The control and administration of SER is vested in an Executive Committee, which, as per SER bylaws, includes a President, Past-President, President-Elect, five 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 2022 Elections include candidates for President-Elect, Member at Large (Scientific Dissemination), and Student and PostDoc President. SER members are entitled to vote for one candidate in each position. The voting period begins on April 1, 2022 and concludes on May 13, 2022.
Sonia Hernandez Diaz
Sonia Hernández-Díaz, a physician and an epidemiologist, is the Director of the Pharmacoepidemiology Program and Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She teaches epidemiology methods courses and mentors students and post-doctoral fellows. Her main area of research is drug safety evaluation based on observational studies, with a special emphasis in the design of protocols and analysis of data relating to the safety of drugs during pregnancy. Read more
Hernandez-Diaz is also a Special Government Employee and Voting Member for the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (Chair 2018-2022), and member of the Teratogenic Information Services (TERIS) Advisory Board. She is Past-President of both the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology and the Society for Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research; and past-member of the NICHD Pregnancy & Neonatology (PN) Study Section. Through her service to public health institutions she has contributed to the translation of research into policy and actionable recommendations for stakeholders.
Vision for SER:
I am honored to have been nominated for the position of President and look forward to serving our Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER) in this role. I envision SER as a forum for discussion among colleagues with different perspectives but a common goal: maximizing the health of the population. My intention as President is to preserve the trajectories that others before me initiated and continue to foster: i) the focus on cutting-edge methods and their application to our field, ii) the development and involvement of junior members in the Society, and iii) the high scientific quality of the meeting. In addition, I intend to enhance the focus on research questions with direct translation into clinical practice and public health policy. I would like SER to promote research that identifies specific interventions to improve the Health of large numbers of humans around the Globe.
I first presented my work at an SER conference in 2000, when I won the Lilienfeld Student Prize. That gesture of trust and appreciation from the Society fueled my career. I am forever grateful and feel it is time for me to give back by extending my hand to our more junior members. Throughout the years, I have left our conferences with deeper understanding of epidemiology, fewer mistakes in my research projects, exciting new ideas and positive energy to pursue them. I learnt tremendously from lessons others before me had learnt. Therefore, I would like to maintain the transgenerational sharing of knowledge and experience as we all move forward with state-of-the-art methods to conquer pressing epidemiological questions. Also, I had so much fun at the social events, where I made epi-friends for life. As President, recovering the personal interactions we skipped during the pandemic will be a priority
I am honored and privileged to be a candidate for the President of our Society for Epidemiologic Research. If given the opportunity, I look forward to serving you.
My path to epidemiology was non-linear. I completed an MD and PhD in neuroscience before completing a residency in medicine and clinical fellowship in infectious diseases. As a neuroscience graduate student, I loved the science but felt that the work was too far removed from the impact that I hoped to have. Read more
I am a mentor at heart, and to me, SER is a society for mentorship. I always try to guide my mentees to successful careers—however they choose to define success. I encourage them to understand themselves and what they want in their careers. I bring this same mindset to SER. SER has always been a place for early career folks to be heard, to share, and to network. Ensuring that SER remains that place where early career folks want to be is one of my highest priorities. Epidemiology evolves, and the current generation of students and recent graduates will define what epidemiology is for years to come.
Although SER is a welcoming home for early career folks, I hope that it can become more welcoming to all epidemiologists. In a conversation with a colleague from CDC a few years ago, the topic of the SER annual meeting came up. They said that they had attended SER the year before but didn’t plan to attend again. Their specific words were “Those aren’t my peeps anymore.” Their words resonated. I wish that SER welcomed descriptive epidemiology, particularly addressing the common challenges of representative data, missing data, and misclassification. One clear lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic is that epidemiologists must understand and advance descriptive epidemiology, in addition to focusing on causality.
I also wish that SER was more engaged with interventionists. When we understand the who, what, where, when, and why, we must do something about it. Interventional epidemiology needs a bigger platform—within our training, within our meeting, and within our society. If we can identify the cause, shouldn’t we also help develop interventions to addresses the cause?
I believe we can consider epidemiology with three key pillars: description, causation, and intervention. We must describe to understand the “it” that is happening now; we must evaluate causation to understand why “it” is happening; and we must intervene to prevent “it” from happening in the future. By being more inclusive of the types of epidemiology we value, we will also be more inclusive of epidemiologists outside of academia. My colleague at the CDC, who spends every day addressing difficult questions of how to describe disease occurrence accurately, might reconsider her decision about SER.
I want to close with a few words of another type of inclusion. SER has made real efforts to be inclusive, regardless of gender and race. We have begun to seriously address difficult questions about race and racism in epidemiological studies. With that in mind, I’d like to point out one fact—I am a white man. I noted at the start that it was a privilege to be nominated. Undoubtedly, that privilege derives, at least in part, from my privilege as a white man. If you choose to vote for me, I’d like you to do it consciously. And if I am elected, I will do everything I can to ensure that marginalized groups are heard and their voices represented.
SER is the leading epidemiological organization in the country. We will be an even stronger organization if we represent the important work of all epidemiologists Thank you for your consideration. Peace to all of you.
I believe that big change – protecting and promoting health, globally and locally – only happens when we embrace diversity, partner with communities, invest in training, and value communication. This philosophy permeates my research, teaching, service, and plans for the future.
If elected to be a Member-At-Large for SER, I promise to embrace this philosophy in my service. I have been an enthusiastic member of SER for nearly 10 years and am eager to further promote our work through a leadership position on the Scientific Dissemination Committee. Read more
I am a Biostatistician by training and an Epidemiologist at heart. My applied research focuses on eliminating HIV and improving community health in sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve this bold research agenda and maximize impact, I work on multinational, interdisciplinary teams to conduct community-based participatory research. I am deeply committed to capacity building and training of scholars from around the world, particularly those from resource-limited settings. To date, my research has led to 63 peer-reviewed publications in high-ranking journals and with over half co-authored by at least one colleague from sub-Saharan Africa.
As an expert in causal inference and machine learning, I believe that fancy methods are of little value if they cannot be effectively translated into practice. To this end, I regularly publish case-based teaching articles, including in the American Journal of Epidemiology. In the last 6 years, I have taught 19 workshops on introductory and advanced causal inference, including 12 workshops for SER. I love engaging with and promoting other’s scientific work through chairing conference sessions, organizing seminar speakers, serving on SER’s education committee, and finally tweeting. In all my efforts, I aim to ensure that all voices – not just the loudest – are heard and respected.
I am honored to be considered for a Member-At-Large position at SER. With my strengths in methods development, application for real-world impact, and scientific dissemination, I will meaningfully contribute to SER’s excellence in research, teaching, and service to the greater good.
You can learn more about my research at https://www.balzerlab.com/research, my teaching at https://www.ucbbiostat.com/, and me at https://www.umass.edu/gateway/article/laura-balzer . Please feel free to reach out via email (email@example.com) or on twitter (@LauraBBalzer).
Thank you and looking forward to seeing you at #SER2022!
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. In my view, the cadre of resources available to students, postdocs, and junior faculty 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. 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.
Student and Postdoc – President Elect
I am grateful and honored to be nominated as a candidate for President-Elect of the SER Student and Postdoc Committee (SPC). I am a PhD candidate in the Epidemiology Department at Boston University School of Public Health and a pre-doctoral trainee at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Center for Birth Defects Research. My dissertation work investigates the impact of certain biases in observational studies on medication use during pregnancy and birth outcomes. Read more
I joined SER as a first year doctoral student in 2018 and I currently serve as one of the Media co-chairs of SPC. If you are moderately active on Twitter, you may have seen some of our tweets about some exciting new ventures from SPC! During the 2021 SER annual meeting, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel on “professional failures” and foster a discussion on vulnerability, courage and defining success on your own terms. I have also served as a panelist at the annual meetings in 2020 and 2021 to discuss opportunities for Master’s level scientists and pursuing doctoral studies. Last, but most certainly not least, I have been fortunate to participate in the SER Student Dissertation Workshop. SER has provided an environment to foster both my professional and personal development and as President-Elect, I want to expand those opportunities for more trainees.
It is not lost on me that I greatly benefit from attending an institution with a large SER presence. As President-Elect, I will work on expanding access to SER and SPC to trainees in academic and non-academic settings.
- During my tenure as a fellow at CDC, I was never encouraged to attend the SER annual meeting. As fellows outside of academia, we miss these opportunities to network and learn from peers and other colleagues. I want to expand our outreach to governmental fellows by collaborating with various institutions’ professional networks. For example, CDC has a Young Professionals Network (YPN) that plans an annual conference, several networking events and has access to a listerv of fellows across multiple centers. A collaboration with them could be a great avenue to increase awareness and participation in SPC.
- Create more opportunities to center Master’s level scientists and discussions for people who are not interested in pursuing doctoral studies. Many people are not interested or for various choose not to pursue a doctoral degree. What are the considerations that go into that decision? What positions do Master’s level scientists hold? In the past few years, there has been a SER panel to address these questions (I want to thank Susan Diaz and Erin Bowles for this fantastic undertaking). As SER-SPC president, I want to brighten the spotlight on that panel and expand the conversation.
- Access for multilingual epidemiologists. English is the de-facto language for science, and that creates a barrier. It prevents English speakers from engaging with the rigorous and interesting research from other places, and prevents epidemiologists who speak other languages to share their work. How can we remedy this? Perhaps having twitter takeovers in Spanish, or using a paper originally written in German (but translated) for journal club.
It has been a great joy to serve on SPC and to be of service to SER. SER continues to be a resource and network. I hope to continue ushering SPC into an era that fosters community for all epidemiologists.
My name is Luis Segura and it is an honor to be nominated as a candidate for President-Elect of the SER Student & Postdoc Committee (SPC). I am a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. My research interests include substance use, mental health, social determinants of health, and epidemiologic methods. Read more
I believe that being an active SER member is an essential aspect of training and professional development for every student/early career epidemiologist. Among the many lessons that we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is the critical need for representation, connection, and communication among epidemiologists both within and outside the US. If elected, I propose to expand SER’s existing efforts to engage with epidemiologists and students of underrepresented communities within the US and to increase representation of voices and researchers outside the US. In addition to increasing outreach to institutions outside the US, I would also explore ways of making annual conference attendance more accessible for students and postdocs with limited funding and those living abroad. I would also develop SPC programming and resources focused on scientific communication skills. These might include trainings and webinars on best practices for communicating scientific findings to a global lay audience and media training.