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Interactive Agenda

Breakfast with the Experts (*Pre-Registration Required)
Jun 23 @ 7:00 am – 7:45 am

Session Co-chair: Precious Esie, Columbia University
Session Co-chair: Matthew Mietchen, Washington State University

Senior colleagues will lead discussion groups on topics pertaining to their areas of expertise, a specific topic in epidemiology, or potential advice on career development and advancement. These sessions provide an excellent opportunity for you to meet the experts of our science. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

Click here to register.

Lisa Bodnar, University of Pittsburg

Bernard Harlow, Boston University

Ashley Naimi, Emory University

Martha Werler, Boston University

Plenary Session 1
Jun 23 @ 8:00 am – 9:45 am

Session Chair: Martha Werler, Boston University

Jay Kaufman, McGill University
Presidential Address

Allen Wilcox, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Distinguished Service to SER Award Winner

Marc Lipstich, Harvard University
Keynote Speaker
(Live Q&A Moderated by Martha Werler)

American Journal of Epidemiology Centennial Celebration: Discussion of Selected Influential Papers
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Enrique Schisterman, University of Pennsylvania
Session Co-chair: Moyses Szklo, Johns Hopkins University

The American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) presents this symposium in honor of the journal’s 100th anniversary. The goal of the symposium is to showcase AJE’s rich history and enduring influence in the field of epidemiology, as well as highlight AJE’s productive partnership with SER. The symposium features four seminal AJE papers and four speakers who will each discuss one of the papers. After summarizing the main ideas of the papers, speakers will discuss why they think the papers are important or influential, and they may address related aspects such as how they have applied the concepts and themes of the paper in their own work, or how interpretations and implications of the papers may have evolved over time. Papers for discussion were selected by reviewing top citations, top Altmetric scores, and SER playlists; papers reprinted and highlighted with commentaries in AJE’s 2017 issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of SER were excluded from consideration. AJE has published a large body of influential scientific literature throughout its history, and the papers selected for presentation in this symposium represent a small, but exciting, subset.

Lauren McCullough, Emory University
“Willett W, Stampfer MJ. Total energy intake: implications for epidemiologic analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 1986;124(1):17-27.”

Katherine Keyes, Columbia University
“Hernán MA, Hernández-Díaz S, Werler MM, Mitchell AA. Causal knowledge as a prerequisite for confounding evaluation: an application to birth defects epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol. 2002;155(2):176-184.”

Tyler VanderWeele, Harvard University
“Hernández-Díaz S, Schisterman EF, Hernán MA. The birth weight “paradox” uncovered? Am J Epidemiol. 2006;164(11):1115-1120.”

Maria Glymour, University of California, San Francisco
“Vittinghoff E, McCulloch CE. Relaxing the rule of ten events per variable in logistic and cox regression. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;165(6):710-718.”

Building a Movement Accountable Research Process: How can epidemiologists partner with activists to produce actionable research?
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Jaquelyn Jahn, City University of New York
Session Co-chair: Catherine Duarte, University of California, Berkeley

The Movement for Black Lives has generated a much-needed outpouring of epidemiologic research on structural racism and health, including conference sessions at the SER annual meeting. However, little of this work has formally reflected on the practice, benefits, and risks of building a research agenda that is guided by a social movement. Considering the long history of epidemiologic research borne of social movements (e.g., HIV/AIDS activism, feminist and workers’ rights movements, etc.), it is critical to examine how epidemiologists can rigorously and responsibly partner with activists/organizers for structural change. We propose a symposium that explores the experiences of epidemiologists who have engaged activists/social movements to answer policy-relevant research questions.
Significance: Working with activists can produce consequential research that is not limited by existing policy and supports calls from affected communities for structural change to improve public health. However, there may also be risks to academic advancement (e.g., perceived as unscientific€), and the goals of activism and academia may not always align. The experiences shared in this symposium can provide an action-oriented research model. If epidemiologists don’t reflect on the ways they are engaging with activist movements, they risk not only appropriation for professional gain but also producing work that may, at best, not serve and, at worst, harm the causes their research seeks to advance

Gregg Gonsalves, Yale University

Zinzi Bailey, University of Miami

Elizabeth McClur, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Ashley Gripper, Harvard University

Implementing geolocation-based exposure assessments
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Anne Marie Jukic, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Session Co-chair: Nicole Deziel, Yale University

Geolocation-based exposure measures are increasing rapidly due to ever-improving technology and the strategic assembly of public-use data. Newer metrics and models are being developed to better characterize multiple dimensions of environmental or social determinants of health, but the practical challenges, strengths, and limitations of these approaches is difficult to glean from the methods section of a single paper. This symposium will bring together exposure-assessment experts from across disciplines to discuss how geolocation-based exposures, such as air pollution, water quality, point source pollution, pesticides, and social constructs, can be accurately and reliably implemented in epidemiologic studies. Each speaker will discuss their experience with geolocation-based exposure assessments with a focus on the practical challenges in implementing them (including how they are measured, variability in spatial and temporal resolution, what covariates are required, software or computing challenges, etc.), strengths and limitations of various measures (including validity and accessibility of the data), and considerations for epidemiologists who are planning future geolocation-based research. The session includes 5 speakers, including two postdoctoral fellows.

Gina Lovasi, Drexel University
“Do changes to availability of healthy food stores or medical facilities affect cardiovascular risk? The research has used commercially sourced personal profile data to complement address information assembled during cohort follow-up, and has developed a protocol for limiting the sources and temporal trends in spatial error and retail establishment misclassification.”

Jaime Hart, Harvard University
“Operationalizing the external exposome in multiple prospective cohorts. We will show examples of parameterizing neighborhood socioeconomic status from US Census data and greenness and temperature exposure data available in Google Earth Engine”

Rena Jones, National Cancer Institute
“Incorporating location uncertainty in epidemiologic analyses of environmental point source exposures. We discuss methods to improve epidemiologic analyses that use traditional geo-referenced exposure metrics by implementing approaches that can account for positional error and spatial autocorrelation.”

Hannah Jahnke, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“Ambient air pollution exposure assessments in fertility studies: A guide for reproductive epidemiologists. This review clarifies the details of air pollution exposure assessment methods in fertility studies, helping researchers interpret existing findings and serving as a guide for reproductive epidemiologists”

Ian Buller, National Cancer Institute
“Estimating environmental mixtures in a geospatial context. We will present an environmental mixture method that incorporates the geographic distribution of participants in relation to multiple exposures simultaneously.”

Male infertility-study design, predictors, and etiology
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Chair: Elizabeth A. DeVilbiss, National Institutes of Health

Approximately 1 in 8 male-female couples will experience infertility. While ~50% of cases are attributable to the male partner, male infertility remains poorly understood. With reported rates of impaired fertility increasing in recent decades, understanding the newest research on predictors and etiology of male infertility has cross-discipline importance; male infertility can be viewed as a window to health’s, with a diverse array of long-term health sequelae. Male infertility research requires innovative study designs, starting with recruitment.
As recruitment of couples for infertility studies can be challenging, particularly in the current pandemic climate, online recruitment and at-home specimen collection will first be discussed. We next propose presenting emerging controversial research in modifiable lifestyle factors, which are potential intervention points for male fertility improvement that offer a relatively low individual-level cost. Additionally, since the sperm genome and epigenome may have clinical relevance as a diagnostic tool to inform individualized fertility treatments, we propose an andrology expert discuss novel findings on genetic and epigenetic predictors of male infertility.
Lastly, a clinician in male infertility and urology with the expertise and real-world experience to synthesize this compendium of groundbreaking work will engage participants in lively debate on this important, but largely understudied area of public health research.

Elizabeth DeVilbiss, National Institutes of Health

Lauren Wise, Boston University
“Recruitment of couples for infertility studies”

Sunni Mumford, National Institutes of Health
“Lifestyle factors and male infertility”

Timothy Jenkins, Brigham Young University
“Sperm epigenetic and male infertility

Michael Eisenberg, Stanford University

Multi-site initiative to assess the role of the neighborhood socioeconomic environment and food environment on diabetes incidence: Lessons learned from the Diabetes Location, Environmental Attributes and Disparities (LEAD) Network
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Leslie McClure, Drexel University
Session Co-chair: Lorna Thorpe, New York University

Studies have consistently identified the neighborhood socioeconomic environment (NSEE) to be associated with risk of developing type 2 diabetes. How NSEE influences risk has been conceptually attributed to socioeconomically-patterned variation in other, potentially modifiable, community pathways, including the food environment. However, food environment definitions have varied and may function differently in different regional and community contexts. This poses challenges for building a consistent body of literature across studies, populations and geographies, and for harmonizing analytic approaches across different study populations and designs.
This symposium will highlight research from the Location, Environmental Attributes, and Diabetes (LEAD) Network, a collaboration among Drexel University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Geisinger/Johns Hopkins University, New York University Grossman School of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The LEAD Network is designed to evaluate why geographic disparities in diabetes exist and suggest potential targets for policy interventions. In this symposium we will describe initial findings and methodological challenges from the LEAD Network and will address:
1.Harmonization of exposure measurement in different community contexts
2.Distributional challenges of food environment
3.Harmonization of analyses across different study designs, study populations, and geographies

Tara P. McAlexander, Drexel University
“Defining community type for different geographies and building harmonization of methods across site and study designs.”

Pasquale Rummo, New York University
“Developing food environment measures for Network-wide analyses and using a retrospective electronic health record cohort of Veterans to examine association of food environment and diabetes nationally”

Carrie R. Howell, University of Alabama at Birmingham
“Creating a Neighborhood Social and Economic Environment (NSEE) measure for evaluation across geographic regions and community types”

Annemarie G. Hirsch, Geisinger Environmental Health Institute
“Synthesizing consistent and conflicting findings regarding the neighborhood socioeconomic environment, the food environment, and type 2 diabetes onset across three study sites.”

