I teach, conduct research, and carry out “service” (technical assistance) about how governments make decisions that affect people’s and communities’ health. This work focuses on institutional, power, and resource barriers and facilitators that affect underlying determinants of health, including the role of stakeholders and empirical evidence in the policy-making process. I have been doing this work since the mid-1970s at the local, state/provincial, and national levels in the U.S. and a few other wealthy countries, and in low-resource countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
I conduct research focused on maximizing the accessibility and effectiveness of behavioral health services for children, adolescents, and families. Because schools represent the most common site (by far) for the delivery of behavioral health services to youth, most of my work has focused on the education sector. The potential for achieving population health impact in schools was the primary impetus for launching the UW School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) Center, which I direct. As one avenue to realizing the population health impact of settings such as schools, I conduct considerable research in the area of implementation science, which is focused on identifying strategies to move effective programs and practices into community service settings at scale.
Abraham Flaxman, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. He is currently leading the development of new methods for measuring the cost effectiveness of health interventions using microsimulation; estimating the efficiency of health facilities using an ensemble approach combining Data Envelopment Analysis and Stochastic Frontier Analysis; and mapping disease with high spatial precision using all available data. He is also engaged in methodological and operational research on verbal autopsy to understand the causes of death in settings where the are no or few death certificates.
Dr. Flaxman has previously designed software tools such as the DisMod-MR approach to descriptive epidemiological meta-regression that IHME uses to estimate the nonfatal portion of the Global Burden of Disease, and the Bednet Stock-and-Flow Model, which has produced estimates of insecticide-treated net coverage in sub-Saharan Africa for the WHO World Malaria Report. This work uses Integrative Systems Modeling to combine a system dynamics model of process with a statistical model of data to bring together all available sources of information.
Dr. Adam Drewnowski is the Director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition; the UW Center for Obesity Research, and the Nutritional Sciences Program and Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health. He obtained his MA degree in biochemistry at Balliol College, Oxford, and PhD degree in psychology at The Rockefeller University in New York.
The Seattle Obesity Study (S.O.S.), funded by the National Institutes of Health, has developed new methods and measures to explore links between obesity and social disparities, and diet quality and diet cost. Importantly, the SOS has pioneered the use of GIS/GPS technologies and new methods of spatial analysis to assess the impact of the built environment on population health. The SOS is a collaboration between the SPH, the Urban Form Lab in the College of Built Environments and the Group Health Research Institute.
Dr. Drewnowski has published over 300 peer-review papers, and advises governments, foundations and the private sector on issues related to sustainable food and nutrition security. Dr. Drewnowski has also developed a family of nutrient profiling models and new metrics to assess the foods’ nutritional value per calorie and per unit cost. Latest applications of nutrient profiling include measuring the environmental cost of alternative diets as measured in terms of land use, water use, or greenhouse gas emissions.
Adam Warren is associate professor of Latin American history in the Department of History at the University of Washington, Seattle. A specialist in Peruvian history and the history of medicine, he is interested in how medical and scientific research have been used to explain social inequalities and frame colonial projects of population reform and control in the Andes.
He is the author of Medicine and Politics in Colonial Peru: Population Growth and the Bourbon Reforms, published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2010. He has also published numerous articles in history of medicine and Latin American history journals that examine the intersection of Spanish, indigenous, and African healing practices in Peru and Bolivia, as well as the treatment of indigenous patients by Spanish practitioners. His new research focuses on the history of medicine, eugenics, and scientific racism in Peru during the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. He is particularly interested in the ways scientists grappled with claims of the indigenista movement in their research on Peru
A major concern of demography is estimating and projecting population, mortality, migration and fertility by age, sex, race, ethnicity and other factors. It is widely used in government and international policy, and research in the health and social sciences. In particular, it is a key input to research and decision-making in global health,
climate change and educational policy.
