The control and administration of SER is vested in an Executive Committee, which, as per SER bylaws, includes a President, Past-President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, four Members at large and an Executive Director. All positions, except for the Executive Director, are elected individually by majority vote of the members voting.
The 2019 Elections include candidates for President-Elect and Member at Large. SER members are entitled to vote for one candidate in each position. The voting period begins on April 8, 2019 and concludes on May 10, 2019.
SPC Elections, click here
Voting is now closed.
SER is the one meeting that I attend every year. Since my first meeting in 1991 in my home town of Buffalo, I’ve missed only 3 (and I swear that I have good excuses). I’ve even kept all the conference bags. Over the years I’ve seen the meeting evolve in many ways, some positive and some negative. On the positive side is a real explosion in the kinds of activities and formats, from round-tables and symposia to debates and gameshows. The leadership has been creative in making the meeting more dynamic, densely packed with varying content, and more responsive to the needs to educating professionals broadly, not only in presenting scientific results. Now we have programs for trainees, for early career investigators, for mentors, for grant writers, for journal editors and peer reviewers, covering every aspect of daily life in the epidemiological trenches. On the down side, I’ve witnessed the loss of much of the substantive content from the meetings, so that sessions now are much more oriented toward methods than they used to be. Read more
Despite having attended these 25 or so SER meetings, I never imagined that I might one day find myself a candidate to be its president. As my longest and dearest professional affiliation, nothing could be more meaningful to me, and if elected I intend to pursue these next 3 years of service with diligence, passion, and commitment. I have served on the Executive Committee as a Member-at-Large, and then for another 3-year stint as Chairman of the Education Committee, and in 2017 received SER’s “Excellence in Education” award. So I know the organization well, and love its quirks and personalities, it’s proudly nerdy subculture, its saints and rebels, and its glorious history of fights, fiascos, and fandangos. I would carry out the duties of this office with a degree of quaint enthusiasm that at my age I should probably be embarrassed to admit to.
For the benefit of the voting membership I should lay out the broad outline of my professional qualifications for this position. My doctorate in Epidemiologic Science was granted by the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1995, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, and then another two years as a hospital epidemiologist in Charlotte, NC. In 1999 I began a faculty position at University of North Carolina, moving to McGill University in 2009. I now have affiliations at five Schools of Public Health in Chile, France, Canada and the US, and I am an editor at the journal Epidemiology and an Associate Editor at American Journal of Epidemiology. I’ve supervised 8 post-doctoral fellows and 26 PhD theses and written a lot of grants and papers. My scientific interests are broad, but have been mostly focused on social epidemiology and methods. The advantage of an exposure-focused specialization is that it allows one to study a wide array of outcomes, so I’ve worked on both infectious and chronic diseases, in North America and globally.
I am excited about the field of epidemiology and SER’s role in its professional realization as an organized entity of training, scholarship and scientific activism. I’d like to see us become less provincial, and expend into the huge and dynamic epidemiology communities of the Caribbean and Central and South America. Featuring Chile at this year’s meeting is a step in that direction, as was the good Latin American participation we had at the Congress in Miami in 2016, but these are just the first steps and we need to do more to expand our scope and membership internationally. I’m also concerned about science and our role in the evolution of biomedical research and its application. The wheels are coming off the old journal publishing model, and it is not yet clear what will replace it. Too much of the academic professorship is mired in a constant and desperate scramble for external research funding, and students are now understandably worried about the insecurity of soft-money and the potentially soul-crushing prospect of spending their lives generating an endless stream of unfunded R01 applications. Schools are pushed to churn out ever greater cohorts of tuition-paying MPH students into uncertain job markets, while policy debates about population health become increasingly disconnected from evidence. Research practice is changing, with datasets getting bigger and messier, and the rise of machines in model selection, and more data and code are being shared, or should be. In short, it’s a crazy time in many ways. Against a backdrop of increasing public health challenges, from antibiotic resistance and climate change to increasing injury mortality from violence and overdose, epidemiology has never been more necessary and important to population health. Yet our professional roles and institutions are fraying under the weight of rapid change. SER can be an essential caretaker and companion for us in these times of challenge and uncertainty, a place to be continually educated and updated, to be guided by a common community and rejuvenated by the connections with colleagues and friends that enrich our lives and our work. The annual meeting is our family reunion, the chance to see again our epidemiologic parents, children and brothers and sisters. I look forward to seeing you all there for many years to come.
SER has been my professional society home for over a decade and I would be honored to serve as President. Over the years I have benefited from the productive discussions with colleagues, and enjoyed getting to know epidemiologists at all career stages – the conference is truly an academic highlight of my year. I have contributed to the SER in a variety of ways including as a submission reviewer, poster judge, “breakfast with the experts” and dissertation workshop faculty, and symposia, contributed session and plenary session organizer. I have been a member of the SER Publications Committee since its inception. The SER Workshop I have co-led on methods for causal inference has been a wonderful opportunity to make some of the latest methods developments more accessible, and it has initiated productive debates and collaborations with SER colleagues. Read more
My broad perspective on epidemiology is that we are positioned to have the most impact if we balance the importance of the health questions we address with the rigor of the methods we apply, rather than holding one above the other. For our work to be better understood outside our field, a prerequisite for impact, we must translate our findings in terms of expected changes to health in the population. We must continue to engage to find ways to present our findings accessibly for non-expert audiences. For SER as an organization, I am dedicated fostering Annual Meeting and other events as spaces with a strong sense of community where epidemiologists from all backgrounds and career stages are supported, and collaborations and engagement are fostered.
