Epidemiology Research and Centers

The Department of Epidemiology at Tulane SPHTM has a robust research agenda, with strengths in a number of areas, research centers that make vital connections to the clinical setting, and diverse projects that touch on many areas of public health concern.

Research Areas

Cardiometabolic Diseases

Cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke) and metabolic risk factors (obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia) are the leading causes of premature death and disability worldwide. Faculty in the Department of Epidemiology are conducting innovative research in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases across the lifespan in Louisiana and international settings. Our faculty members also play a leadership role in the development of national and international guidelines for the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.

Chronic Kidney Diseases

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major risk factor for end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. Faculty in the Department of Epidemiology are conducting prospective cohort studies to understand the etiology of chronic kidney disease progression and increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with CKD. Our faculty also conduct clinical trials to test novel lifestyle interventions and pharmaceutical treatments among patients with CKD.

Clinical Trials

Faculty in the Department of Epidemiology have considerable experience in the design, coordination, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of multi-center and single-center clinical trials. Our faculty conduct groundbreaking clinical trials to test the effect of lifestyle modification, behavioral interventions, and pharmaceutical treatment on various disease outcomes. In addition, faculty of the department have substantial experience in planning, leadership of, and participation in the Data and Safety Monitoring Boards of multi-center clinical trials.

Cancer Epidemiology

The Cancer Epidemiology program has a strong focus on molecular and genetic risk factors associated with cancer initiation and progression. Ongoing projects take advantage of the deep sequencing database from tumors available through the NIH Data Portal, as well as laboratory and case control studies of various genetic risk factors on cancer risk and cancer cell behavior. 

Environmental Epidemiology

This area concentrates on the epidemiology of diseases associated with industrial and other occupational exposures as well as with environmentally induced illness in general. Studies are carried out in conjunction with industry and government and provide excellent opportunities for research. Faculty also explore the associations between our built environment and health. This includes features of neighborhood design such as parks, playgrounds and bicycle lanes as well as access to destinations such as food stores and how these features are linked to health behaviors such as physical activity and obesity.

Implementation Sciences

This area focuses on bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and the care and prevention efforts that are currently being delivered in clinical practice and in community settings. Researchers study how specific sets of strategies can be used to integrate evidence-based public health interventions within specific clinical and community settings. This interdisciplinary area of research often involves collaboration among researchers, healthcare providers, and stakeholders from community and patient groups.

Infectious Diseases

Our infectious disease faculty focus on reproductive and sexual health including HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The team engages in randomized trials as well as community trials, are frequent advisors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and collaborate with the Louisiana Office of Public Health and local agencies. Their research is multi-disciplinary, spanning topics from the microbiome to medication adherence and other behavioral aspects of HIV and sexual health. 

Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology

Maternal and child health epidemiology focuses on the health of women and infants during pregnancy and how it relates to their health throughout their life.  Active areas of research include: trials to improve care in low- and middle-income countries; assisted reproductive technology; tropical diseases during pregnancy; cardiovascular disease and pregnancy outcomes; disaster and pregnancy; and effects of the social and physical environment on pregnancy health.

Nutritional Epidemiology

Nutritional epidemiology is a rapidly evolving field of epidemiologic research that utilizes highly specialized epidemiological methods to identify dietary and lifestyle factors that are related to human diseases, especially non-communicable, chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Modern nutritional epidemiology also applies systems epidemiology approaches integrating genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics to understand the relations between nutrition and human health.

Statistical Methodology

Statistical methodology research is critical in addressing new challenges in study design and data analysis in public health and medical research. This area of research covers longitudinal data analysis, causal inference, semi-parametric and non-parametric inference, ROC analysis, missing data problems, and social network analysis. Closely collaborating with other faculty in the department, statistical research promotes public health research in fields such as cardiovascular/renal disease, environmental research, and more. 

Social Epidemiology

Faculty in the department and throughout the school conduct innovative social and spatial epidemiologic research related to several health outcomes, including etiologic and intervention trials aimed at understanding and addressing structural and social determinants of health, well-being and health inequities. These projects complement the social epidemiology certificate program, which is open to students across the school.

Trans-omics Research

This research area focuses on examining and integrating genetic, epigenetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomics data to better understand the biological mechanisms underlying human disease processes. The Department of Epidemiology offers research and training opportunities aimed at exploring the trans-omic underpinnings of numerous cardiometabolic phenotypes.

