The Voice of Epidemiology


    Web EpiMonitor

► Home ► About ► News ► Job Bank Events ► Resources ► Contact
People in Epidemiology

Died: Shalon M. Irving, PhD, MPH, MS, Lieutenant Commander and epidemiologist in the Surveillance Branch of the CDC. An alumni of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (‘12), Dr. Irving’s dedication to public health was evidenced through her commitment to the prevention of child abuse and violence against women and the elimination of racial disparities in health. More information can be found at the following link:

Died: Hans Rosling, MD, PhD, Professor of International Health at the Karolinska Institute and Co-Founder and Educator at Gapminder Foundation, from pancreatic cancer. Recently the subject of a fascinating profile in Nature, Rosling had a long and varied career as a physician, epidemiologist and statistician, influencing the thinking of leaders including Melinda Gates, Al Gore, Mark Zuckerberg and even Fidel Castro. In his later years at Gapminder, Dr. Rosling became a self-described “Edutainer” and was well known for his TED talks.

See the Nature profile here:
Watch one of his most famous TED talks here:

Profiled: Stephen H. Gehlbach, MD, MPH, former Dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in The Sentinel, upon the release of an updated edition of his classic epidemiology text, American Plagues. “The lure of epidemiology for me is rather simple. It’s about solving puzzles. That’s an activity that many people find engaging but when it involves finding solutions to health problems, it’s particularly compelling … Challenging questions, important answers and the stuff of a career that has been most satisfying.” The profile can be found at the following link:

Lecturer: Katherine Fleming-Dutra, MD, on antibiotic stewardship as part of a lecture series organized by Southwest Health Systems in Montezuma County, CO. Dr. Fleming-Dutra, a medical epidemiologist with the Office of Antibiotic Stewardship at the CDC explained, “(This is) a very clear target for us to go after” when describing the 10% of antibiotic prescriptions that are incorrectly used to treat bronchitis and upper respiratory infections in the US.

Honored: Jonathan Samet, with the 2016 Fries Prize for Improving Health, for his pioneering research and decades of advocacy on the negative impacts of air pollution on health. Samet is chair of preventive medicine at USC and director of the Global Health Institute there. In giving the award, the chair of the Fries foundation stated that Samet’s research and policy leadership have directly contributed to the avoidance of hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and hospitalizations.

Recognized: Community health workers, biomedical researchers, epidemiologists, nurses and many others devoted to public health, on November 21  Public Health Thank You Day organized by Research! America and other health organizations. “To all who have dedicated their careers to help us live our lives to the fullest, thank you!, said CDC Director Thomas Frieden on behalf of the organizers.

Honored: Kaare Christensen, with the Fondation IPSEN Longevity Prize for his pioneering work on the importance of genes and environment in aging and longevity. Christensen is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Southern Denmark, Director of the Danish Twin Registry and the Danish Aging Research Center,  and Senior Research Scientist at Duke University.

Named: Stella Uzogara as a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr Uzogara is a nutrition epidemiologist who has worked for several years in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in various capacities and as a faculty member in local universities. The Fellow designation recognizes Academy members who have distinguished themselves among their colleagues, made commitments to the field of nutrition and dietetics, served in their communities, gave their service to the nutrition and dietetics profession, and contributed to optimizing the nation’s health through food and nutrition.

Died: John Bailar III, former NCI epidemiologist and biostatistician and department head at McGill and the University of Chicago. According to Cancer Letter, Dr Bailar was probably best known for his critiques of the war on cancer and the excessive focus on treatment rather than prevention. His 1997 paper in the NEJM co-authored with Heather Gornik concludes “A national commitment to the prevention of cancer, largely replacing reliance on hopes for universal cures, is now the way to go.”  Obituary:

Appointed: Paul Byers, as Mississippi state epidemiologist. Dr Byers has been the deputy state epidemiologists since 2012. His experience with the state department of health was highlighted and called a “great asset” by the departmental leadership in making his appointment.

