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

Click here to view full list

Maldonado LE, Farzan SF, Toledo-Corral CM, Dunton GF, Habre R, Eckel SP, Johnson M, Yang T, Grubbs BH, Lerner D, Chavez T, Breton CV, Bastain TM.J Nutr. 2022 Dec;152(12):2837-2846. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxac209. Epub 2023 Feb 10.PMID: 37230681

Weng J, Molshatzki N, Marjoram P, Gauderman WJ, Gilliland FD, Eckel SP.Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 1;13(1):5346. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-31774-7.PMID: 37005426Free PMC article.

Hernandez-Castro I, Eckel SP, Howe CG, Niu Z, Kannan K, Robinson M, Foley HB, Grubbs B, Al-Marayati L, Lerner D, Lurvey N, Aung MT, Habre R, Dunton GF, Farzan SF, Breton CV, Bastain TM.Environ Res. 2023 Jun 1;226:115703. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.115703. Epub 2023 Mar 17.PMID: 36934865Free article.

Rahman MM, Lorenzo M, Ban-Weiss G, Hasan Z, Azzouz M, Eckel SP, Conti DV, Lurmann F, Schlaerth H, Johnston J, Ko J, Palinkas L, Hurlburt M, Silva S, Gauderman WJ, McConnell R, Garcia E.Sci Total Environ. 2023 May 20;874:162462. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162462. Epub 2023 Feb 27.PMID: 36858215

Garcia E, Johnston J, McConnell R, Palinkas L, Eckel SP.Sci Total Environ. 2023 Apr 1;867:161761. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.161761. Epub 2023 Feb 2.PMID: 36739036

Rahman MM, Carter SA, Lin JC, Chow T, Yu X, Martinez MP, Levitt P, Chen Z, Chen JC, Rud D, Lewinger JP, Eckel SP, Schwartz J, Lurmann FW, Kleeman MJ, McConnell R, Xiang AH.Environ Int. 2023 Jan;171:107736. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.107736. Epub 2023 Jan 5.PMID: 36623380Free PMC article.

Foley HB, Howe CG, Eckel SP, Chavez T, Gevorkian L, Reyes EG, Kapanke B, Martinez D, Xue S, Suglia SF, Bastain TM, Marsit C, Breton CV.J Affect Disord. 2023 Feb 15;323:799-808. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.12.039. Epub 2022 Dec 20.PMID: 36563790

Rahman MM, Carter SA, Lin JC, Chow T, Yu X, Martinez MP, Chen Z, Chen JC, Rud D, Lewinger JP, van Donkelaar A, Martin RV, Eckel SP, Schwartz J, Lurmann F, Kleeman MJ, McConnell R, Xiang AH.Environ Sci Technol. 2023 Jan 10;57(1):405-414. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c05197. Epub 2022 Dec 22.PMID: 36548990

Peterson AK, Eckel SP, Habre R, Yang T, Faham D, Amin M, Grubbs BH, Farzan SF, Kannan K, Robinson M, Lerner D, Al-Marayati LA, Walker DK, Grant EG, Breton CV, Bastain TM.Environ Adv. 2022 Oct;9:100286. doi: 10.1016/j.envadv.2022.100286. Epub 2022 Sep 8.PMID: 36507367Free PMC article.

Peterson AK, Habre R, Niu Z, Amin M, Yang T, Eckel SP, Farzan SF, Lurmann F, Pavlovic N, Grubbs BH, Walker D, Al-Marayati LA, Grant E, Lerner D, Bastain TM, Breton CV.Environ Health. 2022 Nov 26;21(1):115. doi: 10.1186/s12940-022-00925-0.PMID: 36434705Free PMC article.