Violence and Injury Epidemiology

Faculty in epidemiology and across the school are involved in violence and injury surveillance and research aimed at understanding and preventing causes and consequences of several forms of violence (e.g., intimate partner, community, systemic or structural violence).

Research Centers

Tulane Cancer Center

The Tulane Cancer Center is designed to foster cancer research throughout Tulane University.  The Cancer Center includes a multidisciplinary clinic, including an active clinical research portfolio. The Tulane Cancer Center also supplies research core services and creates interactions in a number of cancer research areas. Particular strengths involve cancer genetics, hormonal and regulatory signaling in cancer, prostate cancer, cancer virology, and population sciences. The Tulane Cancer Center is one of the lead partners in the state-funded Louisiana Cancer Research Center. 

Tulane Center for Lifespan Epidemiology Research (CLER)

The mission of the Tulane Center for Lifespan Epidemiology Research is to discover and develop knowledge to maintain health and prevent disease in individuals and populations across the lifespan. The CLER brings together expertise in population research ranging from maternal and child health, genetics and epigenetics, and chronic diseases with a focus on the cardiovascular system, to aging outcomes such as maintenance of cognitive and physical performance and mobility with aging. Center faculty have diverse interests and perform research with implications for health across the lifespan

Tulane University Obesity Research Center 

The Tulane University Obesity Research Center includes a university-wide group of investigators dedicated to excellence in obesity research using systems epidemiological and clinical approaches. Its primary mission is to facilitate interdisciplinary efforts to integrate epidemiology with research on the diet and lifestyle risk factors, etiology, consequences, treatment, and prevention of obesity and its metabolic complications. A particular focus of the center is a greater understanding of the complex interactions of human genomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, and gut microbiome with diet and lifestyle in determining obesity risk and weight management in the context of population cohorts and intervention trials.

Tulane Translational Science Institute (TUTSI) 

The Tulane University Translational Science Institute (TUTSI) is a university-wide research center that aims to promote and increase high-impact clinical, translational, and implementation research at Tulane University and Louisiana. TUTSI develops and nurtures successful competitive independent investigators engaged in clinical, translational, and implementation research; motivates and facilitates multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration among basic, clinical, and population scientists; and builds and expands the clinical and community-based research infrastructure at Tulane University and in Louisiana.

Tulane University Office of Health Research

The Tulane University Office of Health Research is a 5000 square foot clinical research facility located in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The Tulane University Office of Health Research includes a reception/patient waiting area, seven participant examination rooms, a clinical laboratory, two conference rooms, a dietary interview room, an intervention room, mail and copy rooms, a kitchen, secured data storage rooms, a freezer room, and offices for study staff and research coordinators. Several NIH-sponsored research projects are conducted in this clinical research facility.

Tulane Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence

The Tulane Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence is composed of faculty from multidisciplinary fields that are specifically dedicated to investigative efforts, patient care, and public education in the crucial areas of hypertension and kidney diseases. Emphasis is placed on translating basic science discoveries to the clinical arena. The center provides unique research opportunities for emerging leaders in hypertension by establishing an enriched environment in which to develop investigators in both the clinical and basic hypertension research. The center houses several core facilities, including:

  • A state-of-the-art Molecular, Imaging, and Analytical Core
  • The Animal and Gene-Targeted Core
  • The Mouse Phenotyping Core
  • The Clinical and Translational Core

Center for Emerging Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology

Global reproductive epidemiology is the primary research activity of the Center for Emerging Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology (CERPE), which is directed by Dr. Pierre Buekens. The CERPE has research and academic activities spanning several of the SPHTM's departments and the School of Medicine.

Tulane Personalized Health Institute

Tulane Personalized Health Institute (TPHI) aims to assemble an experienced and committed team of investigators with expertise from different disciplines to solve vexing research problems closely related to interpersonal variability and population disparity in health, and translate the findings to disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Research Projects

Cardiometabolic Diseases

The Role of Vascular Aging in Cognitive and Physical Function (PI: Lydia Bazzano)

This project examines the role of vascular aging in cognitive and physical performance by recruiting 1,257 participants in the Bogalusa Heart Study who will undergo cognitive function, physical function and cardiovascular risk factor examination at baseline and again 2 years later at follow-up.