Interviewed: Allen J Wilcox, in the September issue of Epidemiology. Dr Wilcox has spent his career at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham NC and was formerly the editor of Epidemiology. Asked what he wants to be remembered for, Wilcox said “…If there is anything, it would probably be for trying to bring epidemiologic tools to perinatal epidemiology and conversely, to bring the insights of perinatal epidemiology to the wider field of epidemiology…”

Died: Donald A. (DA) Henderson, former head of the WHO effort which led to the eradication of smallpox.  DA, as he was widely known, was a former CDC trained epidemiologist who later went on to become the Dean of the Hopkins School of Public Health.  The CDC director Tom Frieden called DA a giant in the field of public health and someone who set a precedent for the field of epidemiology.  Full obituary:

Died: Harrison Spencer, Head of the Association of Schools of Public Health, in a tragic family related incident.  He was stabbed to death by his son who had a history of mental illness.  Dr. Spencer was formerly a CDC epidemiologist who had extensive international experience and was much admired and respected in his leadership role at the Association.  Full obituary:

Resigned: Megan Davies, as North Carolina State epidemiologist following publication of an editorial by the state health director which Davies asserted misrepresented the work of the public health professionals in the state.  See related article in this publication.

Indicted: Corrine Miller, former Michigan State epidemiologist for her role in the Flint water related crisis.  She was accused of instructing others not to take action on a report about lead poisoning and telling them to delete relevant emails about the report.  Miller retired from her position earlier this year.  See related article in the Epi News Briefs section of  this publication.

Appointed: Susan Rollo, as Texas State epidemiologist .  Dr. Rollo previously served in a field epidemiologist position for the Texas Animal Health Commission.

  Archived Notes on People

Died: Philip Brachman, Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology at Emory University on June 6, 2016. Dr Brachman had formerly served as Director of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) for more than a decade in the 1970’s before undertaking his second career at Emory. There he developed new courses and taught public health practitioners from around the world. He also was an instrumental leader of the summer sessions in epidemiology first in Minnesota and then in Michigan. After his passing, CDC colleagues said “We lost a true hero in epidemiology this week…In a career spanning 62 years as a medical epidemiologist, [he] played a truly seminal role in the formation of the EIS program as we know it today, and indeed the training of epidemiologists globally.”

Appointed: Karin Michels, as Professor of Epidemiology and new Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. Dr Michels is currently an associate professor in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology in the Harvard Medical School and in the Department of Epidemiology in the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. “She is a great leader in both academics and research and will lead our department to the next level,” said Zuo-Feng Zhang, interim chair of epidemiology.

Married: Helene Gayle, aged 60, epidemiologist and pediatrician, former head of HIV/AIDS at CDC and at the Gates Foundation on June 4, 2016 to Stephen Keith, culminating a relationship that was decades in the making. The couple had a unique history leading up to the marriage proposal described in a NY Times feature story entitled “Sharing ideals, friendship and, after 37 years, a wedding day.”

Appointed: Albert Hofman, as the new Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Dr Hofman was formerly Chair of Epidemiology at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. According to Harvard, Dr Hofman is an internationally recognized scientific leader in the epidemiology of common neurologic and vascular diseases, in particular dementia and stroke. The School described his record of investigation as extraordinary in both quantity and quality.

Honored: John Jackson and Sonja Swanson with the Rothman Prize for the best paper published in Epidemiology in 2015. The paper was entitled “Toward a Clearer Portrayal of Confounding Bias in Instrumental Variable Applications.” The co-authors worked together at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health where Jackson is a postdoctoral fellow and Swanson is an adjunct assistant professor and an assistant professor at Erasmus.

Married: Jessica Paulus, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the graduate program in clinical and translational science at Tufts on July 9 to Todd Wesley Thompson, a research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. The couple were introduced through Ok Cupid in 2013, according to the NY Times.

Appointed: Stephen Leeder, as the new editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology effective January 1, 2017.  Leeder is Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia, Leeder was Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia in 2013-15. In the 1990s he was President of the Australasian Epidemiological Association and head of the Sydney School of Public Health. Later he served as Dean of the Medical School at the University of Sydney.

Appointed: Matthew Gillman, as head of the newly reconstituted National Children’s Study now called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). Gillman is an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School who was involved with the original NCS. Gillman was quoted in Science saying the new long term study is “set up in a way that will breed success.” Presumably that means better leadership since the original study was criticized for weak scientific leadership.

Elected: Christl Donnelly, as Fellow of the Royal Society in the UK. Donnelly is Professor of Statistical Epidemiology in Imperial’s School of Public Health. Her research looks at how control measures can change the way in which infectious diseases spread through a population. In receiving the honor, Donnelly stated  “I have been extremely fortunate over the years to work with amazing colleagues and collaborators.  Most rewarding were the opportunities to undertake work informing policymakers on diseases ranging from BSE and bovine TB to SARS and Ebola.”

Honored: Willian Foege, with an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Duke University at its recent graduation ceremony and with the Emory University President’s Medal where he gave the Commencement address titled “Lessons I Am Still Desperately Trying To Learn”. Foege is Emeritus Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health, Emory University, and a Gates Fellow. According to a news account from Emory, Foege’s key points to the graduates were:

1. Consciously edit your own obituary every day. Edit with care and edit with gusto.

2. Avoid making a life plan. You cannot imagine what will be invented in the future; you cannot imagine the opportunities that will be presented. A life plan will limit your future.

3. Instead of a life plan, spend your time developing a life philosophy; then you will have tools for evaluating every fork in the road. Tradition is the DNA of our beliefs. Question the bias of traditions and question the certainty of those with biases.

4. Integrate your world of knowledge. Bridge the gap between science and the humanities every day. Be a globalist and a futurist. Be good ancestors. Take seriously climate change. Because each of us can do so little, it is important that we do our part.

5. Actively seek mentors. Identify the people who have the traits, the ideas and philosophies that you want and get their help. Borrow their wisdom.

6. For all the problems in the world, there has never been a better time to be alive. Just as your life expectancy is increasing, what you can do in that lifetime continues to increase. You will pack centuries into 80 calendar years.

7. Seek equity and justice. The slavery of today is poverty. What a great thought to have graduates of Emory lead that change.

8. Seek serendipity, which can happen through learning, being in the moment, and looking for connections.

9. One measure of civilization is how people treat each other — kindness is the basic ingredient. How you treat people is a healing force in this world. Be kind to one another.

10. May this phrase stick with you forever: "Home is not where you are from; home is where you are needed." As I congratulate you on what you have done, I also hope we all find our way home.

Readers who would like to listen to Foege’s address may do so at:

  Archived People in the News Postings

Honored: Mary Currier, Mississippi State Health Officer, with the Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service by the American Medical Association. She was formerly the Mississippi state epidemiologist.

Profiled in WebMD: Paul Mead, working in CDC’s Emergency Operations Center on Zika virus. Mead is normally chief of epidemiology and surveillance for Lyme disease. He told WebMD his group is looking for unusual cases to help better understand Zika modes of transmission. Asked what would be the smoking gun that proves Zika causes microcephaly and/or Guillan Barre Syndrome, Mead said “In some ways, proof is kind of the weight of many different kinds of scientific evidence that’s kind of decided by the scientific community as a whole, when people really become convinced.”

Thanked: Roger Detels, UCLA epidemiologist, by the Minister of Health of Vietnam for his contributions to the health and well-being of the Vietnamese and to the development of medicine in that country. Detels has received similar recognition by other countries in Asia for his work related to handling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Died: Myron “Mike” Schultz, CDC epidemiologist for over 50 years, on February 19, 2016. He was called a true public health legend for his long service and a public health super sleuth for his work directing 130 field epidemiologic investigations and multiple other activities related to disease prevention and health promotion. According to his alumni colleagues in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, “Mike was known throughout CDC for his sharp mind, quick wit, and big heart. Stories abound of his willingness to listen, take an interest, and to connect people with resources.” A full obituary is at

Honored: Geoff Dougherty, social epidemiologist working with US News & World Report, by the American Association of Health Care Journalists for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. Doughterty co-wrote the story  “Risks Are High At Low Volume Hospitals”.  The writers reported that hospitals continue to perform hip and knee replacements at low volumes despite the well-known risks to patients.

