Epidemiologists are interested in determining etiology or disease causation. Their methodological approaches can provide the knowledge for preventing illness through the design of intervention programs. As the crisis in health care intensifies in the United States, the goal of primary prevention becomes more important for society. Environmental and occupational epidemiology provides a refined capability for scientists in epidemiology to relate exposure of populations to the causation of disease, and thus provides enhanced capabilities for designing primary prevention programs.
Spatial Epidemiology: Research uses geographic information systems (GIS) techniques in conjunction with modern statistical methods such as smoothing within generalized additive models and Cox models to study associations between spatiotemporal locations, other individual-level risk factors, and health outcomes. These methods are also useful for studying complex interactions among chemical and non-chemical stressors. Current projects focus on associations of perfluorinated chemicals and preeclampsia/pregnancy associated hypertension, health effects related to exposures from the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site, environmental exposures and breast cancer risk, and development of improved statistical methods for epidemiological analysis of spatiotemporal patterns of exposure and disease in human populations.
COEH faculty members conducting research in spatial epidemiology:
Reproductive and developmental epidemiology: Researchers use exposure modeling to investigate the impact of air pollution and built environment on reproductive health, including the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes from maternal exposure to a mixture of gaseous and particulate air pollutants and the impacts from greenness exposure and neighborhood resources. Current projects examine the association of developmental air pollution exposure with risk of pregnancy complications, low birth weight, preterm birth, autism and other adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes,
COEH faculty members conducting research in reproductive and developmental epidemiology:
Work organization and psychosocial stressors: Research on work organization and occupational epidemiology examines the effects of adverse working conditions on diverse health outcomes, including mental health, cardiovascular disease (CVD), CVD risk factors, and musculoskeletal disorders and injuries in diverse worker populations, including firefighters, bus drivers, taxi drivers, supermarket workers, day laborers, and hotel workers.
COEH faculty members conducting research in work organization and psychosocial stressors: