Research

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

Projects:

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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Malin AJ, Eckel SP, Hu H, Martinez-Mier EA, Hernandez-Castro I, Yang T, Farzan SF, Habre R, Breton CV, Bastain TM.JAMA Netw Open. 2024 May 1;7(5):e2411987. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.11987.PMID: 38767917

Azzouz M, Hasan Z, Rahman MM, Gauderman WJ, Lorenzo M, Lurmann FW, Eckel SP, Palinkas L, Johnston J, Hurlburt M, Silva SJ, Schlaerth H, Ko J, Ban-Weiss G, McConnell R, Stockfelt L, Garcia E.J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2024 May 7. doi: 10.1038/s41370-024-00676-9. Online ahead of print.PMID: 38714894

Baumert BO, Eckel SP, Goodrich JA, Li Z, Stratakis N, Walker DI, Zhao Y, Fischer FC, Bartell S, Valvi D, Lin X, Fuentes ZC, Inge T, Ryder J, Jenkins T, Kohli R, Sisley S, Xanthakos S, Rock S, La Merrill MA, McConnell R, Conti DV, Chatzi L.Sci Total Environ. 2024 Jun 20;930:172840. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.172840. Epub 2024 Apr 27.PMID: 38685432

Ji N, Eckel SP, Foley H, Yang T, Lurmann F, Grubbs BH, Habre R, Bastain TM, Farzan SF, Breton CV.Environ Res. 2024 Mar 28;252(Pt 1):118797. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2024.118797. Online ahead of print.PMID: 38555084

Chen JC, Goodrich JA, Walker DI, Liao J, Costello E, Alderete TL, Valvi D, Hampson H, Li S, Baumert BO, Rock S, Jones DP, Eckel SP, McConnell R, Gilliland FD, Aung MT, Conti DV, Chen Z, Chatzi L.Environ Int. 2024 Apr;186:108601. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2024.108601. Epub 2024 Mar 23.PMID: 38537583Free article.

Niu Z, Habre R, Yang T, Chen X, Vigil M, Barragan K, Lurmann F, Pavlovic NR, Grubbs BH, Toledo-Corral CM, Johnston J, Dunton GF, Lerner D, Lurvey N, Al-Marayati L, Eckel SP, Breton CV, Bastain TM, Farzan SF.Hypertension. 2024 Jun;81(6):1285-1295. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.123.22272. Epub 2024 Mar 27.PMID: 38533642

Rubbo B, Li Z, Tachachartvanich P, Baumert BO, Wang H, Pan S, Rock S, Ryder JR, Jenkins T, Sisley S, Lin X, Bartell S, Inge TH, Xanthakos S, McNeil B, Robuck AR, La Merrill MA, Walker DI, Conti DV, McConnell R, Eckel SP, Chatzi L.Obesity (Silver Spring). 2024 May;32(5):1023-1032. doi: 10.1002/oby.24009. Epub 2024 Mar 22.PMID: 38515392

Yin H, Sharma B, Hu H, Liu F, Kaur M, Cohen G, McConnell R, Eckel SP.Clean Environ Syst. 2024 Mar;12:100155. doi: 10.1016/j.cesys.2023.100155. Epub 2023 Nov 26.PMID: 38444563

Maldonado LE, Bastain TM, Toledo-Corral CM, Dunton GF, Habre R, Eckel SP, Yang T, Grubbs BH, Chavez T, Al-Marayati LA, Breton CV, Farzan SF.J Am Heart Assoc. 2024 Mar 5;13(5):e029848. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.123.029848. Epub 2024 Feb 27.PMID: 38410940Free PMC article.

Yi L, Xu Y, O'Connor S, Cabison J, Rosales M, Chu D, Chavez TA, Johnson M, Mason TB, Eckel SP, Bastain TM, Breton CV, Wilson JP, Dunton GF, Habre R.Sci Total Environ. 2024 Mar 25;918:170551. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170551. Epub 2024 Feb 8.PMID: 38336080