For the past 10 years, my group has: been working with the United Nations to develop new statistical methods for probabilistic population projections. Traditionally, the UN, like almost all other agencies, produced deterministic population projections, which were supplemented with projections based on different scenarios of demographic changes. This approach has been criticized as lacking validity, and the UN was keen to move beyond it.
For the first time in July 2015, the UN issued official probabilistic population projections for all countries to 2100, using our methods. These projections quantify uncertainty associated with demographic projections, using Bayesian hierarchical models for fertility and mortality. In the probabilistic projection method, uncertainty in future demographic outcomes is assessed by constructing a large sample of future trajectories for these outcomes, for example, total population size. For each year in the future, point projections are given by the median outcome of the sample of trajectories while percentiles of the sample are used to construct prediction intervals.
Some substantive results were summarized by Gerland, Raftery [co-first authors] et al (2014), which was ranked in the top 0.1% of all articles ever published in Science magazine by impact. This article has overturned our understanding of the world’s likely future demographic path. Conventional wisdom had been that world population would peak around the middle of this century and stabilize at around 9 billion, but the new projections indicate that world population stabilization is unlikely this century, and that world population may well exceed 11 billion by 2100.
These new methods and findings have raised many new research questions, both methodological and substantive, which we are now working on.
Studies genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular and blood disease.
I am a Cardiologist and health services researcher interested in improving the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation. I practice at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and am an Acting Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Cardiac rehabilitation improves health outcomes and quality of life for patients with heart disease, but is underused, with less than 20% of eligible patients participating. There are disparities in participation nationally, locally, and across racial/ethnic and gender groups. There are many barriers to patients attending, including suboptimal rates of referral, limited understanding of cardiac rehabilitation and its benefits, and limited access to traditional cardiac rehabilitation centers due to costs, transportation, and competing work or family demands.
My research program focuses on:
1) Understanding gaps in the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation
2) Developing interventions to improve the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation using an implementation science approach. Particularly, I am focused on interventions in these two areas:
– home-based cardiac rehabilitation
– technology-facilitated home cardiac rehabilitation (e.g., mobile applications, text messaging)
Please feel free to contact me about potential collaborations. There are many opportunities for novel ideas to help people with heart disease to live healthier and more fulfilling lives!
After obtaining a medical degree in Iran in 2002, I began training in population health in 2003 at Yale University. Since then, I have devoted all of my scholarly work to enhance our understanding of factors that influence population health.
In my research, I study violence, and specifically firearm injuries. Gun violence is a leading cause of injury and death in our country and a number of other settings around the world. Washington State has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation; about 50-60% of all those deaths involve firearms. We are currently conducting a randomized study at Harborview to study the effect of an intervention designed to promote health and well-being of gunshot wound victims. This is one of the first studies of its kind in the nation. I also teach health sciences research methodology (Epidemiologic Methods I and II) to train the next generation of population health scientists and practitioners.
Ali Shojaie is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Adjunct Associate Professor of Statistics at the University of Washington.
Originally trained in Industrial and Systems Engineering, he obtained his PhD in Statistics from the University of Michigan, while completing Masters degrees in Applied Mathematics and Human Genetics. Dr. Shojaie’s research lies in the intersection of machine learning for high-dimensional data, statistical network analysis and applications in biology and social sciences. Dr. Shojaie’s team has developed methods and publicly available software for network-based analysis of various types of “omics” data, as well as high-dimensional time course data from molecular biology and neuroscience.
Dr. Shojaie is a PI of the Statistical Learning Applied to Biostatistics Lab (SLAB LAB) and is co-Director of the Summer Institute in Statistics for Big Data (SISBID).
