I am interested in developing and applying statistical methods that address important public health and scientific issues. So far, my work has focused on methods and applications studying the health effects of air pollution in vulnerable populations such as children and older adults. I predominantly work with data from large observational cohort studies.

Statistical interests:
Longitudinal models, multilevel models, effect modification, integrated models, latent variables, scaling regression coefficients, reproducible research, modern prediction techniques (machine learning)

Substantive interests:
Environmental epidemiology, biomarkers, aging, exhaled nitric oxide, asthma, traffic-related pollution, cancer, mHealth, wearable sensors


PhD thesis projects:

My PhD thesis (advisor: Tom Louis) was composed of three parts. In the first project, "Identifying effect modifiers in air pollution time-series studies using a two-stage analysis", we developed and implemented a method to systematically identify potential effect modifiers of the relationship between daily mortality counts and daily levels of ambient particulate matter in a subset of cities in the National Morbidity and Mortality Air Pollution study. In the second project, "Surrogate models for the low physical activity criterion of frailty in older adults" we developed and implemented methods to: (a) streamline assessement and (b) fill in missing values for physical activity, one of 5 criteria used in a common clinical phenotype of generontologic fraily, in the Cardiovascular Health Study. In the third project, "Modification by frailty status of ambient air pollution effects on lung function in older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study", we related longitudinal assessments of lung function to either: (a) recent summaries of pollution and current gerontologic frailty status or (b) cumulative summaries of pollution and frailty status history.

Reproducible Research:

As statistical analyses become increasingly complex, we have a growing need to accurately reproduce results. While at JHSPH, I worked with Dr. Roger Peng to create an R package called 'stashR' (A Set of Tools for Administering SHared Repositories) which is part of a toolkit for conducting and distributing reproducible research, particularly in the context of the Sweave system to interweave code (in R) and text (in LaTeX).

Recent Publications

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Yani MS, Eckel SP, Kirages DJ, Rodriguez LV, Corcos DM, Kutch JJ.Phys Ther. 2022 May 14:pzac059. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzac059. Online ahead of print.PMID: 35576002

Chen Z, Sidell MA, Huang BZ, Chow T, Eckel SP, Martinez MP, Gheissari R, Lurmann F, Thomas DC, Gilliland FD, Xiang AH.Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2022 May 10. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202108-1909OC. Online ahead of print.PMID: 35537137

Costello E, Rock S, Stratakis N, Eckel SP, Walker DI, Valvi D, Cserbik D, Jenkins T, Xanthakos SA, Kohli R, Sisley S, Vasiliou V, La Merrill MA, Rosen H, Conti DV, McConnell R, Chatzi L.Environ Health Perspect. 2022 Apr;130(4):46001. doi: 10.1289/EHP10092. Epub 2022 Apr 27.PMID: 35475652Free PMC article.Review.

Hao H, Eckel SP, Hosseini A, Van Vliet EDS, Dzubur E, Dunton G, Chang SY, Craig K, Rocchio R, Bastain T, Gilliland F, Okelo S, Ross MK, Sarrafzadeh M, Bui AAT, Habre R.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Mar 17;19(6):3578. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19063578.PMID: 35329265Free PMC article.

Rahman MM, Liu FF, Eckel SP, Sankaranarayanan I, Shafiei-Jahani P, Howard E, Baronikian L, Sattler F, Lurmann FW, Allayee H, Akbari O, McConnell R.Environ Health. 2022 Mar 19;21(1):36. doi: 10.1186/s12940-022-00842-2.PMID: 35305663Free PMC article.

Sidell MA, Chen Z, Huang BZ, Chow T, Eckel SP, Martinez MP, Lurmann F, Thomas DC, Gilliland FD, Xiang AH.Environ Res. 2022 May 15;208:112758. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.112758. Epub 2022 Jan 19.PMID: 35063430Free PMC article.

Rahman MM, Shu YH, Chow T, Lurmann FW, Yu X, Martinez MP, Carter SA, Eckel SP, Chen JC, Chen Z, Levitt P, Schwartz J, McConnell R, Xiang AH.Environ Health Perspect. 2022 Jan;130(1):17008. doi: 10.1289/EHP9509. Epub 2022 Jan 18.PMID: 35040691Free PMC article.

Islam T, Braymiller J, Eckel SP, Liu F, Tackett AP, Rebuli ME, Barrington-Trimis J, McConnell R.Thorax. 2022 Jan 10:thoraxjnl-2021-217041. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2021-217041. Online ahead of print.PMID: 35013000Free article.

Funk WE, Montgomery N, Bae Y, Chen J, Chow T, Martinez MP, Lurmann F, Eckel SP, McConnell R, Xiang AH.Front Public Health. 2021 Dec 23;9:730369. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.730369. eCollection 2021.PMID: 35004563Free PMC article.

Campbell CE, Mezher AF, Tyszka JM, Nagel BJ, Eckel SP, Herting MM.Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2022 Mar;137:105604. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105604. Epub 2021 Nov 24.PMID: 34971856