News Bulletin

APRIL 2020

Research Highlights

Working Together to Fight COVID-19

In the Center for Population Health Sciences, we are especially concerned with examining the COVID-19 crisis from a population level perspective. We have reached out to many of our community partners to learn how we can be most helpful. With their needs in mind, we are collaborating on several emerging COVID-19 projects  Learn More about opportunities to contribute or collaborate on these projects. 

COVID-19 Public Data Alert

PHS has a copy of the widely referenced Johns Hopkins University CSEE COVID-19 data available in the  PHS Data Portal.  These data include the location and number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries for all affected countries, aggegrated at the appropriate province or state.  These sources were developed to enable researchers, public health authorities and the general public to track the outbreak as it unfolds.  PHS is updating this data set Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Cloud Marketplace.  Access the data here

COVID-19 Research Support
In order to support research on COVID-19, PHS is offering HIPAA compliant storage and computational tools (depending on needs). In addition, we can expedite existing processes for those who are addressing COVID-19 related projects.  Email to learn more.

New on the Data Portal: Air Quality Data (EPA) and Geographical Cross Walk Files 

In light of growing concerns about air quality and population health, PHS has brought in 7 datasets from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Data from more than 4,000 monitoring stations allow researchers to examine the six most common air pollutants. Together with other data offerings these data provide a unique opportunity to better understand and address air pollution and associated health problems. 

In addition, we have published geographical crosswalk files. Many population health issues are spatial in nature: where we live, work, and relax is associated with a variety of health outcomes. Research addressing such questions is often hampered by different conceptualizations of place, which makes data linkage difficult and tedious. In order to alleviate this problem, the geographical crosswalk files function as a tool to facilitate geographical population health studies.

Why do Data Use Agreement take so long?

Many academic researchers who use preexisting data to conduct research describe a common experience: waiting for university officials to finalize and sign contracts necessary to transfer the data. These data use agreements (DUAs) detail the terms under which data will be disclosed, transferred, stored, and used, specifying rights and obligations for both the data supplier and the recipient. Faculty members often struggle to understand why DUAs for transfers of seemingly low-risk data take so long to conclude.  Read more>> 

Latest News from Affiliate PHS Faculty

Is the Coronavirus as Deadly as They Say?

Read more>>

An academic medical center's data science response to a pandemic
Read more>> (video: start at 12:45)

Regulating the spread of coronavirus: Are we ready for a pandemic? 
Read more>>

How Taiwan used big data, transparency, and a central command to protect its people from coronovirus 
Read more>>

Upcoming Events

Federal Statistical Research Data Center 

Virtual Information Session: Securing Research Access Data to Government Microdata
Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 3:30-4:30PM 
Event Information & Registration

Work-in-Progress (WIP) Series:  Mental Health
in a Changing Climate

Speaker: Marshall Burke
Monday, April 27, 2020, 12:00-1:00PM 
Event Information & Registration

New Team Members
PHS is excited to welcome the following new postdoctoral research fellows to the team!

Can Gloria Liu received her PhD from Karolinska Institute in Sweden where she studied the risk factors of preterm birth as being embedded in the mother's living circumstances across her lifespan.  Together with Dr. Suzan Carmichael, Gloria will look for ways to improve maternal health by building scientific evidence that can inform clinical and social policy-making.

Alice Milivinti
earned her PhD in Demography from the University of Geneva in Switzerland where she studied population modeling and forecasts, with a special focus on migration.  Together with Prof. David Rehkopf, Alice will join the  "New Map of Life" initiative, launched by the Center on Longevity to study how work may impact people living very long lives through the lens of government and public policy, with a special focus on the New Deal.

Jacqueline Ferguson is a postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. David Rehkopf at PHS through the Big Data-Scientist Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP) at the Palo Alto VA.  She specializes in using secondary data sources such as occupational records, insurance claims and electronic health records to study the relationship between environmental exposures claims and population health.  Jacqueline received her doctoral degree in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley and a M.H.S in Environmental Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Min-A Jhun received her PhD in Genetic Epidemiology & MS in Biostatistis from the University of Michigan, and MS in Bioinformatics from Seoul National University in South Korea.  She has been working on genome and genome-wide association studies to identify genetic mutations and differentially methylated CpG sites for Cardiovascular disease risk factors.  Together with Dr. David Rehkopf and Dr. Themistocles Assimes, her research focuses on DNA methylation studies of cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Women's Health Initiative and Million Veteran program.  The long-term goal of her research is to better understand the epigenetic changes influences by interactions between genes and environment, hoping that more comprehensive understanding of Genetic/epigenetic mechanims behind disease development could help people live longer.

COVID-19 Updates
Stanford Medicine is closely monitoring the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Up-to-date information can be found here
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