University of Washington

Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Training Program

Year 2013-2014


Amy Moore, MS, Pre-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

My primary area of interest is genetic, transcriptomic, and epigenetic epidemiology in the
context of early life origins of adulthood health and disease. In particular, I am interested in
investigations of maternal and offspring genetic variations, their interactions with each other and
modifiable environmental factors, and offspring health. During the Reproductive, Perinatal, and
Pediatric Epidemiology training program I hope to gain expertise in the methodology needed to
study relationships between genetic susceptibility factors and "exposures" and learn skills that
will enable me to advance in the field. My mentors are Drs. Daniel Enquobahrie and David
Siscovick and my dissertation topic is "Genetic Variation in Immune Response and Vitamin D
Metabolism and Developmental Origins of Cardiometabolic Risk".

Jonathan Huang, MPH, Pre-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

My interest primarily lies in understanding the mechanisms for population health inequities. Specifically, I am interested in how adult cardiometabolic disease disparities may be facilitated by in-utero, maternal, and intergenerational adversity. The RPPE training program grants me the privilege of investigating potential epigenetic mechanisms for observable maternal and child health inequities while building my statistical and methodological skills in social and genetic epidemiology. My goal is to translate this opportunity into both a productive and collaborative research career and also effective policies to reduce US health inequities. I am currently working on my dissertation topic, “Early life socioeconomic factors, adult cardiometabolic and pregnancy outcomes, and potential epigenetic mechanisms in young adult women”, in the AddHealth (with Dr. Amelia Gavin) and Jerusalem Perinatal Study (with Drs Daniel Enquobahrie and David Siscovick) cohorts.








Christine Loftus Christine Loftus, MS, MPH, Pre-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

For my doctoral degree I am studying environmental epidemiology with an emphasis on exposures that disproportionately affect children in vulnerable communities and contribute to health disparities in the United States. Currently, I am being mentored by Drs. Catherine Karr and Harvey Checkoway in a spatio-temporal analysis of pediatric asthma exacerbations in the Yakima Valley, an agricultural region of Washington State. For my dissertation project, I will explore the relationships between asthma exacerbations in this community and airborne emissions of nearby large dairy operations using a longitudinal, repeated measures study design and atmospheric modeling of pollutant plumes. As an RPPE fellow, I hope to gain experience in how to design and conduct epidemiologic studies with results that can be translated to public health practice.








Mark Hensley Mark Hensley, MS, Pre-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

For my dissertation, I am studying the relationship between air pollution and maternal and child health outcomes (such as pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, low birth weight and preterm birth). I am particularly interested in genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that might underlie these relationships. The RPPE training grant is allowing me the wonderful opportunity to explore these relationships while improving my study design and analysis methods under several wonderful mentors. In addition to their collaborative mentoring on my dissertation project, I am currently investigating questions related to other maternal exposures and gene expression with Dr. Daniel Enquobahrie, and questions related to air pollution and atherosclerosis with Dr. Joel Kaufman.








Sylvia Badon Sylvia Badon, MS, Pre-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

My current goals in the RPPE training program are to solidify my knowledge of epidemiologic study design, strengthen my analytic skills, and further refine my research interests within perinatal epidemiology. I am interested in prenatal determinants of metabolism and body composition and the long term health effects of weight gain, physical activity, and nutrition during pregnancy. I am currently working on medical record abstraction for a study on migraines and preeclampsia at Swedish Medical Center and am being mentored by Dr. Daniel Enquobahrie.








Luke Wander Luke Wander, MD, Post-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

Even before I started medical school, I was fascinated by diabetes and the science of epidemiology, and studied it as an undergraduate as part of my post-baccalaureate. During residency, my research focused on anthropometric measures such as hand-grip strength, limb length length, and change in intra-abdominal fat and their associations with risk of incident diabetes. During this post-doctoral research fellowship, I am working with Drs. Daniel Enquobahrie and Ed Boyko on projects describing associations of maternal physical activity and gestational weight gain with offspring birth size, as well as epigenetic mechanisms of insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.








Gaia Pocobelli Gaia Pocobelli, MS, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

My research interests include pharmacoepidemiology, perinatal epidemiology and epidemiologic methods. My primary goal as a Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology trainee is to gain expertise in the use of epidemiologic methods to study the safety of medication use during pregnancy. Toward this end I am collaborating with Dr. Sascha Dublin at Group Health Research Institute to conduct a retrospective cohort study of perinatal outcomes associated with use of benzodiazepines and opioids during pregnancy. Additional research in this area will include a collaboration with Dr. Daniel Enquobahrie to evaluate perinatal outcomes associated with use of psychotropic medication during pregnancy using data from a prospective cohort study. I am also working with Dr. Beth Mueller to study in-utero and early life exposures associated with the development of hypertension during childhood using linked hospital discharge and birth certificate data from Washington State.




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Last modified: December 6, 2013