University of Washington

Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Training Program

Year 2014-2015


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 primary interest within perinatal epidemiology is investigating the developmental origins of adult health and disease. Within this area, I am specifically interested in short and long term consequences of maternal physical activity during pregnancy on offspring health, including growth and metabolism in childhood and adulthood. I am also interested in potential epigenetic mechanisms that may play a role in these relationships. As an RPPE fellow, I am solidifying my knowledge of epidemiologic methods and continuing to strengthen my analytic skills under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Enquobahrie.








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.




Paige Wartko, MPHc Paige Wartko, MPHc, Pre-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

My primary area of interest is perinatal epidemiology, specifically the effect of medication exposure on pregnancy outcomes and the association of reproductive factors and health later in life. As an RPPE trainee, I want to strengthen my understanding of epidemiologic methods and enhance my analytic skills, in addition to gaining more knowledge in reproductive and perinatal epidemiology. Currently, I am working with Dr. Stephen Hawes on the association of gestational diabetes and endometrial cancer. I have also conducted work at Public Health-Seattle & King County, investigating low birth weight by detailed race/ethnicity, including multiple race and country of origin.








Sabah Quraishi Sabah Quraishi, MPH, Pre-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

My research interest focuses around how in utero and early life environmental exposures can influence disease risk. Specifically, how early life exposures to certain environmental chemicals can impact infant growth and biological functioning. How these exposures in early life alter biological systems to alter growth or make one more susceptible to disease is not always understood. Through my training with the RPPE program, I will gain experience in perinatal epidemiologic studies which I can use to explore these questions. I am currently developing a project for my dissertation focusing on exposure to household chemicals during pregnancy and their impact on hormone based fetal development. I hope my research will be able to add evidence to how environmental chemicals can affect infant growth and development.








Tsegaselassie Workalemahu Tsegaselassie Workalemahu, MSc, Pre-doctoral Fellow, RPPE Program, Epidemiology

As a doctoral student in epidemiology, I am interested in learning skills to conduct genetic epidemiology research to uncover the role of maternal genetic variations that contribute to pregnancy complications and adverse outcomes. Specifically, I am interested in studying genetic risk factors and underlying mechanisms related to vascular and cardiometabolic disorders of pregnancy and lead to significant maternal and offspring morbidity and mortality. The Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology (RPPE) fellowship program will help me gain solid grounds in epidemiological study design and execution, and contribute to my preparation to engage in public health efforts to prevent maternal, perinatal and childhood diseases. I am currently in my first year and work with Dr. Daniel Enquobahrie.








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Last modified: October 9, 2014