Karen Siegel, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Partial Identification in Epidemiologic Studies
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Stephen Cole, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Session Co-chair: Alex Breskin, NoviSci

Abstract: Strong conditions, like no uncontrolled confounding, are typically required to obtain correct point-estimates in epidemiologic studies. As other examples, we often assume, in clinical trials and observational studies, that loss to follow up is not informative, or in natural experiments (e.g., Mendelian randomization) that the instrument has certain independencies. However, in most cases, these strong conditions cannot be checked in the study data, and researchers must assume that they hold. Without making these assumptions, only a range (or set) of point estimates can be provided. This range reflects uncertainty due to systematic error, much like how confidence intervals reflect uncertainty due to random error. In cases where it is only possible to provide a range of estimates, the quantity of interest is said to be set identified or partially identified. The speakers in this session will describe and discuss how to calculate and interpret such ranges of estimates obtained in these partially identified settings. Additionally, speakers will demonstrate how such partially identified results can be used to strengthen the design and analysis of epidemiologic studies.

All speakers have agreed to participate.

Alex Breskin, NoviSci
“On the use of bounds to compare the strength of identification assumptions in observational studies”

Sonja Swanson, Erasmus MC
“Implications of Robins’ 1989 paper”

Paul Gustafson, UBC
“On Bayesian inference for partially identified models”

James Robins, Harvard University

Recent Advances in Pharmacoepidemiologic Study Design: Opportunities for Collaboration and Dissemination
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Shahar Shmuel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Session Co-chair: Jennifer L. Lund, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Recently, several exciting new study designs, including adaptations of the new user design (e.g., prevalent new-user, and ‘new household’) and self-controlled designs have emerged from the field of pharmacoepidemiology. These designs, some of which have attractive properties for causal inference, have been discussed among and applied by researchers within the pharmacoepidemiologic community, yet have not yet gained as much traction in other sub-disciplines. The objective of this symposium is to raise awareness of these study designs and to discuss potential applications and opportunities for collaboration across epidemiologic subdisciplines. Each of our invited panelists will introduce a new study design that originated in pharmacoepidemiology and provide an example of its application from their own research. They will also discuss considerations and challenges of applying this design and share how they envision future collaborations with other sub-disciplines within epidemiology. Afterwards, we will have a discussion of potential applications outside of pharmacoepidemiology and open the floor for questions and discussion with the audience.

Shahar Shmuel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Marissa J. Seamans, University of California, Los Angeles
“‘New-household’s design: evaluating the effects of commonly shared prescription medications”

Kristian B. Filion, McGill University
“The Prevalent New User Design: Applications and Considerations”

Katsiaryna Bykov, Brigham and Women’s hospital
“Self-controlled Designs for Data Mining and Evaluation of Drug Interactions”

Charles E. Leonard, University of Pennsylvania

Jennifer L. Lund, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Statistical Challenges in Observational Research and Guidance Recommendations from the STRATOS Initiative
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Mitchel H. Gail, National Cancer Institute
Session Co-chair: Michal Abramowicz, McGill University

Observational studies of health present many analytical challenges, related to both: complexity of the underlying processes and data imperfections (unmeasured confounders, missingness, measurement errors). Often, there is little consensus on how to deal with such complexities, especially if the same study entails several challenges. To address these issues, the STRATOS initiative, launched in 2013 (, involves >100 experts in different areas of statistics. This is the first presentation of STRATOS research at an international epidemiology conference. To introduce the rationale, goals and approach of STRATOS, the first talk outlines multiple challenges in a multi-centre study of adverse effects of cumulative drug exposure. The second talk focuses on causal inference with survival outcomes, discussing assumptions and principles for choosing causal estimands when facing censoring. Estimation of survival curves under hypothetical interventions is illustrated by an analysis of the effect of pre-emptive kidney transplant on survival. The third talk discusses methods for Berkson error that arises when predicted, rather than (unobserved) true exposures or outcomes are used, with application in nutritional epidemiology. The fourth talk addresses challenges in time-to-event analyses (model specification, competing risks of death, relative vs. absolute risks, immortal time, regression diagnostics) within a long-term prospective study of aging and dementia.

Michał Abrahamowicz, McGill University
“Multiple analytical challenges in observational studies of health: goals and approaches of the STRATOS initiative”

Vanessa Didelez, ProfeLeibniz Institute for Prevention Research & Epidemiology, Germany
“Causal inference for survival outcomes: a censored edition”

Pamela A. Shaw, University of Pennsylvania
“On the use of predicted values in epidemiology: Example from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos”

Terry M. Therneau, The Mayo Clinic
“Hazard models for long term outcomes, with application to dementia”

The promise of machine learning for responding to epidemics and other public health crises
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Magdalena Cerda, New York University
Session Co-chair: Brandon Marshall, Brown university

Machine learning approaches are increasingly applied in epidemiology, yet the specific contributions they can make to addressing important public health questions are still not well understood. This symposium will illustrate the use of machine learning approaches to forecast risk and implement mitigation strategies during public health crises. Presentations will discuss the use of machine learning to target interventions at the individual, neighborhood, and state levels in an effective and equitable manner. Topics include: an assessment of the contributions of nonparametric estimation approaches using machine learning to estimate causal effects; using clinical decision support with an embedded prediction model to improve PrEP prescribing in diverse healthcare settings; using machine learning to identify community predictors of future overdose risk; balancing spatial equity versus impact when predicting future hot spots to target overdose prevention efforts; and deep learning data-driven approaches to forecast the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these presentations, we hope to illustrate the potential that machine learning tools offer to inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of public health strategies.

Kara Rudolph, Columbia University
“All models are wrong, but does it matter? On the bias of parametric estimators of causal effects in randomized and observational studies.”

Julia Marcus, Harvard University
“Using predictive analytics to improve PrEP prescribing in diverse healthcare settings”

Robert Schell, University of California, Berkeley
“Using Machine Learning to Identify the Community-Level Predictors of Opioid Overdose Deaths”

Bennett Allen, New York University
“Machine learning to target overdose prevention: A modeling strategy and evaluative framework for public health practice”

B. Aditya Prakash, Georgia Institute of Technology
“Deep Learning data-driven approaches for Epidemic Forecasting”

Transmission Modeling of Healthcare-associated Infections: Current Progress and Pressing Challenges
Jun 23 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Eric Lofgren, Washington State University
Session Co-chair: Rachel Slayton, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a threat to the health and well-being of hospitalized patients and present a burden to the healthcare system. Approximately 3% of hospitalized patients in the United States acquire an HAI during their stay resulting in more than 650,000 HAIs annually in the U.S. Despite numerous studies of interventions, the difficulty in detecting transmission events and the most common routes of transmission has resulted in uncertainty as to the most effective mechanisms to reducing this threat. Disentangling the efficacy of interventions is further complicated because multiple simultaneous interventions are typically implemented as a bundle of care, some of which can have large indirect effects. Further, the hospital environment in which patients are geographically clustered and attended to by a rotating cohort of clinicians, inherently making tracing a single event to an HAI difficult.

Mathematical models of HAIs can be useful for identifying how pathogens interact and colonize patients, evaluating the relative importance of different transmission pathways, and identifying the impacts of interventions. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of these issues and demonstrated the importance of modeling for developing policy recommendations. This symposium features research from five sites at the leading edge of modeling HAIs, ranging from the level of a single-ward to regional and national policy.

Sarah Rhea, RTI International
“Modeling Clostridium difficile infection risk: an agent-based model of a regional healthcare network”

Eric Lofgren, Washington State University
“Modeling for rapid decision support: fast answers that are (mostly) correct”

Aaron Miller, University of Iowa
“Fine-grained spatiotemporal modeling for understanding the spread of hospital-acquired infections”

Eili Klein, Johns Hopkins University
“Healthcare worker mediated patient contact networks and the spread of disease”

Damon Toth, University of Utah
“Model-based insights on transmission and mitigation of multi-drug resistant organisms in healthcare facilities with high-risk populations”

Career Pathways for Master’s-Level Students and Professionals: Consulting Companies, Federal Government, & Healthcare Technology
Jun 23 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Susan Diaz, International Consortium for Blood Safety (ICBS)
Session Co-chair: Erin Bowles, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health research Institute

SER has a genuine commitment towards supporting and promoting their master’s-level professional membership. Sponsored by the SER Membership & Nominations Committee, 2021 will be the third year we hope to offer the master’s-level symposia as we continue to promote and expand membership of this growing group of scientists.

This session highlights career pathways of master’s-level SER members in the areas of consulting companies, federal government, and healthcare technology. We have recruited panelists from the public and private sector (CDC, NIOSH, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., and Aetion, Inc.) to provide a wide variety of perspectives to attendees. Panelists will provide brief overviews of their careers as master’s-level epidemiologists; and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion.

The overall objective of these two sessions is to highlight the valuable contribution of master’s-level students and professionals in the area of epidemiologic research, foster their professional growth inside and outside of SER, and demonstrate SER’s devotion to this esteemed portion of the membership.

Shilpi Misra, Center for Disease Control
“Master’s-Level Epidemiologist & ASPPH-CDC Fellow in Government, at the Federal Level”

Amy Baugher, Center for Disease Control
“Master’s-Level Infectious Disease Surveillance Epidemiologist in Government, at the Federal Level”

Megan Kemp, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.
“Master’s-Level Epidemiologist at a Consulting Company”

Amanda Kelly, Aetion, Inc.
“Master’s-Level Senior Scientist at a Healthcare Technology Company”

SPC Career Panel
Jun 23 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Precious Esie, Columbia University
Session Co-chair: Matthew Mietchen, Washington State University

Please join the Student & Post-Doc Committee (SPC) during this lunchtime session where panelists from academia, government, and the private sector will share experiences and advice from their career trajectories. Panelists will introduce themselves describing their expertise and experience, and then the session will be opened for audience questions and discussion.

Erin Kulick, Temple University

Paula Strassle, National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities

Karen Wernli, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Mahsa Yazdy, Massachusetts department of Public Health

Analytic methods for reducing bias in observational data
Jun 23 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Rich MacLehose, University of Minnesota

Etsuji Suzuki, Okayama University
“Marginal sufficient component cause model: an emerging causal model with authenticity?”

