Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Junior Investigator Award

The Center for AIDS Research Junior Investigator Award, from the CFAR-IUPUI, was awarded on January 17, 2017 to epidemiologist Christina Ludema, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. This award will support mapping public HIV testing facilities and HIV care providers, and transportation networks in Indiana. Ludema and collaborators will collect information about hours of operation, language services, accommodations for adolescents, and other factors related to accessibility. Place-specific information about transportation modes, testing and care provider locations will provide a valuable resource for researchers and for practitioners planning HIV care facility locations. The project is in collaboration with Dennis Fortenberry (IUPUI-SOM), and Jeffery Wilson, Aniruddha Banerjee, and Vijay Lulla (IUPUI-Geography).

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington receives grant to study Alzheimer’s disease

IU professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington Ka He -- in partnership with University of Southern California’s Jiu-Chiuan Chen -- recently received a $4 million National Institutes of Health grant to investigate environmental determinants and mechanistic pathways leading to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in older women.

He is the principal investigator at IU Bloomington; his group will create a dietary pattern and define the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurogenerative Delay-- or MIND -- dietary pattern. In addition, He’s team will examine how the dietary pattern relates to geographic disparities in Alzheimer’s disease risk.

"In the newest epidemiological data, we’re seeing that diet may affect a person’s probability of developing Alzheimer’s," He said. "By completing this study, we will work to better understand geographic disparities in Alzheimer’s disease and generate new knowledge about healthy diets that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s later in life."

IU Bloomington Epidemiologist Receives Grant to Develop Novel Statistical Methods to Study Tooth Decay and Orofacial Clefts

School of Public Health-IUB epidemiologist Nianjun Liu, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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2016 MPH Synthesis Project poster award winners with concentration in epidemiology

First Place - Shirin ArdeshirRouhaniFard

“Gender-Specific Association of Plasma Endothelin-1 with the Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease in African Americans; Cohort of the Jackson Heart Study”

Second Place - Vanessa M. Christie

“Health information-seeking and information gaps among postpartum women in Monroe County, Indiana"

Juhua Luo receives promotion to Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

In recognition of her contributions in research, teaching, and service, Juhua Luo has been promoted from assistant to associate professor, with tenure. The promotion was effective on July 1, 2015.

Luo has been with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington since January 2013.

"Dr. Luo is a very productive and established researcher in the field of cancer epidemiology," says Ka He, chair and professor of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "She is also an accomplished and dedicated teacher. We are very fortunate to have her as one of our faculty."

Her research interests involve epidemiological studies of lifestyle and environmental factors in relation to cancer risk and cancer prognosis, particularly for breast, lung and pancreatic cancer. More specifically, her research examines the effects of smoking, as well as obesity, diabetes and diabetes treatment on cancer risk and cancer prognosis. She currently holds a grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the relationship between type 2 diabetes and breast cancer. Earlier this year, she received the 2015 School of Public Health Outstanding Early Career Scholar Award.

Luo earned her Ph.D. degree in epidemiology from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, M.S. in biostatistics from the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, and B.S. in mathematics from Beijing Normal University. Prior to joining IU, she worked as an assistant professor at West Virginia University between 2009 and 2012. She also worked in the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention for eight years.

The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics celebrates its first Ph.D. graduate

On April 27, 2015, Alissa Davis defended her Ph.D. dissertation, a milestone for the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington. Davis is the first graduate student to complete the doctoral program in epidemiology offered by the Epidemiology and Biostatistics department.

During her Ph.D. program, Davis worked with faculty Barbara Van Der Pol, Beth Meyerson, and Juhua Luo on projects related to bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) among underserved men, barriers to cervical cancer screening among uninsured and under-insured women, and the impacts of a Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) diagnosis on women’s coping behaviors and intimate relationships. Her dissertation research focused on intimate partner violence, risk behaviors, HIV/STI testing and HIV/STI prevalence among men who have sex with men and men who have sex with men and women in China. Juhua Luo, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was her dissertation chair.

Davis is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the HIV Center at Columbia University.

