their areas of research and practice.


Board of Directors
Member Nominees
Vote for one (1) of three (3)
Joe Holbrook | Emily Vogtmann | Rachel Widome


Joe Holbrook, PhD, MPH is an epidemiologist in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Holbrook works in surveillance and children’s mental health, mostly Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Tourette Syndrome. He has been active within ACE since his first semester as a doctoral student in 2008. Three years later he served as the Associate Director and he has since contributed to numerous ACE standing committees and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Membership Committee. He is a three-time nominee for the Charles C. Shepard CDC Science Award (2015, 2016, 2017). Dr. Holbrook received a master of public health from the University of Michigan School Of Public Health, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina Arnold School Of Public Health

Statement: It would be a privilege to serve on the Board of Directors and I am honored to be nominated. ACE took me in as an Associate Member when I was a doctoral student and since then the College has been what I consider my home organization. We have a unique responsibility as a credentialing body who serves the profession of epidemiology, and the importance of our charge continues to grow as the roles of epidemiologists expand and deepen. If elected to the board, my focus areas would be efforts that maintain and increase membership, activities that help ACE members continue to recognize the value of their membership, and reveal new opportunities that put ACE at the forefront of representing the expanding field and its increasing opportunities. ACE is a special organization and I want to work toward making more Associate Members, Members, and Fellows think of ACE as the organization to which they best identify. 

Emily Vogtmann, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a Research Fellow in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics at the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Vogtmann has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Michigan State University, an M.P.H. in International Health Epidemiology from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Vogtmann’s program of epidemiologic research focuses on the association between the human microbiome and cancer. She has completed numerous studies evaluating methods to optimize biosample collection, handling, bioinformatics, and statistics with a specific application to new biosample collections in prospective cohort studies. In addition, Dr. Vogtmann is currently launching several new population-based studies that will allow new comprehensive assessments of the role of the human microbiota in cancer risk. Prior to joining the National Cancer Institute, she was a Fogarty Clinical Research Scholar at the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China where she studied factors associated with colorectal and liver cancer in collaboration with Vanderbilt University.

 Statement: Since joining ACE in 2012, I have become active in the College. I first served as a member of the Associate Member and Communications Committees and then transitioned to Vice-Chair and finally Chair of the Communications Committee. I am also participating in the committee to support the Annual Meeting this year in New Orleans, Louisiana. As the Chair of the Communications Committee, I have focused on improving the College’s social media presence to engage more ACE members in the activities of the College as well as highlight epidemiologic research of ACE Fellows and Members. Additionally, I have been working to improve the ACE newsletter to provide more regular updates on the College to our membership. I am honored to be nominated for a Member position on the ACE Board of Directors and if, elected to the Board, I would like to focus on increasing active engagement of ACE members, specifically younger members, in order to promote increased mentorship, visibility, and commitment to the College.

Rachel Widome, PhD, MHS is an Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. She holds a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and an MHS in international health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Widome’s research centers on how environmental and contextual factors (such as policy or economic conditions) influence chronic disease-related behaviors, such as tobacco use and eating. Her current studies are focused on: 1) The role sleep plays in development of obesity and how policy could promote healthful sleep, and 2) Policy and interventions that can promote tobacco-free lifestyles in populations that face disadvantage. In addition to research, Dr. Widome is actively engaged in her department’s training program, advising doctoral and masters students as well as teaching epidemiologic methods courses.

During her doctoral studies, Dr. Widome joined ACE in 2005 as an Associate Member and shortly thereafter joined ACE’s policy committee.  She co-led the smoke-free indoor spaces policy case study, that was part of ACE’s first series, published in Annals in 2010. Dr. Widome is currently vice-chair of the policy committee and serves as ACE’s secondary representative on the International Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (IJPC-SE).

Statement: I would be enthusiastic to serve on the Board of Directors, as I believe ACE is an invaluable organization advancing our field and supporting epidemiologists, as it has supported me both during my training and as a junior faculty member. Some of the issues and areas that I would be particularly passionate about as a board member are: 1) Developing further means for the organization to facilitate the translation of epidemiologic discovery into practical solutions for promoting population health, 2) Working for ACE to lead in the modernizing of training of epidemiologists, with an emphasis on training epidemiologists to have increased versatility and ability to do epidemiologic work in a variety of sectors that can have impacts on health, 3) Encouraging platforms (for instance at the annual meeting or in the ‘From the College’ section of Annals) for ongoing communication about innovative methodologies (such as natural experiments, data linkages, etc.) for doing translatable, impactful epidemiology.