Jacqueline Rudolph, Emory University
“Time-varying incremental propensity score estimation of the effect of aspirin on pregnancy in the Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction trial”

Michelle Odden, Stanford University
“A comparison of regression discontinuity and propensity score matching to estimate the causal effects of statins using electronic health records”

Tiansheng Wang, University of North Carolina at chapel hill
“Iterative Causal Forest For Identifying Subgroups”

Lindsay Collin, Huntsman Cancer Institute
“Sampling validation data based on the desired precision of the bias-adjusted estimate of association”

Cardiovascular diseases: from surveillance to evidence synthesis
Jun 23 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Arnaud Chiolero, Bern

Ione Avila-Palencia, Drexel University
“Associations of urban environment features with hypertension and blood pressure across 230 Latin American cities”

Jingzhi Yu, Northwestern University
“Using deep learning to incorporate longitudinal health factors into 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk prediction in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)”

Farah Qureshi, Harvard University
“Using deep learning to incorporate longitudinal health factors into 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk prediction in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)”

Na Zeng, University of Ottawa
“Association of influenza vaccination with self-rated health and gender in Canadian adults with heart disease or stroke”

Jee Won Park, Brown University
“Systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between resilience resources and cardiovascular disease in the United States”

Infectious Diseases: Oral abstract Session
Jun 23 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Joanna Merckx, McGill University

Lindsey M. Filiatreau, university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Optimizing SARS-CoV-2 pooled testing strategies through incorporation of simple-to-implement symptom and exposure screening tools”

Seth Edmunds, Indiana University
“Predictive Model for Botulism Antitoxin Consultation”

Neal Goldstein, Drexel University
“Double adjustment in case ascertainment and uncertainty about date of infection in COVID-19 time series surveillance data”

Fausto Bustos Carrillo, University of California, Berkeley
“Spatial studies of infection and disease in explosive chikungunya and Zika epidemics in a prospective cohort study in Managua, Nicaragua, reveal bias of standard case-based infectious disease mapping”

Louisa H. Smith, Harvard University
“Challenges in estimating effects of COVID-19 on preterm birth”

Nima Hejazi, University of California, Berkeley
“Evaluation of causal vaccine efficacy under stochastic interventional shifts of an immunologic marker in COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trials”

Nutrition, obesity, and inflammation: consequences throughout the life course
Jun 23 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Janne Boone-Heinonen, Ohio State University

Marlon D. Joseph, Boston University
“A North American prospective cohort study of sugar-sweetened beverages consumption and semen quality”

Jacob Kresovich, National Institute of environmental Health Sciences
“Healthy eating patterns and epigenetic measures of biological age”

Isaac J. Ergas, Kaiser Permanente/University of California, Berkeley
“Hypothetical interventions on diet quality and lifestyle factors, and their impact on breast cancer survival: the Pathways Study”

Michael Wirth, University of South Carolina
“Longitudinal and Cross-sectional Associations between the Dietary Inflammatory Index and Objectively and Subjectively Measured Sleep among Police Officers”

Geetanjali Datta, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
“The impact of obesity on COVID-19 outcomes: the role of age and diabetes status”

Quaker harmon, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“Body mass index and C-reactive protein: time to revisit who has acute inflammation in population-based cohorts?”

Solution-focused research to reduce injuries and violence
Jun 23 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Kara Rudolph, Columbia University

Ava Kamb, Columbia University
“Associations between Rideshare Trips and Alcohol-Involved Motor Vehicle Crashes in Chicago”

Rose Kagawa, Unviversity of California, Davis
“Effects of comprehensive background check policies on firearm fatalities in four states”

Gonzalo Martínez-Alés, Columbia University
“The role of state-level household firearm ownership on 2001-2016 trends in firearm suicide rate in the United States: a hierarchical age-period-cohort analysis.”

Ava Hamilton, Columbia University
“Simulating the bounds of plausibility: estimating the impact of high-risk versus population-based approaches to prevent firearm injury”

Julia Schlemer, University of California, Davis
“Association of Unemployment and Violence and Crime in US Cities During the Coronavirus Pandemic”


Urban health and air pollution: novel methods and challenges in environmental epidemiology
Jun 23 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Tarik Benmarhnia, University of California, San Diego

Dana Goin, University of California, San Francisco
“Hyper-localized air pollution measures and preeclampsia in Oakland, California”

Amelia K. Wesselink, Boston University
“Air pollution and fecundability: Results from a Danish preconception cohort study”

Rachel Nethery, Harvard University
“Mid-term PM2.5 exposure and cardiovascular and thromboembolic hospitalizations in Medicare beneficiaries with high-risk chronic conditions”

Josiah Kephart, Drexel University
“The impact of mobility on COVID-19 incidence and disparities at the sub-city level in 314 Latin American cities”

Yaguang Wei, Harvard University
“Assessing additive effects of air pollutants on mortality rate in Massachusetts”

Cancer epidemiology: Lessons from the Sister Study and innovative uses of surveillance data
Jun 23 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Zinzi Bailey, University of Miami

Jihye Park, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Depression, Current Antidepressant Use, and Breast Cancer Risk: Findings from the Sister Study”

Katie O’Brien, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“Vitamin D supplement use and risk of breast cancer by race/ethnicity”

Danielle A. Duarte, National Cancer Institute
“Early-life agricultural pesticide exposure as a risk factor for thyroid cancer in the Sister Study cohort”

Mandy Goldberg, national Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“History of gestational hypertensive disorders and breast cancer risk in the Sister Study cohort”

Paris Offor, San Diego State University
“Evidence of Stage Shift in US Lung Cancer Diagnosis, 2009-2016”

Todd Golden, National Cancer Institute
“Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care: Longitudinal surveillance of pathology volume”

Mental Health: Recent trends, advances in measurement, and racial/ethnic patterns
Jun 23 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Sidra Goldman-Mellor, University of California, Merced

Estelle El Khoury, New York University
“Associations Between Race/Ethnicity and Mental Health Outcomes in 5 Southern U.S. Cities During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Melanie S. Askari, Columbia University
“Age, period, and cohort trends in perceived mental health treatment gaps in the United States, 2002-2019”

Jonathan Platt, Columbia University
“Racial disparities in adolescent suicide clusters: trends over time and space”

Anna Larsen, university for Washington
“Epidemiologic evaluation of three depression screening tools among postpartum Kenyan women”

Meghan L. Smith, Boston University
“Latent Class Analysis to Determine Classes of Psychopathology Following Traumatic Experiences in the Danish Population”

Marine Azevedo Da Silva, McGill University
“Early childhood exposure to food insecurity and adolescent mental health in the United States”

Methods in Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology
Jun 23 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Bizu Gelaye, Harvard University

Sarah-Truclinh Tran, Ohio State
“Using group-based latent-class trajectory modeling to identify distinct patterns of gestational weight gain in a safety-net population”

Abigail Cartus, university of Pittsburgh
“Can we use ensemble machine learning to accurately identifiy severe maternal morbidity in a perinatal database?”

Chelsea Messinger, Harvard University
“Collider stratification bias in the surveillance of outcomes related to infections in pregnancy: an example from cytomegalovirus and lessons for COVID-19”

Marion Ouidir, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
“Genomic study of early pregnancy maternal lipid traits revealed four known adult lipid loci”

Ana Lucia Espinosa Dice, Brown University
“Development of a predictive model to identify women with recent gestational diabetes at high risk for progression to postpartum impaired glucose intolerance”

Sandra Kiplagat, University of Arizona, Tucson
“Examining the Moderating Role of Accredited Social Health Activists Home Visits and Accompanied Antenatal Care Visits on Preterm Birth and Low Birth Weight in Rural Mysore District, India”

Novel questions and innovative methods in aging epidemiology
Jun 23 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Elizabeth Rose Mayeda, University of California, Los Angeles

Eleanor Hayes-Larson, University of California, Los Angeles
“Generalizability of a diverse cohort on cognitive aging to the target population of older adults in California without dementia: Findings from the KHANDLE study”

L. Paloma Rojas-Saunero, Erasmus MC
“Toward a clearer understanding of the inverse association between cancer and dementia”

Ryan M. Andrews, Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology
“Examining the causal mediating role of cardiovascular factors on the relationship between physical activity and cognitive impairment via separable effects mediation analysis”

Jacqueline Torres, University of California, San Francisco
“Adult child education and older parents’ cognitive decline: A longitudinal, cross-national study”

Robin Richardson, Columbia University
“Determinants of loneliness in older adulthood: a decomposition of 20 countries”

Kristina Dang, University of California, San Francisco
“The association of education and neighborhood racial composition on cognitive function and decline in a nationally-representative sample”

Sex, Drugs and Infectious Diseases (HIV, HCV, HPV)
Jun 23 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Gregg Gonsalves, Yale University

Trena Mukherjee, Columbia university
“Patterns of Police Victimization among Women who use Drugs and Engage in Sex Work in Kazakhstan”

Alexandria Macmadu, Brown University
“Association of crack cocaine use frequency with HIV disease progression: A prospective cohort study”

Catherine Lesko, Johns Hopkins University
“Alcohol use disorder and recent alcohol use and HIV viral non-suppression among people engaged in HIV care in an urban clinic, 2013-2018”

Daniel Brook, Ohio State University
“The Relationship Between Hepatitis C Virus Rates and Office-Based Buprenorphine Prescribing in Ohio”

Ruby Barnard-Mayers, Boston University
“A case study and proposal for publishing pre-analytic directed acyclic graphs: The effectiveness of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine in perinatally HIV exposed girls”

Speed Networking (*Pre-Registration Required)
Jun 24 @ 7:00 am – 7:45 am

Session Co-chair: Precious Esie, Columbia University
Session Co-chair: Matthew Mietchen, Washington State University

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and network with early and mid-career epidemiologists in five small groups. Following a “speed dating” format, two mentors will be paired with 3-4 attendees at a time, and attendees will rotate breakout groups during the session with the intention of meeting all mentors. This will be an opportunity to network with potential mentors and discuss career and professional development experiences and opportunities. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

Click here to register.