Dr. Alison Cullen joined the faculty of University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in 1995. Her research involves the analysis of risks to human health and the environment, decision-making under uncertainty and variability (spatial, temporal and across populations), and the application of value of information techniques. Cullen promotes population health through policy analytic approaches which account for tradeoffs between risk and opportunity and consider distributional inequity. She collaborates across campus in decision support for human and environmental health challenges including sustainable forest management, human exposure to toxins, the impact of climate change on hydropower, life cycle implications of solar PV, and the qualitative characteristics of human perception of risk. As an Adjunct Professor in the College of the Environment and the School of Public Health, as well as on the Board of the Program on Climate Change, Cullen serves as a liaison between science and public policy, with an emphasis on the role and limitations of quantitative methods. She is a mentor for the Evans Policy and Research (EPAR) program where she studies risk attitudes among the poor and the security of agricultural livelihoods. Outside of the university she serves on the US EPA Clean Air Science Advisory Committee developing air quality standards, is a Visiting Fellow at the Health Effects Institute studying energy related health concerns, and is a 2016 Faculty Fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In addition, Cullen is Past-President and a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis.
Dr. Cole is a family physician and researcher at the University of Washington in the School of Medicine. Her research program focuses on improving cancer screening through implementation of evidence-based programs in primary care practices and health systems. She is Associate Director for the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) region Practice and Research Network and collaborates with diverse academic investigators and community-based primary care practices to support the translation of scientific discovery into population health.
I have a broad background in epidemiology, and am particularly interested in the study of modifiable risk factors for chronic illness, such as physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, and alcohol misuse. Obesity is a major concern for military personnel and Veterans, as it is in the civilian population. The VA began offering a national weight management program in 2005. I have conducted several studies to evaluate the reach and effectiveness of that program in different subpopulations. I have also investigated how weight change is impacted by life changes, including separation from the military and new-onset and persistent mental health problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Physical activity is thought to play a role in numerous diseases, but assessing physical activity in large epidemiologic studies is challenging. I have also conducted studies to evaluate the prevalence of physical activity in veterans compared to non-veterans, changes in physical activity after separation from the military, and physical activity
As part of the Virology Research Clinic at the UW, I help conduct observational and clinical research in virology, particularly on herpesviruses. Statistical methods work includes clinical trial design, assay validation techniques, and regression methods for evaluating viral detection.
I have extensive training in physical activity, nutritional, and diabetes epidemiology, and have been actively involved with the Strong Heart Study, a longitudinal study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in 13 American Indian communities, for the past eleven years.
To date, my research efforts have primarily focused on the association of physical activity, diet, a healthy lifestyle, or gene*diet interactions with diabetes-related phenotypes. I have published several papers related to environmental factors (e.g., diet and physical activity) and diabetes in the Strong Heart Study.
I am currently a KL2 scholar through the University of Washington Institute of Translational Health Sciences, and am currently completing a pilot project to better understand the determinants of personal dietary choices/food purchasing patterns among American Indians who reside on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation.
Dr. Kost is interested in learning how to best educate medical students to meet the healthcare needs of urban underserved populations.
She teaches the second year introduction to clinical medicine course as part of her role as college mentor, advises students interested in pursuing a career in family medicine and is developing components of the new UWSOM curriculum.
Dr. Gavin’s research investigates the pathways linking maternal early life risk exposures to offspring birth outcomes. Her work also explores how cultural, social and structural contexts factor into differing health outcomes, particularly among racial and ethnic groups.
I direct a Master of Public Health degree program—Community Oriented Public Health Practice–that employs problem-based learning and focuses on social justice as a public health imperative. This year I am pioneering a new public health skills class that engages students with community-based organizations while they learn program planning, evaluation, policy, advocacy, leadership and equity skills. I am heading a student conducted evaluation of Tent City at the UW this winter.
I’m interested in the intersection between armed conflict and health. In 2011, I led a team to count mortality associated with the Iraq war, which involved surveys of members of 2000 households across Iraq. I led a sister university project with the University of Basrah in Iraq, where we conducted a study of pediatric leukemia rates,1993-2007. In 2010, I published a study for the American Journal of Public Health exposing the health hazards of military recruiting in public high schools. I’ve also worked on homelessness and incarceration as health issues.
I conduct research health worker migration from low-income countries to wealthy countries. I recently completed a large CDC research project in Uganda studying the effects of PEPFAR spending on long-term health systems changes.