Lifespan Cardiovascular Exposures and Risk of Brain Injury in the Bogalusa Heart Study (PI: Lydia Bazzano)           

In this project 50 participants spanning a range of lifespan vascular risk will undergo MRI, with measures of brain tissue volumes, lesion burden, white matter integrity, infarction, and cerebral perfusion, demonstrating the feasibility of such an approach. The association between cumulative vascular exposures and measures of brain injury will be assessed to determine the optimal design of the definitive study that systematically determines how lifespan exposures impact brain health in the entire cohort of 1,298 participants.

Urinary Angiotensinogen Excretion and Salt-Sensitivity of Blood Pressure (PI: Jing Chen)

The overall objective of this study is to investigate the association of urinary excretion of angiotensinogen, kallikrein, dopamine, norepinephrine, and albumin with salt-sensitivity and potassium-sensitivity of blood pressure and risk of hypertension.

Childhood CV Risk and Adult CVD Outcomes: an International Long-term Follow-up (Site PI: Wei Chen)

This research is a multicenter study of international longitudinal cohort studies (Bogalusa, Louisiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Muscatine, Iowa; Cincinnati, Ohio; Princeton, Ohio; Australia and Finland). The study leverages the existing collaborative structure to assess the relation of childhood and adolescent cardiovascular risk factors to adult endpoints (coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, stroke, transient ischemic attack, and aneurysm). 

Childhood Secondhand Smoke and Longitudinal Cardiovascular Risk Profile (PI: Wei Chen)

The major goal is to study childhood secondhand smoke exposure and its impact on cardiovascular disease risk from childhood to adulthood within a black-white population using the longitudinal cohort in the Bogalusa Heart Study.

Evolution of Cardiovascular Risk with Normal Aging (PI: Wei Chen)

The major goal is to test the hypothesis that the impact of aging on cardiovascular system is governed by the influence of in utero growth, genetics and epigenetics on cardiovascular risk variables.

Tulane COBRE for Clinical and Translational Research in Cardiometabolic Diseases  (PI: Jiang He)

The overall objective of this program is to increase the quality and quantity of clinical, translational and implementation research in cardiometabolic diseases at Tulane University. This objective will be achieved by establishing the Tulane University Translational Science Institute; developing and nurturing successful competitive independent investigators in clinical, translational and implementation research; motivating and facilitating multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration in the area of cardiometabolic disease research; and building and expanding the clinical and community-based research infrastructure at Tulane University and in Louisiana.

South American Center of Excellence in Cardiovascular Health (Co-PIs: Jiang He, Adolfo Rubinstein)

The overall objective of the South American Center of Excellence in Cardiovascular Health (SACECH) is to promote cardiovascular health in the Southern Cone by generating and disseminating the knowledge required to prevent CVD and its risk factors through research, education and public advocacy.

Longitudinal change in obesity during childhood and adult cardiometabolic risk (PI: Shengxu Li)

The aim of the study is to examine the influences of longitudinal change in obesity during childhood, and the mediating effects of metabolomic profiles, on adult cardiometabolic risk.

Risk Factors for CVD in Women (PI: Lu Qi)

The primary goal of this study is to identify novel risk factors that predict incidence coronary heart disease in women from the Nurses’ Health Study. We will assess biomarkers related to gut microbiota and their 10-years change in relation to CHD risk.

Bogalusa Adiposity and Asthma (PI: Felicia Rabito)

The goal of this study is to assess the impact of adiposity on the incidence of asthma and the effects adiposity has on lung function measures in children and adults in the Bogalusa Heart Study

Chronic Kidney Diseases

Effect of Sodium Nitrite and Isoquercetin on Endothelial Dysfunction (PI: Jing Chen)

The overall objective of the proposed randomized controlled trial is to investigate the effect of the combination therapy with sodium nitrite (FDA-approved sustained release sodium nitrite formula, 40 mg twice daily) and normal dietary dose isoquercetin (FDA-approved as Generally Recognized as Safe, 250 mg, once daily) alone with vitamin C 250 mg (to reduce sodium nitrite side effect and increase isoquercetin absorption) on endothelial function, inflammation and oxidative stress.

Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study (PI: Jiang He)

The major goals of this project are to examine risk factors for the progression of kidney disease and development of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Clinical Trials

China Antihypertensive Trial in Acute Ischemic Stroke II (CATIS-2; Co-PI: Jiang He)

This multicenter randomized trial will test the primary hypothesis of whether early antihypertensive treatment starting between the first 24-48 hours after the onset of an acute ischemic stroke will reduce the risk of major disability and death over three months compared to delayed antihypertensive treatment (starting on day 8 after randomization).

Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial in Stroke (SPRINT-Stroke; Co-PI: Jiang He)

This multicenter randomized controlled trial will test the primary hypothesis that an intensive treatment strategy (a systolic BP target of <120 mmHg) is more effective than a standard treatment strategy (a systolic BP target of <140 mmHg) in reducing the risk of total recurrent stroke over a follow-up period of up to four years among patients with a recent ischemic stroke. The secondary hypotheses are that compared to the standard treatment strategy, the intensive BP treatment strategy will reduce the risk of major cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, other acute coronary syndrome, stroke, hospitalized or treated heart failure, and CVD deaths), all-cause mortality, cognitive decline, dementia, and chronic kidney disease.

Sodium Lowering and Urinary Protein Reduction (SUPER) Trial (PI: Katherine Mills)

The overall goal of this randomized controlled trial is to study the effect of dietary sodium reduction on albuminuria in CKD patients with albuminuria and to determine if the effect differs by race.

Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT; Study Chair, Paul Whelton): This trial was designed to examine whether blood pressure (BP) should be managed more intensively (to a SBP goal <120 mm Hg) than is currently recommended. The study is in an active phase of follow-up and manuscript preparation.

Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT; Study Chair, Paul Whelton)

This trial was designed to examine whether blood pressure should be managed more intensively (to a systolic blood pressure goal <120 mm Hg) than is currently recommended (to a systolic blood pressure goal <140 mm Hg). The study is in an active phase of follow-up and manuscript preparation.

Cancer Epidemiology

A case control study of specific L1 loci as risk factors in prostate cancer causation and progression (PI: Prescott Deininger) 

Because mobile elements have the capacity to damage DNA throughout the lifespan of an individual, they are testing the hypothesis that specific, polymorphic mobile element loci in some individuals are risk factors contributing to cancer.  They are utilizing a case-control type of study on specific mobile element loci in a local cohort of cancer patients to look at both the risk of initiation, and of progressing to more malignant forms, based on their genomic mobile element content.  They are also using analysis of existing high throughput DNA sequence databases for analysis of different cancers.

Infectious Diseases

Trichomonas vaginalis repeat infections among HIV negative women (PI:  Patricia Kissinger)

This is a randomized trial to examine the efficacy of two different doses of metronidazole for the treatment of Trichomonas vaginalis among HIV negative women and to better understand the origin of repeat infections using behavioral, genotyping and susceptibility testing.

A new approach to controlling chlamydia transmission in young people (PI:  Patricia Kissinger)

This is a cohort study to examine the effect of screening men for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and providing expedited treatment for infected men and their female sexual partners on the rates of these infection among women in the general population. We will also conduct mathematical modeling to determine the percentage of men needed to screen to influence the rate in women and the cost effectiveness of the program.

Trans-omics Research

Studies of the intrinsic genetic instability caused by human mobile elements (PI: Prescott Deininger) 

Mobile elements contribute to insertional mutagenesis and secondary DNA rearrangements contributing to human disease, particularly cancer.  They are  carrying out high throughput DNA sequence analysis and laboratory-based studies on the genetic influences that influence this form of genetic instability.

Cadmium exposure promotes genomic instability by stimulating L1 retrotransposition in vivo (PI: Astrid Engel)     

The lab investigates the role of cadmium exposure on inhibiting the proteins and their polymorphic variants of the NER DNA repair pathway that regulate L1 activity.

Mechanistic differences of SINE and LINE amplification and genomic impact (PI: Astrid Engel)

The lab investigates the different ways of how SINE and LINE activity promote genomic instability and human disease.

Next-Generation Resequencing of Novel Loci for Ischemic Stroke (Co-PI: Jiang He)

The proposed study will localize and identify novel functional genetic variants which contribute to the etiology of ischemic stroke.

Genetic Epidemiology Network of Salt Sensitivity (GenSalt; PI: Jiang He)

The overall objective of this study is to identify genetic variants that influence individual blood pressure responses to dietary sodium and potassium intake and cold pressor test in human populations.