Died:  Edward Lammer, at age 62 on February 20, 2016. The former CDC epidemiologist and principal investigator at the University of California San Francisco’s Children’s Hospital Research Institute died unexpectedly just before his 63rd birthday. His early career involved work on the acne drug Accutane which was associated with severe birth defects, and he continued working on genetic and environmental causes of birth defects throughout his career. A full obituary is at

Honored: Brian L. Strom, pharmacoepidemiologist, with the Oscar B. Hunter Career Award in Therapeutics by the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics for outstanding contributions to clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. Storm is currently chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. He is the former Executive Vice Dean of Institutional Affairs, Founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Founding Director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Founding Director of the Graduate Program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, all at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.

DIED: Ward Cates, at age 73, on March 17, 2016.  His obituary notes "the world has lost one of the champions of public health and a pioneer researcher in the fields of HIV/AIDS and women's reproductive health."  He worked for many years at CDC and later at Family Health International where he was President Emeritus of Research at FHI at the time of his death.  As his Yale classmates pointed out, he had a "unique ability to light up a room with his contagious ebullience."

Named: Michelle Williams, as Dean of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health starting in July. Dr Williams is currently the Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard. The President of Harvard told the Harvard Gazette, “Michelle Williams is an eminent epidemiologist, an outstanding teacher and mentor, and an energizing leader and institutional citizen, impassioned about the power of public health to change people’s lives for the better.”

Elected: Chen Chien-Jen, as vice-president of Taiwan in mid-January. Chen is an epidemiologist who made a reputation for himself in the way he handled the SARS outbreak in 2003. He has carried out influential studies on arsenic and hepatitis according to Nature and is widely respected throughout the country in many different communities.

Murdered: Sandra Thomas-Trudo, Chief Epidemiologist of the Nashville Health Department. The Director of Nashville Public Health called her an intelligent, passionate public health professional and a valued member of our team.” According to press accounts, her husband implicated himself in the stabbing murder and was arrested. There was no known history of domestic violence.

Named: Paul VanVeldhuisen, as Chief Operating Officer of the Emmes Corporation, a research support company. He holds a PhD in epidemiology from George Washington University. The president of Emmes told FierceBiotech “Paul’s vision, leadership, and understanding of our business and culture make him an ideal COO, and I am looking forward to working with him in his new role.” In the same article, VanVeldhuisen, noted “What has stayed consistent during my 22 years here is our commitment to provide critical services that address important issues in public health…These are the kinds of challenges that inspire our staff to do their best. It’s the dedicated employees committed to Emmes’ mission that make this a remarkable place to work.”

Honored: W Ian Lipkin, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia School of Public, with the China International Science and Technology Cooperation Award. Conferred by the President of China, the award is considered China’s top science honor.


Appointed: Bhramar Mukherjee, as Associate Director for Population Science Research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Mukherjee is professor of biostatistics and of epidemiology at the University’s School of Public Health. She is described as a ‘stellar researcher in biostatistics, epidemiology, and disparities.'


Died: Betty Mansour, retired Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, of bowel cancer at age 66. She was the key promoter of the IEA Congress held in Alaska in 2014 where she met many colleagues.  Dr. Rhonda Johnson, a colleague, wrote “We are so grateful that Betty decided to explore ‘the far North’ for the final stages of her career. She made many genuine contributions to the development and success of our graduate program in public health at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and she will be warmly remembered and much missed!

To read the obituary, visit

Appointed: Sally Vernon, to the Board of Scientific Counselors for Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology at the National Cancer Institute. Vernon is chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston School of Public Health. She will make site visits to NCI labs and help evaluate the research programs NCI is carrying out.

Tribute Paid: To Dimitrios Trichopoulos, by more than 20 speakers at a day long symposium at Harvard’s School of Public Health. Trichopoulos was a Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard and a leading cancer epidemiologist. “He was generous, had a kind spirit, and a long-lasting love affair with the discipline of epidemiology ," Michelle Williams, the current chair of epidemiology at Harvard

Profiled: David Kleinbaum, Professor at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health in the December 15 issue of Emory Report. According to the profile, “From Hawaiian shirts to playing in a jazz band, epidemiology professor David Kleinbaum is known for creativity. After almost five decades, he’s still devising new ways to engage students—including this year’s debut of ActivEpi Web.”