Laura Balzer, University of Massachusetts, Amerst
Lorraine Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, National Institute of Health
Brian Whitcomb, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Chanelle Howe, Brown University
Carrie Nobles, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, University of Washington

Plenary Session 2
Jun 24 @ 8:00 am – 9:45 am

Session Chair: Jay Kaufman, McGill University

Ellicott Matthay, University of California, San Francisco
Lilienfeld Postdoctoral Prize Paper Award Winner

Fausto Bustos, University of California, Berkeley
Tyroler Student Prize Paper Award Winner

Elizabeth Rose Mayeda, University of California, Los Angeles
2020 Brian MacMahon Early Career Epidemiologist Award Winner

Helena Hansen, University of California, Los Angeles
Cassel Lecturer
(Live Q&A Moderated by Jay Kaufman)

Are Reproductive Function and Pregnancy Associated with Long-Term Health?
Jun 24 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Penny Howards, Emory University
Session Co-chair: Helen Chin, George Mason University

Nydjie Grimes, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“Anti-Mullerian Hormone Levels and Breast Cancer Risk in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation”

Leslie V. Farland, University of Arizona
“Infertility, infertility diagnoses, and risk of cardiovascular disease”

Sonia M. Grandi, National Institute of Child Health and Human Services
“Long-term mortality in women with pregnancy loss and modification by race/ethnicity”

Christine R. Langton, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“Association of preterm birth with risk of early natural menopause”

Ugochinyere Vivian Ukah, McGill University
“Severe maternal morbidity and cardiovascular disease”

Cancer research across the care continuum
Jun 24 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Jennifer Lund, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Session Co-chair: Alexandra White, National Institutes of Health

Danielle N. Medgyesi, National Cancer Institute
“Disinfection by-products and nitrate ingestion and risk of endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women”

Alexandra J. White, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“Exposure to particle radioactivity and breast cancer risk in a US-wide prospective cohort”

Kamala Adhikari, Alberta Health Services
“Up to date patterns for colorectal cancer screening: Low uptake in a population with no regular primary care provider”

Tarlise Townsend, New York University
“Cancer and the overdose crisis: Opioid prescribing in patients with cancer, 2008-2018”

Kristin J. Moore, University of Minnesota
“Minority children experience higher risk of death from many central nervous system tumor types even after accounting for treatment received and socioeconomic status: An analysis of the National Cancer Database (NCDB)”

Ensuring Equitable Policies
Jun 24 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Chair: Caroline Thompson, San Diego State University

Dakota Cintron, University of California, San Francisco
“Does research on social policies typically evaluate heterogeneous treatment effects? A quantitative assessment of a contemporary sample of articles in epidemiology, medicine, and economics”

Ariel breccia, University of Massachusetts
“Who benefits from nondiscrimination protections? A multilevel analysis of state-level LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination policies and frequent mental distress at the intersection of gender, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity”

Huiyun Kim, University of Minnesota
“Heterogeneous Treatment Effects of Housing Vouchers on Long-term Neighborhood Opportunity for Children”

Elliott C. Matthew, University of California, San Francisco
“Preventing NIMBY-ism in recreational cannabis: A geospatial analysis of the association of local alcohol and cannabis policies with alcohol and cannabis outlet co-location in California”

Mats Stensrud, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
“Non-discriminatory allocation of limited health resources”

Erline Martinez-Miller, University of Texas, South Western
“Aging into Medicare among a senior food pantry population: an assessment of food security, health, and food pantry use over time”

Pharmacoepidemiology –
Jun 24 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Chair: Robert Platt, McGill University

Milena Gianfrancesco, University of California, San Francisco
“Effectiveness of TNFi versus non-TNFi biologics on disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: data from the ACR’s RISE registry”

Jessica C Young, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Probabilistic Bias Analyses Assessing Outcome Misclassification: An Illustration using Linked EHR and Claims Data to Evaluate Prolonged Opioid Use Following Surgery”

Rachael Ross, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Nondifferential exposure misclassification in active comparator studies: drivers of bias away from the null”

Joshua Black, Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety
“Difference in mortality assessment due to the definition of overdose when using death certificate text”

Gretchen Bandoli, University of California, San Diego
“Quantification Of Medication-Mediated Effects On Pregnancy Outcome In Women With Rheumatic Conditions”

Race, Place and Social Context: Conceptual, Methodological and Empirical Contributions
Jun 24 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Chair: Chandra Ford, University of California, Los Angeles

Thu T. Nguyen, University of California, San Francisco
“Identifying COVID-19 signs, symptoms, and health impacts using natural language processing on Twitter data”

George Pro, University of Arkansas
“A national time series analysis of community vulnerability and COVID-19 mortality”

Chantel Martin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“The Embodiment of Place: Neighborhood police-reported crime during pregnancy and DNA methylation in stress-related genes”

Jonathan S. russel, Columbia University
“Association between neighborhood stigma and HIV risk behaviors among Black MSM in the Neighborhoods and Networks (N2) Cohort Study”

Jaquelyn Jahn, City University of New York
“Gestational Exposure to Fatal Police Violence and Pregnancy Loss in US Core Based Statistical Areas, 2013-2015”

Brooke Staley, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Improving pedagogy: A doctoral student initiative to integrate race and ethnicity into the epidemiology curriculum”

The COVID pandemic – prevention, prediction, sequalae and disparities
Jun 24 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Chair: Stephen Hawes, University of Washington

Kellyn Arnold, University of Leeds
“The human cost of inaction: A counterfactual analysis of the effect of lockdown timing on COVID-19 cases and deaths in England”

Ayesha Sania, Columbia University
“An agent-based model for transmission and control of COVID-19 epidemic in Bangladesh”

Sina Kianersi, Indiana University
“A cross-sectional analysis of demographic and behavioral risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity among a sample of U.S. college students”

Zara Izadi, University of California, San Francisco
“Machine Learning Algorithms to Predict COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Patients with Rheumatic Diseases: Results from the Global Rheumatology Alliance Provider Registry”

Rachel Zeig-Owens, Fire Department of the City of New York
“Sequalae of COVID-19 six months post infection in Fire Department of the City of New York first responders”

Lauren Zalla, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Direct and indirect effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on mortality in the US: Differences by age, sex, race/ethnicity and region”

Guidance for Master’s-Level Epidemiologists Considering Returning to School to Pursue Doctoral Studies
Jun 24 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Susan Diaz, National Institutes of Health
Session Co-chair: Erin Bowles, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

SER has a genuine commitment towards supporting and promoting their master’s-level professional membership. Sponsored by the SER Membership & Nominations Committee, 2021 will be the third year we hope to offer the Master’s-Level Symposia as we continue to promote and expand membership of this growing group of scientists.

This session is dedicated to supporting SER master’s-level students and professionals contemplating returning to school to pursue doctoral Studies. In the SER Master’s-Level Survey of 2017, 24.4% planned to return to school to pursue doctoral studies (DrPH/PhD). In a traditional panel format, master’s-level and doctoral-level epidemiologists working in a variety of settings will answer questions from master’s-level attendees contemplating returning to school to pursue doctoral degrees (DrPH/PhD).

The overall objective of these two sessions is to highlight the valuable contribution of master’s-level students and professionals in the area of epidemiologic research, foster their professional growth inside and outside of SER, and demonstrate SER’s devotion to this esteemed portion of the membership.

Emahlea Jackson, University of Washington
“Double Master’s-Level Student in Nutrition and Epidemiology & Current Applicant for Doctoral Track in Epidemiology (UW SPH)”

Ashley Geczik, Drexel University
“Former Master’s-Level, Epidemiology Research Analyst in Government, at the Federal Level (NCI) & Current Doctoral Student in Epidemiology (Drexel SPH)”

Nedghie Adrien, Boston University
“Former Master’s-Level Epidemiologist in Government, at the Federal Level (CDC Foundation) & Current Doctoral Student in Epidemiology (BUSPH)”

Rebecca Ehrenkranz, university of Pittsburgh
“Former Master’s-Level, Surveillance Epidemiologist in Government, at the Federal Level (NIH/NCI) & Current Doctoral Student in Epidemiology (Pitt SPH)”

Rachael Ross, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Former Master’s-Level Epidemiologist at an Academic – Medical Center (CHOP) & Current Doctoral Student in Epidemiology (UNC Gillings)”

Robert C. Orellana, CDC COVID-19 Corps Response team
“Doctoral-Level, Senior Epidemiologist in the Federal Government (CDC COVID-19 Corps Response Team) & Former Epidemiologist at the State Level”

Michelle Crozier, University of South Florida
“Doctoral-Level, Professor of Epidemiology, at a School of Public Health & Director of a Health Sciences Collegiate Academy”

Emily Goldmann, New York University
“Doctoral-Level, Professor of Psychiatric & Social Epidemiology, at a School of Public Health”

Anne Mobley Butler, Washington University
“Doctoral-Level, Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases, at a Medical School”

Stephen S. Morse, Columbia University
“Doctoral-Level, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, at a School of Public Health”

Let’s Connect:  A Meet the American Journal of Epidemiology Staff and Editors Virtual Event 
Jun 24 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Session Chair: Enrique Schisterman, AJE Editor-in-Chief

As a commemoration of the Centennial Anniversary of the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE), the journal will host an informal discussion between SER attendees and a variety of AJE staff members and editors. Have you ever had questions for the staff and editors, but never had the opportunity to ask? Have you ever wanted to pass along an idea for future direction, but never found just the right time or place? Well, this is your chance! Many avenues of conversation are possible, so come with your questions and comments and, as AJE enters its next 100 years, we will see where the discussion takes us.

Lori Biddle, AJE Assistant Managing Editor

Chanelle Howe, AJE Associate Editor

Ichiro Kawachi, AJE Editor

Polly Marchbanks, AJE Editor

Shruti Mehta, AJE Editor

Mentorship Roundtable
Jun 24 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Session Chair: Stephen Gilman, National Institute of Child health and Human Development

Purpose: 1) To inform young and junior epidemiologists about the benefits of good mentorship; 2) To empower young and junior epidemiologists so that they can initiate, create, and give direction to sustainable, productive, and efficient mentor/mentee relationships; and 3) To provide practical strategies for capitalizing on communities of collaborators so as to sustain a productive career in epidemiology in the face of internal (e.g. lack of direction/purpose, lack of conflict resolution skills or resilience strategies) and external factors (e.g. ability to respond to manuscript/grant reviewers, ability to respond to unhealthy mentor/mentee relationships, illness, divorce, parenting responsibilities).