Whole-exome sequencing study of diabetic nephropathy (PI: Tanika Kelly)

By conducting whole-exome sequencing, follow-up targeted sequencing, and external validation studies of diabetic nephropathy cases and controls, the objective of this study is to identify novel genes and functional variants associated with diabetic nephropathy among approximately 16,000 individuals of African and European ancestry.

The Role of the Microbiome and Metabolome in Vascular Aging (PI: Tanika Kelly)

This work aims to identify gut bacterial communities and metabolites influencing vascular aging among 300 Bogalusa Heart Study participants. The findings from this study promise to provide timely, undiscovered insights into the biological pathways underlying CVD development. These findings may also be used to advance clinical and public health practice through the development of novel diet-based therapies for the prevention of CVD and promotion of healthy aging.

A Multi-Ethnic Study of Gene-Lifestyle Interactions in Cardiovascular Traits (PI: Dabeeru C. Rao, MD, PhD; Site-PI: Tanika Kelly)

The primary goal of this research is to leverage existing GWAS and Exome Chip data in 25 large multi-ethnic cohorts to discover additional genetic loci for cardiovascular traits by modeling gene-lifestyle interactions, using pleiotropy analysis of correlated traits, and pathway analysis. The investigation will be carried out in 150,765 samples of European Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asians. Approximately equal sample sizes will be used for replication.

A Genome-wide Approach for Identifying Genetic Variants that Interact with Body Mass Index to Influence Blood Pressure (PI: Qi Zhao)

The overall objective of the project is to identify novel genomic loci which interact with BMI to determine BP using a whole genome approach. It includes two stages, the stage of meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies and the stage of replication.

Implementation Sciences

Hypertension Control Program in Argentina (HCPIA; PI: Jiang He)

The overall objective of this cluster randomized trial is to test whether a community health worker-led multicomponent intervention program within a national public primary care system will improve hypertension prevention and control among uninsured hypertensive patients and their families in Argentina.

Diabetes Complication Control in Community Clinics (D4C) Trial (Co-PI: Jiang He)

This cluster randomized trial will test whether implementation of a computer-assisted protocol-based integrated care will improve cardiovascular risk factors (glycated hemoglobin, systolic blood pressure, and LDL-cholesterol) among patients with diabetes (phase 1) and clinical cardiovascular disease (phase 2) compared to usual care in public primary care settings in China.

Cohort Study of Medication Adherence among Older Adults (COSMO; PI: M. Krousel-Wood)

The major goals of this project are to examine factors associated with medication adherence among older adults with hypertension and determine association of adherence with blood pressure control and cardiovascular events. 

Improving Hypertension Management-Overcoming Immunity to Change (PI: M. Krousel-Wood)

The overall objective of this pilot randomized trial is to test whether a health coaching intervention program will improve medication adherence in older adults with hypertensive

Model-based Approach to Improving Hypertension Control in Populations (PI:  Moran—Columbia; site PI/co-investigator:  M. Krousel-Wood)

The overall objective is to use a computer simulation approach to assess the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of strategies to improve hypertension control is different US patient populations, overall and by age, sex, race and CVD risk.

Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology

Transdisciplinary Research Consortium for Gulf Resistance on Women's Health (GROWH; PI: Emily Harville)

Pregnant women and mothers may be especially vulnerable to the effects of disaster.  Women who experience stress during their pregnancy and who have depression or other mental health problems are at increased risk for pregnancy and birth complications.  Some environmental contaminants have also been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.  Our hypothesis is that multiple social adversities will interact with environmental adversity to worsen health outcomes - in other words, a difficult social environment and a difficult physical environment will exacerbate each other.

Long-Term Burden of Maternal Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Birth Outcomes (Bogalusa Babies; PI: Emily Harville)

The goal of the study is to determine how preconception cardiovascular risk factors related to birth outcomes, particularly birthweight and gestational age. The Bogalusa Heart Study has information on cardiovascular risk factors among children and young adults, and pregnancy information is being collected from vital statistics, interview of participants, and medical records review.

Improving Quality of Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes through a Model of Clinical mentorship in DRC (PI: Xu Xiong)

The main objective of this project is to develop and implement a clinical mentorship program to improving quality of maternal and newborn health outcomes at 76 rural health facilities (hospitals and clinics) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa.