I am secretary of the board of the UW chapter of the American Association of University Professors, and serve on the nuclear weapons task force of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. I recently stepped down as funding member of the board of College Access Now, which assists low-income high school students to go to college.
Amy K. Snover is the Associate Dean for Applied Research in the College of the Environment and Affiliate Associate Professor in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington (UW). She is Director of the Climate Impacts Group, an integrated research and stakeholder engagement team working across sectors to develop, deliver and support the application of decision-relevant scientific information on climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation strategies.
With the Climate Impacts Group, Dr. Snover works with a broad range of public- and private-sector stakeholders to develop science-based climate change planning and adaptation guidance, identify research priorities, and advise on strategies for building climate resilience. She was a convening lead author for the Third US National Climate Assessment and lead author of the groundbreaking guidebook, Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments, with over 3000 copies now in use worldwide. Current areas of focus include defining successful climate change adaptation, exploring the role of cities in adaptation and identifying the time of emergence of management-relevant aspects of climate change.
Dr. Snover was named a White House Climate Education and Literacy Champion of Change in 2015. She earned her Ph.D. in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry from the University of Washington.
Dr. Seminario’s interests are global oral health, immigrant health, oral health inequalities, pediatric dentistry, epidemiology, mobile health, HIV, implementation and integration sciences.
Ana M. Gómez-Bravo is a Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Washington. Her current work focuses on issues related to food and culture in the Hispanic World, including the impact of culture on nutrition, and traditional medicine and health practices.
Professor Gómez-Bravo is the author of Food and Culture in the Hispanic World (Comida y cultura en el mundo hispánico) (Equinox 2017) as well as other books and many articles focusing on various topics on pre-modern literature and culture as well as the role of food and medicine in the development of the idea of ethnic and racial difference.
Dr. Stone is a psychiatric and drug dependence epidemiologist. Her research has focused on the promotion of child and young adult health and mental health through an examination of risk and protective factors associated with behavioral outcomes, and that may be targeted through community-based prevention/ intervention programs. Current research interests also include policies related to substance use and access, and issues of diversity, bullying, and adolescent stress in relation to youth substance use.
Through population-based research and education activities over the past 35 years, I have contributed to the evidence-base for clinical and economic outcomes associated with medicines, vaccines, and pharmacy services – advancing the role of pharmacists in population health. I directed, for example, a series of studies that served as a catalyst to include a measure on chlamydia screening as a new recommendation by the US Preventive Services Task Force and as a measure included in the Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS).
More recently, I led a multi-country study in sub-Saharan Africa on the safety of antimalarials used during early pregnancy. I am a pioneer in the validation and use of large linked databases to evaluate the safety of medicines used in the US and LMICs. I dedicate much of my academic activities to medication safety and use issues in low income countries, supported, in part, by BMGF & USAID & interact with public-private partnerships and contribute time and effort to assess and improve medication-related outcomes in our region.
Anita Verna Crofts is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Communication with a Clinical Instructor appointment at UW Global Health. She conducts trainings for INGO on humanitarian communications, focused on photography as a documentary tool for humanitarian relief agencies.
My long-term research goal is to better understand the role of stress, broadly defined, in causing poor mental and physical health in vulnerable populations. I am particularly interested in the biological mechanisms by which stressors are embodied and the multiple contexts in which these stressors occur. I have developed an expertise in social stressors, specifically on socioeconomic status (SES) and health, as well as on biomarkers of the stress cascade, such as cortisol. Recently I have expanded my research to examine the health effects of air pollution, an environmental stressor.
My interests in air pollution are around the mechanisms that it shares with psychosocial stressors, such as inflammation and sympathetic nervous system activation. As a way to bring together my interests in SES and air pollution, I have focused my research efforts on environmental justice; specifically I have been working to improve the quality of research done in this area and to better understand the implications for health of the relationship between air pollution and SES.