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The Department sponsors a biweekly seminar series during the academic year on topics of epidemiologic and biostatistical interests. Speakers include Michigan State University faculty, Michigan Department of Community Health public health professionals or invited guests from around the nation or, occasionally, overseas.

The seminar is open to all members of the MSU and public health community, and unless otherwise noted, takes place at 3:30 p.m. in C102 East Fee Hall (Patenge Room) or E4 Fee Hall (Fee Hall basement)  Most seminars are recorded and available for viewing by accessing the speaker name below.

E-4 Fee Hall is located in the center of the basement level of Fee Hall, next to the Take 5 Snack Shop & Medical Bookstore.

The Patenge Room, C102, is located in the C wing of East Fee Hall.

SEPTEMBER 27TH | PATENGE ROOM C102 FEE HALL 3:30 P.M.

Ryan Irvin, PhD, MS
Associate Professor, School of Public Health
University of Alabama, Birmingham

'The emerging role of epigenetics in cardiometabolic disease'

The high prevalence of metabolic disease among US adults has resulted in significant increases in cardiovascular diseases. These disorders disproportionately affect minority populations in the US. Identifying epigenetic alterations associated with metabolic traits has provided additional information regarding etiology beyond current evidence from Genome Wide Association Studies. Phenotypic data from observational epidemiology cohorts paired with DNA methylation data in large studies of multiple ethnicities have identified a handful of biologically plausible genes associated with fasting glucose, blood pressure, lipid levels, and body mass index. Often the same genes are associated with multiple traits across multiple racial groups. Since most studies are cross-sectional many questions remain as to whether epigenetic alterations in these genes are the cause or consequence of metabolic trait variation. Bi-directional Mendelian Randomization studies and animal studies have helped determine directionality of findings. Future studies are needed to understand if epigenetic markers are useful for disease prediction.

OCTOBER 11TH | E4 FEE HALL 3:30 P.M.

Dominique Cadilhac, PhD, MPH
Professor Translational Public Health and Evaluation Division 
Monash University

“10 years of the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry - the what, the how and the why”

Professor Cadilhac will provide an overview of clinical quality disease registries in Australia with a focus on the Australian Stroke Clincial Registry that was established in 2009 and is used by over 70 hospitals. A summary of how the data have been used to change clincial practice and contribute to the broader evidence base on stroke outcomes including quality of life will be provided. Innovation to maximise the use of the data for hospitals, policy decisions making and practice including data linkage will be highlighted.

OCTOBER 18TH | PATENGE ROOM C102 FEE HALL 3:30 P.M.

Johann Gagnon Bartsch, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor
University of Michigan

"The Duality of Negative Controls and Replicates"

Negative controls can be used to adjust for unobserved confounders in an observational study. A negative control is a variable that is known a priori to be (1) unaffected by treatment, and (2) affected by the unobserved confounders. Any observed variation in a negative control may be attributed to the confounders, but not to treatment. Thus, negative controls can be used to partially identify the unobserved confounders. A similar situation arises when a single observational unit is observed multiple times, under varying conditions of the confounders. The multiple observations are referred to as replicates. Any observed variation between the replicates may be attributed purely to the confounders. Thus, like negative controls, replicates can be used to partially identify the confounding variables. Importantly, in a high-dimensional setting, the partial identification provided by negative controls and the partial identification provided by the replicates are in some sense dual to one another. More to the point, these two partial identifications are not redundant, but rather complimentary, and therefore negative controls and replicates can be used together to more fully identify and control for unobserved confounders. In this talk, I will demonstrate the use of negative controls and replicates to remove batch effects and other unwanted variation from genomic data, including microarray, nanostring, and single-cell RNA sequencing data.

OCTOBER 25TH | E4 FEE HALL 3:30 P.M.

Donna Arnett, PhD, MSPH
Dean and Professor, College of Public Health
University of Kentucky, Lexington

"HyperGEN—Genetics of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: Omic approaches to understanding echocardiographic traits"

Left ventricular (LV) mass and related echocardiographic phenotypes are heritable, and they are important predictors of cardiovascular disease, particularly in hypertensive individuals. The HyperGEN: Genetics of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) Study has been using cutting-edge omic approaches in a cohort of hypertensive sibships to discover the genetic, genomic, and epigenomic correlates of these traits since 1995. As such, HyperGEN: LVH serves as excellent case study to illustrate evolving genetic epidemiological methods and the power, limitations, and challenges of these methods. We will trace the history of HyperGEN: LVH through the eras of linkage and candidate gene analysis, genome-wide association studies, whole-exome sequencing studies, and epigenome-wide association studies into the current era of whole-genome sequencing. The use of animal and cellular models, gene expression analysis, and pathway analysis in conjunction with association studies will also be discussed.

“The Genetics of Lipid Lowering and Diet Network: An -omic approach to understanding lipid response."

NOVEMBER 8TH | PATENGE ROOM C102 FEE HALL 3:30 P.M.

Sidra Goldman Mellor, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Public Health
University of California, Merced

"Self-harm behavior and health across the lifecourse: Insights from the emergency department"

Sidra Goldman-Mellor, Ph.D., received her doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been an Assistant Professor of Public Health at the University of California, Merced since 2014. Her NIH-funded research uses population-based longitudinal designs to understand the determinants and consequences of suicidal behavior and other mental health problems across the lifecourse. This talk will focus on her recent work using statewide emergency department data from California to examine health, healthcare utilization, and mortality outcomes among adolescents and adults who self-harm. The implications of her findings for treatment models and suicide prevention programs in emergency care settings will be discussed.

NOVEMBER 15TH | E4 FEE HALL 3:30 P.M.

Nengjun Yi, PhD
Professor, Department of Biostatistics
University of Alabama, Birmingham

“Hierarchical Models for Microbiome Data Analysis”

NOVEMBER 29TH | E4 FEE HALL 3:30 P.M.

Mike Thompson, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Cardiac Surgery
University of Michigan
“TBA”

Miss a seminar or would like to revisit one you attended?  Most seminars are available to view online.    SEMINAR ARCHIVES