Nutritional Epidemiology

Weight-Loss Diet Intervention on Cardiometabolic Factors of Gut Microbiota (PI: Lu Qi)

The primary goal of this study is to assess how metabolomics markers related to gut microbiota metabolism affect weight loss and changes in metabolic traits in diet intervention trail.

Obesity Genes, Energy Regulation in Response to Weight-Loss Diets (PI: Lu Qi)

The primary goal of this study is to perform pathway based genetic analysis of obesity and to test whether the confirmed obesity related genetic variants affect change of body weight and biomarkers regulating appetite in 2-year diet intervention trials.

Genome-wide interactions with diet patterns on long-term weight change (PI: Lu Qi)

The primary goal of this study is to perform genome-wide analysis on the interactions between genetic variants and dietary patterns in relation to long-term weight change in five large, prospective cohorts.

Long-term dietary interventions, amino acid metabolites, genetics, and glycemic control; the POUNDS LOST / DIRECT collaboration (PI: Lu Qi)

The study will prospectively examine the effects of metabolomic markers related to amino acid metabolites and change in glucose metabolism in two randomized diet intervention trials.

Environment and Community Health Epidemiology

Movin’ for LIFE: Community Engagement Program (PI: Jeanette Gustat)

The goal of this project is to increase community engagement through coalition meetings with the Tulane Prevention Research Center and to raise awareness around community health issues focusing on physical activity and obesity with a photovoice project.

The Built Environment and Mortality in the Bogalusa Heart Study (PI: Jeanette Gustat)

The goal of this project is to examine how features of the built environment are associated with mortality and cardiovascular risk factors among participants of the Bogalusa Heart Study.

New Orleans Leadership Education & Action on Health Disparities (NOLA LEADS) (Co-PI: Jeanette Gustat)

The goal of this project is to develop capacity of community residents to make changes in social determinants of health. A training program for community residents will be developed around strategies to improve social determinants of health.

Black Carbon and Blood Pressure Study (PI: Felicia Rabito)

The overall aim of the Black Carbon and Blood Pressure (BCBP) study is to assess the relationship of acute exposure (1hr-5days) to residential black carbon on resting blood pressure in children and adults in the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Assessing the Relative Contribution of Psycho-social and Environmental Influence on Medication Use and Asthma Morbidity (PI: Felicia Rabito)

The overall aim of the Assessing the Relative Contribution of Psycho-social and Environmental Influence on Medication use and Asthma Morbidity (PEIMAM) study is to acquire a better understanding of factors that contribute to asthma morbidity disparities among children. A novel approach to measuring asthma medication adherence is being used via an asthma sensor in order to better control for this important variable. 

The Green Housing Study (PI: Felicia Rabito)

The goals of the study are: 1) compare levels of certain environmental chemical and biological agents in green vs traditional, multi-family, low income housing; 2) to ascertain differences in the health of the residents in these homes; and 3) to assess the economic impacts of the “greening” of housing. These goals will be accomplished in ongoing building renovation programs sponsored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Integrated Pest Management for the Control of Multiple Cockroach Species  (PI: Felicia Rabito)

The ultimate goal of this project is to reduce childhood exposure to cockroach allergens, exposures known to be associated with poor asthma outcomes.

NoROACH (PI: Felicia Rabito)

The overall goal of the project is to determine whether reducing cockroach (counts and/or allergen levels) results in reduced asthma morbidity and reductions in health care utilization among asthmatic children.

Disorder (PI: Felicia Rabito)

This research is aimed at the search for factors responsible for asthma outcome disparities and to integrate the physical and psychological aspects of housing which may directly and indirectly influence severity of asthma. Specifically the research will assess the role of cockroach exposure and caregiver stress, independently, as mediators and for their synergistic effects. 

Statistical Methodology

Moving beyond description: statistical and causal inference for social media data (NIHGM; PI: Hua He)

The objectives are to develop and apply a new class of statistical and causal inference models for human interactions and their impacts on health and health-related behavioral studies that integrate online social media information to understand the roles of human interaction on a) disease spread, b) mental health in a hard-to-reach population, and c) presence and extent of “natural helping” in promoting wellness and reducing norms supporting violence in low-income urban neighborhoods.

Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (FDA subcontract; PI: Hua He)

The primary objective of the study is to develop statistical methods to address issues in clinical trials for chronic pain, and hence to expedite the discovery and development of improved analgesic, anesthetic, addiction, and peripheral neuropathy treatments for the benefit of the public health.