Importance: The future of the Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER) relies on the next generation of young epidemiologists. Requisite to a productive, and ultimately successful, career in epidemiology are high quality mentee/mentor relationships. Young epidemiologists in academia face an array of internal and external challenges that may not be considered or discussed in their academic trajectory. The goal of this professional development roundtable is to discuss practical ways in which building strong mentorship relationships can help younger epidemiologists to address these challenges, from the perspectives of: 1) a Postdoctoral Fellow; 2) an Assistant Professor; 3) an Associate Professor, and 4) a Full Professor in epidemiology.

Jamaica R.M. Robinson, Columbia University

Marcia Pescador Jimenez, Harvard University

David S. Lopez, University of Texas

Oneyebuchi Arah, University of California, Los Angeles


‘Wish You Were Here’: Methods and Applications of Multidisciplinary Research at the Intersection of Social and Environmental Epidemiology and Informatics
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Nrupen Bhavsar, Duke University
Session Co-chair: Katherine Moon, Johns Hopkins University

There is a parallel increase in epidemiologic research on the structural, social, and environmental drivers of health and healthcare utilization and in epidemiologic research that leverages data from electronic health records. The intersection of these fields – termed by some as social informatics – aims to capture and apply social and environmental data with electronic health record data to identify determinants of health, drivers of health disparities, and promote both individual and population health. The speakers in this session will provide a brief overview of research that addresses methodological challenges when using these data for epidemiologic research and examples of applied research in this space. Topics to be discussed include potential biases in identifying the study population and mismeasurement of study variables with a focus on practical methods to account for these biases. A significant portion of time will be allocated for discussion with panel and attendees.

Nrupen Bhavsar, Duke University
“I’ll Be Missing You: Using deterministic and probabilistic record linkage approaches to identify residential mobility in the electronic health record”

Annemarie Hirsch, Geisinger
“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for: Social and environmental data in electronic health records”

Joan Casey, Columbia University
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing: Using All the Available EHR Data”

Felice Le-Scherban, Drexel Dornsife University
“With or without you: Quantifying socioeconomic status in pediatric EHR data”


Beyond face value: Surveillance data during COVID-19
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Neal Goldstein, Drexel University 

Data obtained through surveillance activities of state and local health departments formed the backbone of the COVID-19 pandemic response. These data were used to assess the trajectory of the pandemic, evaluate mitigation strategies, and reveal disparities by populations, places, and time periods. These data were collected at an unprecedented rate often by extremely overworked and fatigued health departments. Understandably, the surveillance data shared by health departments may not represent the true state of the pandemic: indeed, an imperfect diagnostic test and differential access to testing plagued much of the early response, and we still struggle to estimate the pandemic’s true scope. At the same time health departments were collecting data, researchers in a variety of disciplines, including public health, were often using surveillance data reported by health departments at face value without consideration of the potential for biases. This session focuses on the challenges and opportunities COVID-19 surveillance data present along with innovative methodological approaches for dealing with imperfect data, all in an effort to improve the pandemic response. Speakers are from varied specialties including the health department, ecology, statistics, and epidemiology.

E. Claire Newbern, Philadelphia Department of Public Health
“The health department experience collecting and using COVID-19 surveillance data”

Harlan Campbell, University of British Columbia
“Bayesian adjustment for preferential testing in estimating the COVID-19 infection fatality rate”

Igor Burstyn, Drexel University
“Misclassification of COVID-19 surveillance data”

Katelyn M. Gostic, University of Chicago
“Noisy lagged and incomplete: deconvolution and other methods to estimate the effective reproductive number from imperfect data”

Matthew Fox, Boston University

Beyond the DAG: Bridges across different worlds and potential outcomes
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Ian Shrier, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish general hospital

Causal directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) were first proposed approximately 30 years ago. Yet, their inclusion in published articles was rare until recently. Although traditional DAGs are consistent with counterfactual theory and are very useful for many researchers, they have important limitations. An alternative to traditional DAGs known as single world intervention graphs (SWIGs) was proposed 7 years ago by Richardson and Robins. Recent work has highlighted how SWIGs can address additional important questions, but most causal inference epidemiologists have only a limited understanding of these benefits. The objective of this symposium is to explain the fundamentals of SWIGs, and to show the types of research questions it can help answer.

This symposium features talks from three people who have led the development of SWIGs and extended its applicability to an increasing number of research questions. The first presentation will provide an introduction to SWIGs, including concepts of node-splitting, adjustment formula and the g-formula for time-dependent confounding. The second presentation will explain how using the interventionist type approach that underlies SWIGs allows one to approach mediation questions from a different perspective. The third presentation will illustrate a potential outcomes calculus, which is more consistent with potential outcomes philosophy, and is simpler than the do-calculus of DAGs.

Thomas S. Richardson, University of Washington
“Mediation analyses: Insights from an interventionist approach”

Ilya Shpitser, Johns Hopkins University
“Simplifying the do-calculus: Insights from the potential outcomes calculus”

James Robins, Harvard University

Vanessa Didelez, ProfeLeibniz Institute for Prevention Research & Epidemiology, Germany

Designing for impact: epidemiologic methods for implementation science
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Megha L. Mehrotra, California Department of Public Health
Session Co-chair: Aaloke Mody, Washington University School of Medicine

Implementation science research seeks to understand how interventions operate in the context of complex systems in order to bridge the gap between epidemiologic research and public health impact. Answering these questions requires innovative study designs that can embrace heterogeneity and prioritize external validity. In this symposium, we highlight the work of early-career (postdoctoral scholar, junior faculty, and government epidemiologist) researchers who are each using innovative study designs and epidemiologic methods to answer questions rooted in implementation science. We will begin with a brief introduction to implementation science and highlight some of the unique difficulties in conducting this type of research. Speakers will each present on a particular methodological challenge and give an example of study design or approach they have used to answer an implementation science question. We will conclude with a short discussion.

Aaloke Mody, Washington University
“An analysis of implementation of universal HIV treatment in Zambia”

Ingrid Eshun-Wilson, Washington University
“Discrete choice experiments to inform implementation strategies: preferences for HIV service delivery in Zambia”

Lina Montoya, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Estimating effects from a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial with application to the ADAPT-R Trial”

Megha L. Mehrotra, California Department of Public Health
“Designing transportable studies: estimating the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in California”

Elvin Geng, Washington University

Epidemiologists as Clinical Trialists
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Chair: Pamela Rist, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Many sessions at SER focus on innovative observational study designs and cutting-edge methods which can be used to analyze data from these designs. Less attention is given to the unique role of clinical trials in epidemiologic research and the training needed to conduct clinical trials. However, as their careers progress, some epidemiologists find themselves becoming involved in clinical trials to address novel and important research questions.
The goal of this session is to provide members of SER with insights about the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical trials. We will start with a discussion of why clinical trials are useful and then each speaker will provide insights on a different aspect of clinical trials based on their own research experiences. We will conclude the session with some practical advice for those who are interested in conducting their own clinical trials.

Paul Ridker, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
“Why do we still need clinical trials?”

Howard Sesso, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
“Designing your trial: an example from primary prevention research”

Peter Wayne, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
“Choosing your control group: an example from integrative medicine”

Robert Glynn, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
“Analyzing your results: an example from cardiovascular disease”

Julie Buring, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
“What does it take to do a trial?”

The SER Diversity and Inclusion Survey: What’s next?
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Elizabeth A. DeVilbiss, National Institutes of Health
Session Co-chair: David Fink, Columbia University

SER’s commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) begins with YOU. Our D&I committee was formed to improve engagement with all members. To better understand member diversity and perceptions of inclusion, we deployed the 1st SER membership survey in 2018 and over 600 of you shared your views. Thank you! The data were reported in AJE in 2020 alongside member-contributed commentaries. This symposium addresses what we learned from the survey and what’s next.

The member survey will allow us to track change over time but is only one tool for improving the diversity and inclusion within SER. Prior to the implementation of the 2nd SER membership survey in 2021, we have an opportunity to make meaningful progress towards a more diverse and inclusive SER through discussion, evaluation, and implementation of suggestions from current SER members, particularly from individuals implementing similar initiatives in their workplaces. Successful systematic implementation requires SER members and leadership to be actively involved in these discussions. Fundamental change cannot be left solely to members of the D&I committee, as change must be integrated throughout all levels of the organization. By bringing together SER leadership, the D&I committee, commentary authors, and all members, this symposium provides an opportunity for reaching out to members to participate in making SER more diverse and inclusive and to provide a route of action for implementing meaningful change within SER.

Elizabeth DeVilbiss, Nation Institutes of Health
“SER D&I Survey: overview, challenges & lessons learned, and what’s next”

David Fink, Columbia University
“SER D&I Survey: overview, challenges & lessons learned, and what’s next”

Chandra Jackson, National Institutes of Health
“Opportunities for improving D&I in Epidemiology”

Brooke Jarrett, Johns Hopkins University
“Recommendations for SER to Further Promote D&I”

Lan Doan, New York University
“Epidemiologists Count: The Role of Diversity and Inclusion in the Field of Epidemiology”

Victor Puac-Polanco, Harvard University
“A Diverse and Inclusive Academic Membership for All”

Jen Ahern, University of California, Berkeley

Jay Kaufman, McGill University

Martha Werler, Boston University

Transforming the future of epidemiologic practice through justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI): Practical considerations and lessons learned
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Hoda S. Abdel Magid, Stanford University
Session Co-chair: David J.X. Gonzalez, Stanford University
Session Co-chair: Michelle Odden, Department of Health Research and Policy

Fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments in universities is a critical part of transforming the future of epidemiologic practice. Recently, there have been increased calls for work on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in response to issues reiterated by Black Lives Matter, one of the largest sociopolitical movements in US history. New and renewed efforts have emerged at universities to address historic inequities within departments and between institutions and the broader society, continuing long-standing work to promote JEDI in public health. This symposium will bring together student and faculty leaders from a broad set of institutions to discuss their work implementing JEDI initiatives.