Profiled and Honored: Sheryl Magzamen, Assistant Professor at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins Colorado. CSU’s The Source notes Magzamen is only one of seven promising young researchers currently funded in the environmental health sciences. She will receive the Zoetis Research Excellence Award at the end of January from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences.

Honored: Ian Dohoo, Professor Emeritus of epidemiology at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island with a lifetime achievement award by the International Society for Veternnary Epidemiology and Economics. Dohoo is known worldwide for his expertise in veterinary epidemiology.

Honored: Michael Marmot, with the 2015 Prince Mahidol Award in Public Health. Marmot is described as "a pioneer in the field of social epidemiology for 35 years". The award was established in commemoration of the centenary of the birth of Prince Mahidol and consists of a medal, certificate, and a sum of $100,000. The award will be presented on January 28, 2016 in Thailand.

Honored: JoAnn Manson, Harvard epidemiologist and professor  as recipient of the Thomas Clarkson Outstanding Research Award from the North American Menopause Society in October 2015 for exceptional contributions to the understanding of women’s cardiovascular health. Dr. Manson is professor in the Harvard School of Public Health, the Medical School, and chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Appointed: Kathy Helzlsouer, as chief medical officer and as an associate director in the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. She will direct several branches in the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program. The director of the Division called Helzlsouer “a highly accomplished epidemiologist and clinician with a broad vision of cancer epidemiology, prevention, and control.

Profiled: Yasmin Altwaijri, head of epidemiology at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, in Tufts Now. She is of interest because she is “blazing a trail for epidemiology and for Saudi women in science,” according to the almost 1300 word article about Alwaijri and the challenges of doing epidemiology in her country. To read the profile visit

Honored: Michael Criqui, as recipient of the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award “in recognition of his exceptional dedication and achievement as a mentor to more than 500 junior faculty members, fellows, and other trainees while achieving success as a medical scientist, physician, and educator. Dr Criqui has made major contributions to the study of cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention. Dr Criqui is currently at the University of California San Diego as a Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Medicine and of Family and Preventive Medicine.

Died: James Mendlein, retired CDC epidemiologist and Public Health Service Captain, on September 14, 2015. He received his PHD and MPH degrees from UCLA and was part of the Epidemic Intelligence Service class of 1985. He subsequently worked in multiple different programs at CDC including the Division of Injury Control, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, and the Division of International Health. In this last unit he worked with the Field Epidemiology Training Program where he extended his influence to epidemiologists in many countries.

Died: Leon Gordis, 81, of a subdural hematoma, on September 7 in New York City. Gordis was the former chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins and author of “Epidemiology”, a widely used textbook. In an obituary in the Baltimore Sun, David Celentano, the current chair of Epidemiology at Hopkins, called Gordis  a really impressive teacher who was loved by generations of students. A funeral and burial were held September 8 in Jerusalem.

Appointed: Tomas Nuño, as research assistant professor in the University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine. Nuño completed both doctoral and post-doctoral training  at the University of Arizona. In a press reléase describing the announcement, the head of the Department called Nuño “an amazing talent” and said he will be a “tremendous asset” to the ongoing research programs.

Died: Donald Millar, 81, of kidney failure, at his home in Murrayville, Georgia. Millar was a former director of multiple CDC programs, including those on smallpox eradication, environmental, and occupational health. CDC colleagues said in announcing his death that Millar “considered the continuing toll of missed opportunity in public health ‘an obscenity’, and one of his keynotes was to ask—Where is the outrage? He used this question to ask of himself and of all of the CDC staff to do always more for the public’s health, said colleagues.

Honored: Doctors Without Borders, with the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award, “for bold leadership in responding to the recent Ebola outbreak and for sustained and effective frontline responses to health emergencies.” (See related article).

Named: Timothy Lash, professor of epidemiology at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, as leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Lash’s research focuses on molecular biomarkers that predict cancer recurrence and on age-related disparities in the quality of cancer care.

Honored: Tom Monath, Chief Scientific Officer of the Infectious Disease Division at NewLink Genetics, with the James Steele Gold-Headed Cane award of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society. The award is given for career accomplishments that advance human health through veterinary epidemiology and public health. Monath has been involved in the development of multiple vaccines and is currently helping to develop an Ebola vaccine.

