Elle O’Brien

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My research focuses on building infrastructure for public health and health science research organizations to take advantage of cloud computing, strong software engineering practices, and MLOps (machine learning operations). By equipping biomedical research groups with tools that facilitate automation, better documentation, and portable code, we can improve the reproducibility and rigor of science while scaling up the kind of data collection and analysis possible.

Research topics include:
1. Open source software and cloud infrastructure for research,
2. Software development practices and conventions that work for academic units, like labs or research centers, and
3. The organizational factors that encourage best practices in reproducibility, data management, and transparency

The practice of science is a tug of war between competing incentives: the drive to do a lot fast, and the need to generate reproducible work. As data grows in size, code increases in complexity and the number of collaborators and institutions involved goes up, it becomes harder to preserve all the “artifacts” needed to understand and recreate your own work. Technical AND cultural solutions will be needed to keep data-centric research rigorous, shareable, and transparent to the broader scientific community.

 

Daniel P. Keating

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The primary tools currently in use are variations of linear models (regression, MLM, SEM, and so on) as we pursue the initial aims of the NICHD funded work. We are expanding into new areas that require new tools. Our adolescent sample is diverse, selected through quota sampling of high schools close enough to UM to afford the use of neuroimaging tools, but it is not population representative. To overcome this, we have begun work to calibrate our sample with the nationally representative Monitoring the Future study, implementing pseudo-weighting and multilevel regression and post-stratification. To enable much more powerful analyses, we are aiming toward the harmonization of multiple, high quality longitudinal databases from adolescence through early adulthood. This would benefit traditional analyses by allowing cross-validation with high power, but also provide opportunities for newer data science tools such as computational modeling and machine learning approaches.

Kevin Bakker

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Kevin’s research is focused on to identifying and interpreting the mechanisms responsible for the complex dynamics we observe in ecological and epidemiological systems using data science and modeling approaches. He is primarily interested in emerging and endemic pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, influenza, vampire bat rabies, and a host of childhood infectious diseases such as chickenpox. He uses statistical and mechanistic models to fit, forecast, and occasionally back-cast expected disease dynamics under a host of conditions, such as vaccination or other control mechanisms.

Andrew Brouwer

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Andrew uses mathematical and statistical modeling to address public health problems. As a mathematical epidemiologist, he works on a wide range of topics (mostly related to infectious diseases and cancer prevention and survival) using an array of computational and statistical tools, including mechanistic differential equations and multistate stochastic processes. Rigorous consideration of parameter identifiability, parameter estimation, and uncertainty quantification are underlying themes in Andrew’s work.

Rajiv Saran

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Dr. Saran is an internationally recognized expert in kidney disease research – specifically, in the area of kidney disease surveillance and epidemiology. From 2014 – 2019, he served as Director of the United States Renal Data System (USRDS; www.usrds.org), a ‘gold standard’ for kidney disease data systems, worldwide. Since 2006 he has been Co-Principal Investigator for the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National CKD Surveillance System for the US, a one of a kind project that complements the USRDS, while focusing on upstream surveillance of CKD and its risk factors (www.cdc.org/ckd/surveillance). Both projects have influenced policy related to kidney disease in the US and were cited extensively in the July 2019 Advancing American Kidney Health Federal policy document. Dr. Saran led the development of the first National Kidney Disease Information System (VA-REINS), for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), funded by the VA’s Center for Innovation, and one that led to the VA recognizing the importance of kidney disease as a health priority for US veterans. Dr. Saran has recently (2018-2021) been funded on a spin off project from VA REINS for investigation of ‘hot-spot’ of kidney disease among US Veterans involving both risk-prediction and geospatial analyses – a modern approach to health system big data being used for prevention and population health improvement, using kidney disease as an example. This approach has broad application for prevention and optimizing management of major chronic diseases.

J. Trent Alexander

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J. Trent Alexander is the Associate Director and a Research Professor at ICPSR in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Alexander is a historical demographer and builds social science data infrastructure. He is currently leading the Decennial Census Digitization and Linkage Project (joint with Raj Chetty and Katie Genadek) and ResearchDataGov (joint with Lynette Hoelter). Prior to coming to ICPSR in 2017, Alexander initiated the Census Longitudinal Infrastructure Project at the Census Bureau and managed the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) at the University of Minnesota.

Lana Garmire

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My research interest lies in applying data science for actionable transformation of human health from the bench to bedside. Current research focus areas include cutting edge single-cell sequencing informatics and genomics; precision medicine through integration of multi-omics data types; novel modeling and computational methods for biomarker research; public health genomics. I apply my biomedical informatics and analytical expertise to study diseases such as cancers, as well the impact of pregnancy/early life complications on later life diseases.

Anthony Vanky

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Anthony Vanky develops and applies data science and computational methods to design, plan, evaluate cities, emphasizing their applications to urban planning and design. Broadly, his work focuses on the domains of transportation and human mobility; social behaviors and urban space; policy evaluation; quantitative social sciences; and the evaluation of urban form. Through this work, he has extensively collaborated with public and private partners. In addition, he considers creative approaches toward data visualization, public engagement and advocacy, and research methods.

 

Anthony Vanky’s Cityways project analyzed 2.2 million trips from 135,000 people over one year to understand the factors that influence outdoor pedestrian path choice. Factors considered included weather, urban morphology, businesses, topography, traffic, the presence of green spaces, among others.

Robert Manduca

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Professor Manduca’s research focuses on urban and regional economic development, asking why some cities and regions prosper while others decline, how federal policy influences urban fortunes, and how neighborhood social and economic conditions shape life outcomes. He studies these topics using computer simulations, spatial clustering methods, network analysis, and data visualization.

In other work he explores the consequences of rising income inequality for various aspects of life in the United States, using descriptive methods and simulations applied to Census microdata. This research has shown how rising inequality has lead directly to lower rates of upward mobility and increases in the racial income gap.

9.9.2020 MIDAS Faculty Research Pitch Video.

Screenshot from “Where Are The Jobs?” visualization mapping every job in the United States based on the unemployment insurance records from the Census LODES data. http://robertmanduca.com/projects/jobs.html

Laura Power

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I am an infectious disease and preventive medicine physician and my interests include studying the epidemiology of communicable diseases and and the practice of public health. I’m a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health and in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Medical School. My work also focuses on connecting physicians to public health practice; I serve as the Program Director for the Preventive Medicine Residency and I lead a certificate program in population health and health equity for physicians in training. I’m also an associate editor for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. My research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of infectious disease, including communicable diseases in the broader public health setting.