The panelists will discuss work on a variety of ongoing JEDI initiatives at their institutions. Topics to be covered will include: developing varying models for implementing JEDI initiatives within and outside schools of public health; recruitment of students, faculty, and staff from historically excluded backgrounds; developing inclusive curricula; faculty training; approaches to evaluating progress on JEDI efforts, including equity audits and reviews; and long-term sustainability of JEDI work. The symposium will cover practical considerations and lessons learned, as well as barriers the faced by the organizers and how they were addressed. Following presentations on efforts from each department there will be time for questions and broader discussion.

Julie Daniels, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jenifer Balkus, University of Washington

Yasaman Zia, University of Washington

Leslie McClure, Drexel University

Lisa Bates, Columbia University

John R. Pamplin, Columbia University

Mamie Bertolet, University of Pittsburgh

Anthony Fabio, University of Pittsburgh


What has it meant to be an epidemiologist in 2020: 2021 redux
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Sonja A. Swanson, Erasmus University
Session Co-chair: Timothy Lash, Emory University

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, pandemic response, social and cultural movements, and numerous other local and global events in 2020, many epidemiologists are probing the meaning of epidemiology as a discipline and practice, and what it means to be an epidemiologist. Epidemiologists’ work has been profoundly impacted, regardless of whether we work on infectious disease or in other subdisciplines; whether we work in academia, government, industry, or other settings; whether we took on additional caregiver responsibilities or experienced personal hardships; whether we took on new roles to serve our communities in addition to our usual work…the list goes on. Further, many epidemiologists are making profound impacts. Our collective experiences in 2020 will shape the future of our field. With this in mind, the editors of EPIDEMIOLOGY commissioned a series of commentaries with the theme of reflecting on this question: “What has it meant for me to be an epidemiologist in 2020?” Our goal was to obtain a wide range of voices regarding work setting, topic area, gender identity, race/ethnicity, career stage, and geography. 20 contributors wrote powerful essays, appearing in the January 2021 issue of the journal. Here we invited five of them to offer further reflections and updates, followed by ample time for audience reflections and discussion.

Jasmine Ko Aqua, Emory university
“Hiding Behind a Mask: Perspectives from an Asian American Epidemiologist”

Sharrelle Barber, Drexel University
“Silence Is No Longer an Option: Reflections on Racism and Resistance in the Midst of Coronavirus Disease”

Adrian Gerard Barnett, Queensland University of Technology
“Facebook Epidemiology in Place of Textbook Epidemiology”

Usama Bilal, Drexel University
“What Has It Meant for Me to Be an Epidemiologist in 2020?”

L. Paloma Rojas-Saunero, Erasmus University
“In the Midst of Two Realities”

What Has the Pandemic Revealed about the Shortcomings of Modern Epidemiology? What Can We Fix or Do Better?
Jun 24 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Session Co-chair: Michelle Dimitris, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Session Co-chair: Robert Platt, McGill University

This symposium IS NOT intended to criticize specific policies or individuals at the forefront of the ongoing pandemic response. This symposium IS intended to provide constructive criticisms of modern epidemiology as a science. For many, the past year has involved substantial reflection on important topics. For epidemiologists, this includes reflection on the science of epidemiology as currently constituted. We’ve observed vaccine development and advancements in treatment of COVID-19 occur with unprecedented efficiency. Epidemiologists have undoubtedly been involved in these efforts. Yet, it is particularly striking that many of our public health recommendations (i.e. social distancing, widespread use of non-medical masks) may be similar to those recommended during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Additionally, many jurisdictions have struggled to employ contact tracing at the scale required to understand and prevent transmission. What have we missed between 1918 and 2020? This symposium is intended to highlight limitations of modern epidemiology as currently constituted, including the research questions we ask, the availability of data and utility of current data capture systems, the interpretation and communication of our analyses – to scientists, policy-makers, and the public and the challenges of developing and studying interventions. Did modern epidemiology meet the moment? What can we do better? Let’s discuss.

Sandro Galea, Boston University
“Epistemic Arrogance and the Global Pandemic”

Whitney Robinson, University of North Carolina at Chapel hill
“Not seeing the forest for the trees: Conditional statistics & workforce homogeneity”

An Pan, Tongji Medical College
“COVID-19 Epidemic and Public Health Interventions in Wuhan: What Have We Learnt?”

Beate Sander, University Health Network, Toronto
“Data Systems, Availability, and Modeling during the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Assessing Climate Change Impacts: Evolving Methods
Jun 24 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Jyotsna Jagai, University of Illinois Chicago

Mary Willis, Oregon State University
“Residential Green Space and Fecundability in a North American Preconception Cohort Study”

Irena Gorski-Steiner, Johns hopkins University
“Associations of unconventional natural gas development activity with adolescent internalizing disorders”

Arjita Rai, New York State Department of Health
“Assessing the Effect of Increasing Precipitation on Asthma Emergency Department Visits in New York State from 2005-2014”

Megan Richards, University of California, San Diego
“Heat waves and emergency department visits among the homeless”

Lara Schwarz, University of California, San Diego
“Heat waves and emergency department visits among the homeless”

Epidemiology of Health Behaviors Across the Lifespan
Jun 24 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Dayna Johnson, Emory University

Paula Bordelois, Columbia University
“Childhood Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior Problems and Cardiovascular and Diabetes Mellitus Risk in Adolescence”

Susanna Mitro, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
“Longitudinal changes in physical activity during pregnancy by race/ethnicity, body mass index, and parity: the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies–Singletons”

Chandra Ford, DLH Holdings Corp
“Exposure to allergens in the bedroom and sleep health”

Ijeamaka Anyone, Kaiser Permanente
“Plant-based dietary patterns and breast cancer recurrence and survival in the Pathways Study”

Gillian A.M. Tarr, University of Minnesota
“Self-Efficacy’s Influence on Outings and Contacts During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Jeffrey Rewley, University of Pennsylvania
“Team diversity increases step counts in collaborative arms, and reduces them in competitive arms of a behavioral gamification intervention trial”

Health Disparities
Jun 24 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Felice Le-Scherban, Drexel University

Adrea R. Titus, New York University
“Are we overcounting deaths attributable to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and underestimating disparities? An analysis of SHS-attributable lung cancer and ischemic heart disease deaths among U.S. adults”

Nadav L. Sprague, Columbia University
“These disparities are rubbish: a block-group spatial analysis on racial disparities of litter bins in New York Cityter bins in New York City”

Laura McPherson, Emory University
“Geographic differences in racial disparities in access to the kidney transplant waitlist”

Min Hee Kim, University of California, San Francisco
“School racial segregation and long-term cardiovascular health in the United States”

Cristian Carmeli, University of Fribourg
“Educational inequalities in all-cause mortality: the mediating role of epigenetic ageing in a multi-cohort study and meta-analysis”

Policy effects, target trials, simulations, and forecasting: creative methods in substance use epidemiology
Jun 24 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Luis Segura, Columbia University

Natalie S. Levy, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
“What is the true prevalence of drug use in the general population? Simulating underreported and unknown use for more accurate national estimates”

Michelle Nolan, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
“Nowcasting drug overdose deaths in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic using emergency department syndromic surveillance data and machine learning methods”

Tiany Sun, University of Rhode Island
“An Application of Marginal Structural Models to Evaluate Buprenorphine-Naloxone Effects on Opioid Overdose and Death among Patients with Opioid Use Disorder”

Bennett Allen, New York University
“Cycles of chronic opioid therapy following prescription drug monitoring program mandatory use legislation: A retrospective cohort study”

Courtney Maierhofer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Association between statewide opioid prescribing interventions and opioid prescribing patterns in North Carolina, 2006–2018”

Jun 24 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Jaime Slaughter-Acey, University of Minnesota

Sandie Ha, University of California, Merced
“Associations between disability and infertility among U.S. reproductive age women”

Jane Seymour, Boston University
“Assessment of geographic misclassification: Comparing block-, block group-, and county-level measures of abortion accessibility in the United States”

Kerry SJ Flannagan, National Institute of Environmental health Sciences
“Associations of opioid use with reproductive hormones and anovulation”

Ruth J. Geller, Boston University School of Public Health
“Factors associated with enrollment and retention in a North American internet-based preconception cohort”

Stephanie Eick, University of California, San Francisco
“Joint effects of prenatal exposure to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances and psychosocial stressors on corticotropin releasing hormone during pregnancy”

Kristen Moore, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Seroprevalence and Incidence and Growth of Ultrasound-Diagnosed Uterine Fibroids in a Large Population of Young African-American Women”

So Much More than GWAS: How Genetics can Strengthen Causal Inference
Jun 24 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Christy Avery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Arjun Bhattacharya, University of California, Los Angeles
“Mediator-enriched placental transcriptome-wide analyses of 40 traits reveal genetic mechanisms that support the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis”

Carlos Cinelli, University of California, Los Angeles
“Robust Mendelian randomization in the presence of residual population stratification, batch effects and horizontal pleiotropy”

Brian T. Steffen, University of Minnesota
“Proteomics identified novel proteins associated with genetic risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC)”

Mohammad Sazzad Hasan, McGill University
“Risk of Hematopoietic Cancer in Congenital Heart Diseased Children with or without Genetic Syndromes”

Mary Schooling, University of Hong Kong
“Type II error in large genome wide association studies – causes, consequences and amelioration”

Meytal Chernoff, The University of Chicago
“Shared and population-specific associations of genetic variation in the 10q24.32/AS3MT region with arsenic metabolism efficiency”

We’ve got a plan for that: Methods to avoid oversimplification and address bias and validity in epidemiologic research
Jun 24 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session Chair: Jeanette Stingone, Columbia University

Erin M. Schnellinger, University of Pennsylvania
“Accounting for Survivor Bias in Transplant Benefit Models”

Lydia Feinstein, Social & Scientific Systems
“When Two Worlds Collide: The Convergence of Machine Learning and Epidemiologic Methods for Complex Survey Data”

