Epidemiology Counts is the official podcast of the Society for Epidemiologic Research. The SERpodcast gives you up to date information on the state of health research straight from researchers who are deeply involved with this work. In each episode, we’ll look at a particular disease or health condition or something that we are exposed to in our daily lives that may affect our health, and bring you a look at what we currently know and what don’t know about each of these conditions or potential causes of disease (what we refer to as “exposures”).

SERpodcast is organized and curated by a working group comprised of leading epidemiologists in the field, and current members of SER.


Bryan James (Committee Chair)

Bryan D. James, PhD, is an epidemiologist with the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Community Epidemiologic Research, at Rush University Medical Center. His research focuses on identifying risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cognitive decline and disability at the population level. In particular, he is interested in social and lifestyle factors that can protect against the clinical manifestation of disease pathology in the aging brain. He is currently funded by the National Institute on Aging to examine why hospitalization can lead to faster cognitive decline in some older persons. James received his PhD in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2009 and Master of Bioethics degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. He has published extensively in the areas of cognitive aging, gerontology, neuroepidemiology, and research ethics. He helps to prepare the Alzheimer’s Association Facts & Figures annual report.

Matthew Fox (Host, Committee Co-Chair)

Matthew Fox, DSc, MPH, is Professor in the Department Global Health & Development and in the Department of Epidemiology at Boston University. Dr. Fox joined the center in 2001. His research interests include treatment outcomes in HIV-treatment programs, infectious disease epidemiology (with specific interests in HIV and pneumonia), and epidemiologic methods. Dr. Fox works on ways to improve retention in HIV-care programs in South Africa from the time of testing HIV-positive through long-term treatment. As part of this work, he is involved in analyses to assess the impact of changes in South Africa¹s National Treatment Guidelines for HIV. Read more

Sue Bevan (SER Executive Director)

Suzanne Bevan is the Executive Director of the Society for Epidemiologic Research. As the founder and owner of SSB Management, Suzanne Bevan has provided consulting and management services to organizations for more than 15 years. With a background in accounting and executive management, in-depth experience in contract negotiations with large hotel chains and outside service vendors, she provides services to a range of clientele and conference programs. 


Ana Pollock (Committee Member)

Anna Pollack is an Assistant Professor in the department Global and Community Health at George Mason University. Her research focuses on the relationship between environmental chemical exposures and fertility, pregnancy, and gynecologic health. Dr. Pollack’s research also addresses disparities in exposure, which stem from environmental and occupational sources. Read more

Arijit Nandi (Committee Member)

Hailey Banack (Committee Member)

Hailey Banack is a postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology at the University at Buffalo working with the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). Her research is focused broadly on obesity and aging. She is also interested in using quantitative bias analysis techniques to investigate and account for sources of bias in aging research.

Jennifer Ahern (Committee Member)

Dr. Jennifer Ahern, PhD MPH, is Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. She examines the effects of the social and physical environment, and programs and policies that alter the social and physical environment, on many aspects of health (e.g., violence, substance use, mental health, and gestational health). Dr. Ahern has a methodological focus to her work, including application of causal inference methods and semi-parametric estimation approaches, aimed at improving the rigor of observational research, and optimizing public health intervention planning. Her research has been supported by a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of the Director.


Justin Lessler (Committee Member)

Justin Lessler is an Associate Professor in the department of Epidemiology researching the dynamics and control of infectious disease, with particular interest in influenza, measles, cholera and dengue. Justin works on the development and application of statistics, dynamic models and novel study designs to better understand and control infectious disease. In particular, he is interested in creating synergies between infection control practice, data collection and infectious disease dynamics.

Stephen Cole (Committee Member)

I work to build accurate and impactful knowledge, particularly population-health (epidemiologic) knowledge. I am Professor of Epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill. I am interested in study designs and analyses that optimally estimate parameters of central interest to population-health scientists, such as the risk. These study designs include randomized experiments, pseudoexperiments (i.e., observational studies), and thought-experiments (e.g., simulation studies). I have been continuously funded by the NIH over my 17-year career and have published about 300 scientific papers, 61 of which have 61 or more citations, and five of which are renowned (i.e., 500+ citations). I am Editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology, and a standing member of the NIH AIDS and Clinical Epidemiology study section. Substantively, I am interested in infectious diseases, primarily HIV, and cancer.