In my research, I am interested in the effects of the social and physical environment, and programs and policies that alter the social and physical environment, on many aspects of health (e.g., violence, substance use, mental health, and gestational health). I have a methodological focus to my work, including application of causal inference methods and semi-parametric estimation approaches, aimed at improving the rigor of observational research, and optimizing public health intervention planning. My research has been supported by a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of the Director.
As Associate Dean for Research at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health (UCB SPH), I have substantial experience fostering collaborative environments (e.g., developing a grant peer review process and grant writing workshops) and administration (e.g., managing the relationship between academics and research administration for UCB SPH). Further, I have been the elected Epidemiology representative on the UCB SPH governing body, the Faculty Council, for most of my time on the faculty. I would bring substantial leadership and administrative experience to the role of President of SER.
Thank you for considering my candidacy.
Member at Large
SER has always inspired me to be a better epidemiologist and I am pleased to run for a member-at-large seat. To be honest, when I came to my first annual meeting as a doctoral student, I found it intimidating. All these amazing, accomplished epidemiologists, I was sure I was in the wrong place. However, as so many others have also found, SER is a welcoming place and it quickly became my professional home. Since then, I have gotten heavily involved in running seminars, putting on workshops, facilitating discussions, annoying the SER board with my “Hey, could SER do …” emails and attending fabulous sessions at the annual meeting where I continue to learn and meet the most inspiring people, from seasoned professionals to impressive students.
I have always seen my role at SER as a facilitator. There is so much I want to know more about and I figure (please let it be true) that if I have questions, so do others in the society. Epi methods have advanced tremendously since I completed my training and SER is my way to keep up. I have tried to participate in SER by bringing together people who can communicate in a way that makes complex ideas simple. I have selfishly been organizing sessions at the annual meeting that were simply things I wanted to know more about, and so far, no one has called me out. Read more
I think it is essential for SER to meet all members where they are at and help them advance to the next level in their training, whether they are a new student or full professors. In order for SER to play this role, we need to continue to be the home for the highest level discussions, debates and advances in epi methods. But we also need to ensure SER plays the critical role of ensuring those advancements are translated to a level that all of us who practice epidemiology can grow in our roles. In this way, I think we will advance as a field. As a member-at-large, I would be committed to helping ensure that we meet the needs of all of our members.
In my day job, I’m a Professor of Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). Believe it or not, I started out in my undergraduate days as a literature major before joining the Peace Corps and serving for 2 years in Turkmenistan. It was there I found public health and on return completed an MPH and DSc in epidemiology here at BUSPH. Since then I have focused my research on HIV care and treatment in South Africa (where I lived for two years after my PhD starting up my research). I also get to teach some of the most talented doctoral students in the world and for fun, have a journal club podcast.
I am pleased to run for a member-at-large position and if selected, I look forward to serving you.
I have been a member of SER since graduating with a PhD in epidemiology in 2011, and have long viewed the organization as my intellectual home. I would be honored to serve as a member-at-large on the SER executive committee.
I have found membership in SER and attendance at the annual conference to be incredibly rewarding. From 2012 to 2016 I served as a member on the Education Committee, and was a member of the Epidemiology Congress of the Americas Student/Early Career Committee in 2016. The cadre of resources available to students is one of the organization’s greatest strengths. I myself have benefited tremendously from the pre-conference workshops, roundtables, and sessions for students and early career scholars. I look forward to working closely with the SER leadership and the SER-Student & Post-Doc Committee to further enhance these experience and professional development opportunities if elected to serve as a member-at-large. I am particularly interesting in promoting additional educational fora and networking opportunities beyond those offered at the annual conference. Read more
My research focuses on substance use epidemiology, infectious diseases, and the social, environmental, and structural determinants of health of drug-using populations. I am particularly interested in using novel epidemiological approaches—including agent-based modeling—to understand the causes and consequences of substance use. More recently I have been working on a number public health efforts to address the overdose crisis and prevent other substance-related harms among people who use drugs in Rhode Island. It is through SER that I have been able to foster longstanding relationships and invaluable collaborations with like-minded researchers doing cutting edge epidemiological research on addiction across the country. In this manner, I view SER as the central “hub” for our discipline, which connects epidemiologists seeking to address some of this country’s most pressing public health problems.
I received a BSc in biophysics and a PhD in epidemiology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and went on to conduct postdoctoral work at Columbia University in 2012. I have been fortunate to spend my professional career at Brown University, first as an assistant professor and now an associate professor of epidemiology. I was very honored to receive the Brian MacMahon Early Career Award from SER in 2016.
My research interests and identity as an epidemiologist has been inexorably shaped by the extraordinary mentoring I’ve received at each step of my research career. It would be a sincere honor to serve as a member-at-large on the executive committee to help ensure that SER continues to be the premiere national organization that young epidemiologists turn to for mentoring opportunities and professional development.