Dana M. Alhasan, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“Using INLA-SPDE spatial modeling to Examine Associations Between Neighborhood Characteristics and Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia”

Grace E. Mulholland, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Extending target validity when estimating the incidence of late sequelae of SARS-CoV-2”

Richard MacLehose, University fo Minnesota
“The Importance of Making Assumptions in Bias Analysis”

Plenary Session 3
Jun 25 @ 8:00 am – 9:45 am

Session Chair: Jennifer Ahern, University of California, Berkeley 

Ana Diez Roux, University of Michigan
Kenneth Rothman Career Accomplishment Award Winner

Lisa Bodnar, University of Pittsburgh 
Carol J. Rowland Hogue Mid-Career Award Winner

Malcolm Maclure, University of British Columbia
Marshall Joffe Epidemiologic Methods Research Award Winner

Kara Rudolph, Columbia University
Brian MacMahon Early Career Award Winner

Whitney Robinson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Noel Weiss and Tom Koepsell Excellence In Education Winner

Can we simulate solutions to the opioid overdose crisis?
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Magdalena Cerda, New York University
Session Co-chair: Katherine Keyes, Columbia University

The opioid overdose crisis is driven by an intersecting set of social, political, and economic forces. Simulation models offer a tool to help us understand and address this complex, dynamic, nonlinear, social phenomenon. This symposium offers insights from the latest, cutting-edge simulation projects to identify solutions to the opioid overdose crisis in the United States. We showcase studies illustrating the use of simulation models to answer the broadest to the most granular questions, including: a systematic review of the literature on simulation models of opioid use and overdose; a national model of the opioid crisis to inform federal policy; a state-level compartmental model to inform state policy on treatment for opioid use disorder in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Kentucky; a county-level agent-based model of local barriers and facilitators to treatment and harm reduction intervention sustainability across New York State; and a microsimulation of opioid use dynamics in local communities in North Carolina. Through presentations on studies that simulate the impact of overdose prevention interventions from the national to the local level, using a range of different types of simulation approaches, we hope to illustrate the role simulation models can play in current federal, state, and local policy efforts to address one of the leading public health problems facing the US today.

Magdalena Cerda, New York University
“The promise of simulation models to track and address the opioid crisis: a systematic review”

Mohammad S. Jalali, Harvard University
“Modeling the Opioid Crisis to Support National Policy Development”

Jagpreet Chhatawal, Harvard University
“The synergistic effects of increasing methadone and buprenorphine admission and retention rates on opioid overdose deaths in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio”

Katherine M. Keyes, Columbia University
“Effects of Increasing Buprenorphine and Naloxone Access on Opioid Overdose Mortality in NY State: County-level Estimates From an Agent-Based Simulation Model”

Georgiy Bobashev, RTI International
“Modeling Interventions Effects on Opioid Misuse and Overdose Deaths in North Carolina and Local Communities”


Cautionary Tales for the Measurement of Health Inequalities
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Mabel Carabali, University of Toronto
Session Co-chair: Arjumand Siddiqi, University of Toronto

From the analysis of ethnic differences in overall mortality, maternal outcomes and deaths of despair, to the unequal distribution of HIV cases, some types of cancer, arboviruses and COVID-19, it is almost always possible to observe and measure an inequality. However, although apparent, not all these inequalities could be accurately proved -or at least not in the strict statistical senses if we were to probe further. Issues evaluating the presence of inequalities are partially due to data availability (existence! and quality) and the choice of (un)appropriate methods. Data issues include the absence of ethnicity/race data, which if existent, is outdated, scarce or unreliable and the presence of underreporting and misclassification in some data sources. Methodologically speaking, evaluating inequalities goes beyond estimating relative or absolute measures, it requires robust bias adjustment and further assessment of heterogeneity, interactions and investigate the presence of intersectionality. Also, since race/ethnicity are not modifiable, finding a well-defined interventions’ requires creativity from the scholars trying to identify target areas to decrease such disparities. Aim: To present theoretical and empirical examples of the pitfalls in the assessment and quantification of inequalities, discussing the misuse of new methods, the oversight of limitations in existent methods, and the observation of spurious inequalities resulting from the use of flawed data or methods.

John W. Jackson, Johns Hopkins University
“Decomposition/Intersectionality Methods”

Mabel Carabali, University of Toronto
“Underreporting/Misclassification issues assessing inequalities”

Jay Kaufman, McGill University
“Ethnic Disparities Methods / Cautionary Aspects”

Alexandra Blair, University of Toronto
“When interventions likely increase inequalities: results from a mediaton analysis”

Victoria Tan, University of Toronto
“How big should be a difference to be called an inequality? Examples from the great recession’s impact on blood pressure.”

Yulika Yoshida-Montezuma, University of Toronto
“Trends in Black Despair-Related Mortality from 1999-2019 and their associated hurdles”

Nahiye Warsame, University of Toronto
“Temporal and Spatial Trends Related to Police Killings in the United States (2000-2020)”

Harsh Naik, University of Toronto
“Trends in Black Despair-Related Mortality from 1999-2019 and their associated hurdles”

Falan Bennett, University of Toronto
“Trends in Black Despair-Related Mortality from 1999-2019 and their associated hurdles”

Ntombi Nkiwane, University of Toronto
“Temporal and Spatial Trends Related to Police Killings in the United States (2000-2020)”

Rachel Lee, University of Toronto
“Examining the operationalization of race and ethnicity in social epidemiology: Asian health”

Arjumand Siddiqi, University of Toronto


Excess Mortality during the Pandemic – The Intersection of COVID-19 and Leading Causes of Death
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Meredith Shiels, National Cancer Institute
Session Co-chair: Bryan James, Rush Medical College

Epidemiologists have mobilized rapidly over the last year to investigate every aspect of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, which caused more than 350,000 deaths in the United States during 2020. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been widespread, intersecting with almost every chronic and infectious disease and health behavior that we study. Risk of dying from COVID-19 is elevated among those with pre-existing conditions; additionally, estimates of excess deaths in the U.S. have shown increased mortality from Alzheimer disease, heart disease, diabetes, and drug overdoses during the pandemic. The proposed symposium will describe patterns of excess deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and explore the impact of COVID-19 on mortality from other diseases and health outcomes, as well as the impact of coexisting disease on risk of dying after contracting COVID-19. The session will begin with an introduction to the session, followed by a talk on cause of death assignment and the impact on COVID-19 and excess death estimates. Subsequent presenters will focus on the intersection of deaths from COVID-19 and their disease or behavior of study: Alzheimers and other dementias, drug overdoses and cancer. Presenters will offer potential biological and methodological explanations for excess death in their area and make suggestions for prevention and intervention.

Bryan James, Rush Medical College
“Overview of excess non-COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic”

Elizabeth Arias, National Center for Health Statistics
“Overview of cause of death assignment in national vital statistics data”

Jennifer Weuve, Boston University
“Intersection of COVID-19 and dementia”

Brandon Marshall, Brown University
“Intersection of COVID-19 and drug overdoses”

Meredith Shiels, National Cancer Institute
“Intersection of COVID-19 and cancer”



Instrumental variable analyses and epidemiologists’ dreams: can IVs become a core tool for health research?
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Chair: Willa Brenowitz, University of California, San Francisco

Instrumental variable (IV) methods are increasingly popular in epidemiology due to the potential for identifying causal effects in the presence of intractable confounding of an exposure-outcome relationship. Instead of using the exposure of interest as the independent variable, IV methods are premised on identifying random sources of variation in the exposure (such as genetic variants or a policy changes), which influence the value of the exposure but are not otherwise related to the outcome. IV methods have a long history of use in economics and related disciplines. Analyses using genetic variants as instruments have blossomed in the past two decades and triggered an outpouring of methodologic innovation, including methods that relax the standard IV assumptions. In this symposium we gather cross-disciplinary perspectives on IVs and their utility to improve understanding of causes of poor health. This session focuses on how IV analyses can be more applicable to health research broadly, including methods to make IV more robust to assumption violations, methods to correct IV biases, and approaches to integrate IV results with other sources of evidence. We also highlight approaches that can bridge disciplines. We plan to protect time for discussion as well as interpretations of IVs in the setting of evidence triangulation. Speakers span the range from early career to senior faculty and will highlight a mixed of applied and methodologic work.

Christopher Lowenstein, university of California, Berkeley
“Using Instrumental Variables to estimate peer effects in health behaviors: Evidence from smoking cessation in Thailand”

Elizabeth Diemer, Erasmus MC
“Falsification tests for instrumental variable assumptions: Instrumental inequalities in Mendelian randomization”

Eric J Tchetgen Tchetgen, University of Pennsylvania
“Approaches to robust Mendelian randomization inference: MR-GENIUS”

Willa Brenowitz, University of California, San Francisco
“Bridging innovations in mendelian randomization to social epi: are there œpleiotropic€ effects of state school policies on health?”

M. Maria Glamour, University of California, San Francisco

Losing weight in pregnancy – an alternative story of pregnancy weight gain for women with obesity
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Stephanie Hinkle, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Session Co-chair: Elizabeth Widen, University of Texas, Austin

Over one in four women start their pregnancy with obesity. Yet, recommendations for pregnancy weight gain have not been updated to be specific to obesity class for women with severe obesity. While 2-16% of women with obesity lose weight during pregnancy, the benefits, or consequences, of such weight trajectory in pregnancy and not well understood.

The goals of this symposium are multifaceted focusing on obesity in pregnancy. First, we plan to provide a review of the physiology of pregnancy and the interaction with obesity and weight gain. For this talk we will invite physiologist, Leanne M. Redman, whose research focuses on the impact of the obesogenic environment on health issues in women. Dr. Redman€™s talk will provide SER attendees a better understanding the physiology of both pregnancy and obesity allowing for more informed epidemiologic research. Second, Drs. Biden and Hinkle will discuss alternative means for characterizing obesity in pregnancy beyond body mass index from novel measures of body composition to biomarkers of adiposity. Next, doctoral student, Amy Nichols will present on trajectories of weight gain in pregnancy in relation to pregnancy and neonatal outcomes among a large cohort of women with obesity. Lastly, Dr. Lisa Bodnar will give a talk on the epidemiology of weight loss in pregnancy and the state of the current recommendations. This symposium will close with a discussion on the data gaps and the numerous opportunities for future work.