No image available

Honored: Dmitry Shaposhnikov, Senior Researcher, Environmental Health Lab, Institute for Economic Forecasting, Russian Academy of Sciences, with the Rothman Prize for the best paper published in Epidemiology in 2014. The paper is entitled “Mortality Related to Air Pollution with the Moscow Health Wave and Wildfire of 2010". The award includes a $5,000 cash prize.

Appointed: Stephen Schwartz, epidemiologist in Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s Public Health Sciences Division, to the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Counselors—Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology.

Honored: Steven Macdonald, clinical associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, with the Pumphandle Award from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) for “extraordinary contributions to and outstanding achievements in the field of applied epidemiology”. According to CSTE, the prestigious award honors a State, Local, Territorial or Federal Epidemiologist who exemplifies these achievements.

Died: Frederick Pei Li, professor at Harvard Medical and Public Health Schools, on June 12 at age 75. Tracking patterns of cancer in children with colleague Joseph Fraumeni at NCI in the 1960’s, they uncovered a rare cancer with a genetic basis now called Li-Fraumeni syndrome.  Li went on to do important work on genetics and cancer and on cancer prevention strategies.

Honored: Louise Brinton, Chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at NCI, with the Career Accomplishment Award from the Society for Epidemiologic Research at its June 2015 meeting. Career accomplishment and leadership impact on the field are core criteria used in selecting the awardee, according to SER.

Honored: Joseph Lyon, Professor Emeritus at the University of Utah School of Medicine, with the Distinguished Service to SER award.  The award is given to recognize individuals who have multiple years of outstanding contributions to the organization. Award winners are selected by the leadership of the organization.

Honored: Enrique Schisterman, Senior Investigator and Chief of the Epidemiology Branch at the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Developmentwith the Excellence in Education award from the SER at its June 2015 meeting. The award is given annually to an individual who has made substantial contributions to the field of epidemiology through one or more of mentoring, training, and/or teaching.

Honored: Sunni Mumford, Investigator at the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with the Brian MacMahon Early Career Epidemiologist award from the Society for Epidemiologic Research at its June 2015 meeting. The award is made for substantial contributions to the field and likelihood of becoming a future leader in epidemiology.

Honored: Ashley Naimi, Assistant Professor at McGill University, with the Lilienfeld Postdoctoral Prize Paper award from the Society for Epidemiologic Research at its June 2015 meeting. The award is given to recognize outstanding postdoctoral epidemiologic research.

Honored: Hailey Banack, doctoral student at McGill, with the Tyroler Student Prize Paper award from the Society for Epidemiologic Research at its June 2015 meeting. It is given to recognize the best submitted paper by a student in a doctoral program with a concentration in epidemiology.

Appointed: Ann Aschengrau, professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, as an associate editor of the journal Environmental Health, an Open Journal with an impact factor of 3.372 in 2014.

Honored: Mollie Wood, University of Massachusetts, with the Student Prize Paper Award from the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research at its June 2015 meeting. Her paper was entitled "Prenatal triptan exposure increases externalizing behaviors at three years: results from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study"

Honored: Edwina Yeung, Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with the Rising Star award given by the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research at its June 2015 meeting. This award is to recognize early to mid-career investigators whose achievements and potential set them on a trajectory to become research leaders in the field of reproductive, perinatal and pediatric epidemiology.

Honored: Allen J. Wilcox, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, with the Mentoring award given by the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research at its June 2015 meeting.

Honored: Pauline Mendola, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with the President’s award given by the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research at its June 2015 meeting.

Profiled: David Van Sickle, CEO and co-founder of Propeller Health, called an “up and comer” company in the health care information technology field by the publication Healthcare Informatics. Trained as an anthropologist and then as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at CDC, Van Sickle created “Asthmapolis” which attaches to inhalers and syncs wirelessly with smartphones and can track triggers and symptoms. The company is discovering multiple other applications that can improve individual and public health.