Epidemiology & Biostatistics Chair selected as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Cardiovascular and Sleep Epidemiology Study Section, Center for Scientific Review

Epidemiologist Ka He, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was nominated as a member of the Cardiovascular and Sleep Epidemiology Study Section, Center for Scientific Review at NIH during 2015-2019. According to a letter from the Director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review, Ka He was selected because of his demonstrated competence and achievement in his scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of his research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements, and honors. Membership on a study section represents a major commitment of professional time and energy as well as a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort. Study sections review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations on the applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields of science. These functions are of great value to medical and allied research in this country. 

2015 School of Public Health Outstanding Early Career Scholar Award

Epidemiologist Juhua Luo, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was selected as the recipient of the 2015 School of Public Health Outstanding Early Career Scholar Award. The selection committee noted her outstanding productivity in the area of research and her contributions to the field of public health. Luo was honored during a school-wide research presentation followed by a reception in her honor on April 20, 2015 at the IMU University Club.

2015 Tufts University Friedman School Alumni Association Leasership and Expertise Award

Epidemiologist Ka He, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was selected as the recipient of the 2015 Leadership and Expertise Award from Tufts University Friedman School Alumni Association. Each year, this distinction is bestowed upon an outstanding Friedman School alumnus who is conducting cutting-edge or high-impact work in their field, and who is a strong leader and respected expert in their profession. Ka He was honored during the All-Alumni Reunion 2015. This year’s ceremony took place on Saturday, March 28 from 6-9pm at the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in Boston.

IU Bloomington finds a healthy lifestyle may prevent heart disease in nearly three out of four women

Epidemiologist Andrea Chomistek, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, together with researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study in which they followed over 70,000 women for two decades and found that three-quarters of heart attacks in young women could be prevented if women engaged in six healthy lifestyle habits. The healthy habits they studied were not smoking, maintaining a normal body mass index, engaging in physical activity of at least 2.5 hours per week, watching seven or fewer hours of television a week, consuming a maximum of one alcoholic drink per day on average, and consuming a high quality diet based on the Harvard School of Public Health healthy eating plate.  They found that women who adhered to all six healthy habits had a 92 percent lower risk of heart attack and a 66 percent lower risk of developing a risk factor for heart disease (diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol). This lower risk would mean three quarters of heart attacks and nearly half of all risk factors in younger women may have been prevented if all of the women had adhered to all six healthy lifestyle factors. Thus, adhering to a healthy lifestyle provides enormous potential for future reduction in CVD in young women.

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Epidemiology & Biostatistics professor elected Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology

M. Aaron Sayegh, clinical assistant professor of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was elected a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology (FACE) for his distinguished, significant, and sustained contributions, and in recognition of his professional standing in the field of epidemiology.

Epidemiology & Biostatistics professor elected Fellow of the American Heart Association

Epidemiologist Aurelian Bidulescu, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was elected a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) for his outstanding dedication and achievement. Bidulescu was honored at a November 2014 reception, where he received an official letter of election and FAHA certificate to commemorate his achievement.

American Heart Association Fellowships conferred by the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention are reserved for professional members who are scientists, physicians, clinical professionals and academicians with a major and productive interest in cardiovascular (CV) disease epidemiology and/or CV disease prevention, and whose accomplishments support the stated objectives of the AHA/ASA and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. Fellowship provides a means to recognize and award premium professional members for excellence, innovative and sustained contributions in the areas of scholarship; practice; and/or education; and volunteer service and/or leadership within in the AHA/ASA.

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington epidemiologist received NIH grant to study diabetes, breast cancer relationship

Epidemiologist Juhua Luo at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington received a $414,600 grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the relationship between two common diseases, type 2 diabetes and breast cancer, providing answers that could improve cancer treatment.

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Epidemiology & Biostatistics chair received NIH grant for research in the 'Stroke Belt'

Nutritional epidemiologist Ka He, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, received a five-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine trace element distribution in relation to residents' risk for stroke in the nation's "stroke belt."

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Epidemiology & Biostatistics professor received NIH grant to fund exploration of approach to reduce chlamydia rates in women

Barbara Van Der Pol, associate professor in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, received a $423,381 grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore a novel approach to reducing chlamydia rates in women: by making it easier for men to be tested.

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