Elizabeth Widen, University of Texax, Austin
“What part of the weight gain matters? – Measuring body composition changes during pregnancy and incorporating into epidemiologic research”

Stephanie Hinkle, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
“Dynamic changes in biomarkers of adiposity and inflammation across gestation”

Leanne M. Redman, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
“Can we target fat mass loss during pregnancy in women with obesity?”

Amy Nichols, University of Texas, Austin
“Is weight loss or maintenance safe during pregnancy? – Associations of pregnancy weight change trajectories with neonatal outcomes among a large cohort of women with obesity”

Lisa Bodnar, University of Pittsburgh
“Epidemiology of weight loss in pregnancy and the current state of gestational weight gain recommendations for women with obesity”

Safety without numbers: the ethical and public health implications of exclusion of pregnant/lactating women from efficacy and safety studies of drugs and vaccines
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Sonia Grandi, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Session Co-chair: Susanna Mitro, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Pregnant/lactating women are traditionally excluded from or underrepresented in clinical trials examining the efficacy and safety of medications and vaccines. The reluctance to include these women has stemmed from concerns of the potential harms to the mother, fetus, and newborn infant. However, the benefits of using medications or receiving vaccinations during pregnancy are non-negligible and may outweigh the potential risks. Additionally, lack of data for this population means that women, medical professionals, and policy makers must make decisions about health care during pregnancy and postpartum without adequate safety and efficacy evidence. For these reasons, there has been a growing consensus to include pregnant/lactating women in clinical research; despite this, pregnant/lactating women continue to be excluded. Ethical considerations of detrimental exposures to mothers and fetuses/infants has been a central notion of this debate.

In this symposium, we will explore and discuss the ethical and public health implications of excluding pregnant/lactating women from clinical trials. The panelists will elaborate on the following topics using examples from their work or experience in the field, 1) Existing regulations or conventions for this exclusion; 2)The impact on generating evidence for medication safety in pregnancy; 3) The impact on decision-making for policy; 4) The impact on decision-making for women and healthcare providers; 5) Future directions.

Leyla Sahin, Food and Drug Administration
“Existing regulations or conventions for why pregnant/lactating women continue to be excluded from most clinical research despite growing consensus against this trend”

Sonia Hernandez-Diaz, Harvard University
“The impact of this exclusion on generating epidemiologic evidence for medication safety in pregnancy”

Carleigh B. Krubiner, Johns Hopkins University
“The impact of this exclusion on decision-making for policy (e.g., COVID vaccination)”

Kristin Beima-Sofie, University of Washington
“The impact of this exclusion on decision-making for women and healthcare providers”

Anne Lyerly, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Protecting Pregnant and Lactating People Through Research:  Strategies for Ethical Inclusion”




The Epidemiology of Criminal Legal System related-harms in the changing era of Drug Policy: is this the path towards racial equity?
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Spruha Joshi, New York University
Session Co-chair: John Pamplin, New York University

The U.S. Criminal Legal system represents a growing concern for public health as it is a key driver of racial health inequities. Involvement in the legal system is associated with increased risk of numerous physical and mental disorders (e.g., diabetes and depression), as well as infectious diseases (e.g., Covid-19 and HIV), and is also linked to increased injury and mortality due to exposure to police violence. The criminalization of drug use, in particular, has produced disproportionately pronounced harms for racially minoritized communities for more than 30 years and has been linked with long term consequences including but not limited to exclusion from job opportunities, public housing, and voting, increased stigma, as well as injuries due to police violence. As drug policy changes towards increased decriminalization of drug use and towards a focus on harm reduction, two key questions need to be answered. First, are decriminalization and harm reduction (i.e., Good Samaritan laws) policy changes implemented equitably across racial/ethnic groups? Second, what is the impact of such policy changes on public health? This symposium will highlight the racialized impacts of recent changes in drug policy, focusing in particular on the relationship between marijuana decriminalization/legalization and arrests and police use of force by race, Good Samaritan Laws and opioid overdose by race, and lastly, the implications for substance use of the school-to-prison pipeline.

Spruha Joshi, New York University
“A tale of two cities: racial disparities in arrests following decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.”

John Pamplin, New York University
“Searching for equity: Police use of force in the era of marijuana decriminalization”

Tarlise Townsend, New York University
“How have overdose Good Samaritan Laws influenced overdose deaths by race? Evidence from Kentucky and Tennessee”

Seth Prins, Columbia University
“Racialized disparities in adolescent health determinants and consequences of the school-to-prison pipeline”

Zinzi Bailey, University of Miami

These are a few of my favorite things (Von Trapp family not guaranteed to present)
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Catherine Lesko, Johns Hopkins University
Session Co-chair: Matthew Fox, Boston University

Epidemiology curriculums are packed to the brim with so much necessary information about measures of incidence and association, and study design, that there is some helpful information that cannot routinely be included. In this session, speakers will give brief introductions to relatively simple tips, tricks, and methods that have had an outsized impact on their work but that may not be part of a standard epidemiology curriculum. Yet there is no easy forum to share these tips and tricks and as such they become the domain of an in groups’ passed on by mentors that can make epidemiology feel like an exclusive club. We seek to rectify this by sharing in this SER symposium. The speakers will lead with the topics below but may add some additional tips they have benefited from.

Each speaker (N=7) will present for approximately 7-10 minutes, leaving 20 minutes for questions and audience discussion. We will set up a website (e.g. Github) where additional resources, like code, methods papers, or example papers, will be made available for interested attendees.

Catherine Lesko, Johns Hopkins University
“Inverse probability weights: standardization as a versatile adjustment method”

Jessie Edwards, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Fractional imputation for missing data”

Lorraine Dean, Johns Hopkins University
“Using everyday observations as a guide for new methods”

Sonja Swanson, Erasmus MC
“Implications of Robins’ 1989 paper”

Xiaojuan Li, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute
“Privacy-protecting analytic and data-sharing methods in multi-database studies”

Matthew Fox, Boston University

Wildfires and Human Health: Epidemiological Challenges and Policy Implications
Jun 25 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Session Co-chair: Anjum Hajat, University of Washington
Session Co-chair: Tarik Benmarhnia, University of California, San Diego

Severe and recurring wildfires in the Western United States and elsewhere around the globe have significant economic, environmental and health implications as illustrated by the wildfires of 2020. There are several methodological challenges for understanding the human health effects of wildfires including the consideration of time-varying confounding, spatio-
temporal variability, compounded impacts regarding extreme heat and the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, epidemiologic evidence is essential for policy makers looking for timely and evidence-based solutions. Prescribed or controlled burns may provide some relief, but also have human health effects. This symposium will cover these issues through a four-speaker
panel, two discussing empirical evidence of wildfire health effects, one describing methodological challenges and another policy implications.

Erin Semmens, University of Montana
“Wildfire and non-wildfire particulate matter exposure during pregancy and impacts on birth outcomes”

Annie Doubleday, University of Washington
“Impact of wildfires on mortality and hospitalizations”

Tarik Benmarhnia, University of California, San Diego
“Methodological challenges to measuring health impacts”

Karen Rivals, California EPA
Wildfire Smoke in California: Health Effects and how Science Can Inform Policy

Ask Me Anything
Jun 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Session Chair: Martha Werler, Boston University

Ask our Panelists Anything!

Jaimie Gradus, Boston University
Yvette Cozier, Boston University
Martha Werler, Boston University
Marcia Pescador Jimenez, Harvard University

Job Market/Age of COVID
Jun 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Session Co-chair: Magdalena Cerda, New York University
Session Co-chair: Anna Pollack, George Mason University

A live roundtable discussion will focus on the state of hiring in academia and government in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panel members will discuss strategies for the job search for early stage epidemiologists in the current job market. The audience will have the opportunity to engage with panelists and ask questions related to this topic.

Sandro Galea, Boston University

Catherine Lerro, US Food and Drug Administration

Beth Linas, MITRE Corporation

Jennifer Ahern, University of California, Berkeley

On Professional Failures
Jun 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Session Chair: Anjum Hajat, University of Washington

In our professional lives, we tend to talk a lot more about our successes than our failures. This can give a misleading impression of how hard our jobs can sometimes be, and that can contribute to impostor syndrome and anxiety. For example, if you only hear about the grants that Dr. Epidemo received, you might mistakenly think that they get every grant they apply for – and so when your own grant is rejected, you might think this means you’ll never be as successful as Dr. Epidemo. And conversely you might feel a little better if you know that Dr. Epidemo had a LOT of grants rejected before they got those few grants funded.

In effect then, professional failures – grant applications rejected, promotions not received, honors not granted – these are a kind of data missing not at random, and – as always in the presence of missing data – a complete case analysis can bias your perceptions of the true state of the world. In this session, our panelists will fill in some of these missing data by talking about their professional failures, so that we can all walk away with a more balanced sense of what a professional career in epidemiology looks like – warts and all.

Mark Emerson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dominique Heinke, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Ohio State University

Roadblocks on getting your dissertation done
Jun 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Session Chair: Katherine KeyesColumbia University

The dissertation process can be daunting. Deadlines, pressure, and the desire to make your mark on a research area. In this session, we will present a series of dissertation survival tips and tricks from investigators who have been there and done that. Topics will include: Choosing a manageable topic and scope for a dissertation; Applying for grants to support your dissertation work; Finding and getting access to data; Choosing mentors and committee; The writing process (e.g. how to structure your time, getting through roadblocks, managing and organizing literature to cite); Peer support (e.g. how to form a writing group and make it work); What do you do when life happens during your dissertation writing process (e.g. pregnancy, illness of self/family); Structuring how to effectively elicit feedback and comments from busy committee members; Preparing for your dissertation defense; Publishing your dissertation papers. Dissertations are survivable, and we are here to help you manage and thrive through the process.

Matthew Kian, Stanford University

Chanelle Howe, Brown University

Ashley Naimi, Emory University

John Jackson, Johns Hopkins University

Kerry Keyes, Columbia University