Died: David Sackett, professor emeritus at McMaster University, on May 13 at age 80. He was  called “the father or evidence-based medicine”. In a Globe and Mail obituary, Brian Haynes, a former student and a professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster said  “David pioneered the approach of bringing public health methods to clinical care. He insisted that sound evidence guides practice for the sake of the patient.” Readers who wish to read more details about Sackett’s interesting life and productive career can read a set of written answers provided by Sackett to questions he received from friends and colleagues after they learned of his diagnosis--metastatic cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile ducts).  The 103 page document is available online at:

Retiring: Polly Marchbanks, epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on June 30, 2015, after 30 years of distinguished public service. She was a leader in multiple research and practice areas at CDC over the years. Marchbanks serves as an editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology and is a former president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER). She initiated the first Epidemiology Late-Breaker Session at the SER annual meeting, and chaired the session for 22 years. Her message to colleagues at CDC upon retirement offered the following assessment.  “Looking back over the past 30 years, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity CDC gives us to make a difference in the lives of people. I hope you will never underestimate the importance of your work, your contributions, and the unique part that you play in promoting health throughout the United States and the world.” Readers who wish to send her a note may do so at

Hired: Siiri Bennett, a senior research scientist and medical data consultant in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington in Seattle as state epidemiologist in Maine beginning July 20, 2015. According to press reports,  Maine has lacked a state epidemiologist since May 2014.

Honored: Nancy Glynn, with the Margaret Gloninger Service Award for her volunteer work by the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. Glynn is assistant professor and director of the master’s program in the Department of Epidemiology. She helped establish Epi Gives Back, a group that offers volunteer opportunities for students and faculty.

Appointed: Jeff Duchin, as Health Officer for the Seattle King County Health Department, effective immediately. Duchin has been serving at the Interim Health Officer since January and as the Chief of the Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Section.

Appointed: Jeff Duchin, as interim local health officer for Public Health—Seattle & King County on January 5. Duchin was serving as chief of the department’s Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Section when appointed. He will split his time between the two positions.


Honored: Lewis Kuller, with the John Snow award from the American Public Health Association at its annual meeting in 2014 in New Orleans. According to the APHA spokesperson, Dr Kuller was selected because of not only his enormous body of work contributing to the field of epidemiology, but also his impact on students and the next generation of epidemiologists.” In accepting the award, Kuller pointed out that “APHA’s recognition of our work…is a testament to the skill and expertise of our team at Pitt Public Health.”

Died: Joseph McLaughlin, 66, unexpectedly on December 10, 2014. Dr McLaughlin was President of the International Epidemiology Institute which he co-founded in 1994. According to the Institute, he led many large studies and was considered an expert on kidney cancer. A full obituary can be found at

Died: David Callahan, 50, unexpectedly on January 6, 2015. He was team supervisor of Career Epidemiology Field Officers in the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr Callahan was a former Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer. According to the EIS Alumni Association News obituary, at the time of his death, Dr Callahan was doing what he loved most—guiding epidemiologists and working with state and local partners to advance public health.

Awarded: to Perry Hystad, Oregon State University epidemiologist, the Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award is for $250,000 a year for up to five years. Hystad will investigate the global health impacts of air pollution which kills an estimated 3.2 million persons a year. He told the local media “When people first look at this they say, ‘This can’t be real — the numbers are too high,’” he said. “But that’s because this is something everybody is exposed to.”



Honored: Laurence Kolonel, University of Hawaii Professor, with an award for excellence in cancer epidemiology and prevention given by the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society. Kolonel was to be honored and speak in Washington DC in early April on a topic entitled “Advancing Epidemiologic Research: Studies in ‘Special’ Populations.”

Profiled: Susan Baker, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health injury epidemiologist, in the spring issue of the Johns Hopkins Magazine. Baker has made a long career of studying injuries and her large body of work made it legitimate for epidemiologists to work in the field, according to one of her colleagues. Baker is still active studying fatalities caused by fires and sightseeing flights.

Profiled: Ross Brownson, Washington University in St Louis, by the University’s Newsroom. The article traces Brownson’s career through both public health and academic work. According to the article, “And it is his demeanor — calm, amiable, unflappable — that, when combined with his experience in both the public sector and academia, makes him uniquely situated to effect real change in public health from his office as co-director of the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis.”  [ ]

Passed and Honored:  Steve Thacker, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.

From our recent article on Steve's honor just prior to his passing:

A moving ceremony was held on Tuesday morning to recognize and celebrate the outstanding epidemiology career of CDC's Steve Thacker. The beloved epidemiologist, who was recently diagnosed with the rapidly progressive and always fatal Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, served at CDC in multiple high level positions including stewardship of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program and the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

He was a colleague and mentor to hundreds of established and budding epidemiologists around the world. Last week Thacker received the Surgeon General's medallion which is the highest award of the Public Health Service and two awards are being created at CDC in his name. At the CDC ceremony, CDC Director Tom Frieden stated simply that much of what CDC is today comes from Steve's work. As one colleague put it most simply and eloquently, Steve has been a "pillar" of CDC.

For a sampling of the hundreds of testimonials from colleagues sent to his family at their website, click below.

Passed: Robert Millikan, Professor of cancer epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, on October 7, 2012. His work focused on better understanding and treatment of breast cancer, particularly for African American women. According to UNC’s dean, “The nation has lost a brilliant, humane public health leader.”

Presenter: David Williams, Harvard Professor of Public Health, at Yale’s Psychiatry Grand Rounds in May. According to Williams, “Your zip code is a more powerful predictor of you health than your genetic code…in some states, there is a 13 year difference in life expectancy based on what county you live in.”

Milestone: Dr. Warren Winkelstein Jr., professor emeritus of epidemiology and a former dean at the University of California, Berkeley, who is credited with leading definitive studies on AIDS transmission, air pollution and other health issues, died Sunday, July 22. He was 90.

Winkelstein’s distinguished career spanned six decades and was marked by numerous accomplishments, such as leading the landmark San Francisco Men’s Health Study that began in the early 1980s.


Epidemiologist R. Palmer Beasley, whose pivotal research on hepatitis B in Taiwan first linked the virus to liver cancer, died of pancreatic cancer at his Houston home. He was 76.

Beasley, who was dean of the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health for nearly 20 year, made his mark in the 1970s with a series of studies that proved the cancer link and also discovered how Asian children were infected with hepatitis B during childbirth by their mothers who were carriers.

At the time of Beasley's death, he was director of UT School of Public Health's Center for International Training and Research and the Ashbel Smith Professor of Epidemiology. His work on hepatitis B has been recognized with several medical awards, including the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine, the Charles S. Mott Prize and the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement.

Honored: Bruce Lanphear, Professor at Simon Fraser University, with an award of the Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy. The unusual prize is given to a university person who provokes and/or contributes to the understanding of controversy. Lanphear has been provocative because he has been highlighting the health effects of even low levels of exposure to lead.

Appointed: William Maier, as Chief Scientific Officer of REGISTRAT-MAPI, a global contract research organization. He was most recently vice-president and head of epidemiology for the organization, and prior to that senior director of epidemiology at GlaxoSmithKline and Elan Pharmaceuticals. He received his PhD in epidemiology from UNC and an MPH from San Diego State University.

Elected: Barbara Abrams, to the Institute of Medicine. Dr Abrams is professor of epidemiology, maternal and child health, and public health nutrition at the University of California Berkeley. She was cited for her contributions to maternal and child health nutrition documenting the association between maternal weight gain and birth outcomes.

Other epidemiologists also elected to the IOM this year include JoAnn Manson, professor in the Harvard School of Public Health and the Medical School, and Richard Jackson, professor and chair of the department of environmental health sciences at UCLA School of Public Health.

Honored: Robert Wallace, by the Institute of Medicine with the Walsh McDermott medal for his distinguished service to the IOM over an extended period of time. Dr Wallace holds the Ensminger Stecher Professorship in Cancer Research at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. According to the IOM, his passion for research andexpertise in preventive medicine and epidemiology makes him a versatile and productive contributor to the organization.

Awarded: To Charles (Chuck) Ratzlaff, a Research Trainee Award, for his post-doctoral work to be undertaken on osteoarthritis of the hip. The award was made by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Ratzlaff is in the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Health Care and Epidemiology at the University of British Columbia.

Appointed: William Latimer, former director of the Drug Dependence Epidemiology Training Program at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, as chairman of the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions.


      ©  2011 The Epidemiology Monitor

Privacy  Terms of Use  Sitemap

Digital Smart Tools, LLC