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Section Newsletter
Spring 2010

Student Corner

I am a PhD candidate epidemiology at Walden University. My academic program is in the field of public health. My first reason for becoming a student volunteer with APHA was one of youthful curiosity about what is the meaning of APHA in terms of public health. I looked at other groups and participated in the student diversity groups working on developing public information fact sheets to promote a better understanding of public health issues. This exposure made me hungry for more epidemiology related activities. I wanted to learn more about how an epidemiologist participated APHA using the strengths of epidemiology.

My professor, Aaron Mendelsohn, inspired me to take a closer look inside of APHA through the APHA Epidemiology Section and other Sections. I found the Epidemiology Section offered the best fit for me because the Section leadership was very open and welcoming. Secondly, the Epidemiology Section supported my desire to learn from senior members and helped me to participate in many Section activities while still making the experience fun. From attending numerous meetings and hearing about the many different Section activities, I have found my own path to apply my skills in public health in a way that allows me to participate in positive social change. This step has allowed me to gain a better understanding of some public health issues not only in my community but also in communities in other communities.

Because of the inspiration and support I have received from my Section, I have taken bolder steps in joining fellow PhD candidates from my university in developing and planning three projects in which we will asset map communities and conduct evidence-based research to address specific needs of communities. As PhD candidates, our differences cut across many disciplines much like the epidemiology Section, and this fuels our creativity to find solutions in ways that will allow us to duplicate positive results in many communities.

Marcia Castaño

Epidemiology; PhD Candidate

APHA Epidemiology Section - Chair Student Committee

Student Assembly Co-chair,
Also twitter me  @SAIDExaminer

Message from the Chair

June 2010

Message from the Chair

Hello APHA Epidemiology Section Members,

This newsletter will reach you as you are planning or even on your summer break. I hope you are able to take advantage of the summer months and participate in activities you enjoy with your family and friends.

I want to inform you that we are currently developing a membership survey with a goal of posting it for your responses within the next few months. Under the leadership of Section Membership Chair Marian Passannante, the Membership Committee wants to learn how best to maintain, or possibly regain, your interest in the Section. Please help us by completing the survey and providing your comments and suggestions. We will use the results during our strategic planning sessions, "The Future of the Epidemiology Section" at the Annual Meeting this November.

By now you should have received the preliminary program for the APHA Annual meeting. Under the guidance of our Program Planning team, Karyn Heavner, Aaron Mendelsohn and LaVette Arms, the Section’s program contains some fascinating sessions including: ‘A Public Health Focus on Infertility’, ‘Data Driven Public Health Practice: A Matter of Social Justice’, and ‘Epidemiological Criminology: A New Paradigm Promoting Innovative Practice and Policy-Based Solutions for Social Justice’. Continue reading this Newsletter for further program details.

Reviewing recent events across the United States emphasizes the need for diversity among epidemiologists and, in turn, the need for this Section to be award of your diverse needs. Occupational concerns of miners, vaccine refusals creating reservoirs of susceptibility, oil spilling throughout the Gulf of Mexico, urgings for salt reduction and the H1N1 pandemic (still a threat?) are examples of the broad focus of your public health endeavors. Please continue to share your issues, critiques, and news from your world of epidemiology and the public’s health. We can post your input to the Section’s:

a) Newsletter [],

b) Web page [], and/or, c) Facebook [].

Stay involved – the Epidemiology Section needs you!

Claudia Kozinetz, PhD, MPH

Chair, APHA Epidemiology Section


APHA Initiatives on Transportation and Public Health

As we all appreciate, our health is profoundly affected by our transportation decisions and options. Limited opportunities for physical activity, higher exposure to poor air quality, higher incidences of adult and childhood obesity and greater prevalence of asthma and cardiovascular disease are a few of the inequities brought by poor transportation policies. As part of our effort to enhance crosscutting activity and knowledge among various APHA members and sections, APHA is developing advocacy materials and helpful information related to the links between transportation and public health. If anyone is interested in learning more about this initiative, sharing success stories or lessons learned, or establishing a new Forum on Transportation and Public Health, please reach out to us! Interested members are asked to contact Eloisa Raynault at .

2011 Congress of Epidemiology

2011 Congress of Epidemiology

3rd North American Congress of Epidemiology

June 21-24, 2011


The APHA Epidemiology Section is proud to be one of the four primary sponsors, along with the American College of Epidemiology, Canadian Society of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Society for Epidemiologic Research, of the Congress of Epidemiology 2011.  This inspiring meeting will take place at the Sheraton Centre in Montreal, Canada.  The Congress will highlight Keynote speakers (epidemiologists you always wanted to hear), workshops, symposia, spotlight sessions, student activities and Congress Awards.  Epi Congress 2011 will be the largest research, policy and social gathering of epidemiologist in North America since 2006.  Keep up with the plans for the Congress at


The Congress planners are soliciting suggestions for symposia and educational workshops; please see the Congress website for details.  Your suggestions are most welcome!


2010 Rema Lapouse Award

        Kung-Yee Liang, PhD, noted biostatistician in health, will be the Rema Lapouse Award recipient for 2010. The Rema Lapouse Award is granted annually to an outstanding recipient for excellence in psychiatric epidemiology. Established by the Mental Health, Epidemiology, and Statistics Sections of APHA, it was inaugurated by a trust established by Milton Terris, MD, in honor of his wife, Rema Lapouse, MD.

Dr. Liang is an excellent choice for this award.  He is an internationally renowned epidemiologist and biostatistician. He received his PhD in Biomathematics-Biostatistics from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1982. Kung-Yee is Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he has taught since 1982. For many years he served as Director of the Graduate Program. He has been visiting professor to Imperial College, Institute of Biometric Sciences. Liang has also served as Vice-President and Acting President of the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan during this time. 

Liang has published over 200 articles in professional journals and seminal texts in biostatistics.  His Analysis of Longitudinal Data (coauthored with Diggle and Zeger) (1994, 2002) is a standard text.  Kung-Yee is known primarily for his innovative work in the area of generalized linear models, and in particular, his and Zeger’s model for a generalized estimating equation approach (GEE), a breakthrough technique for family studies, multi-stage clustered samples in survey research, and longitudinal data.  He is a leading scientist in the field of genetic epidemiology and has studied the genetics of a variety of psychiatric disorders, including especially schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  His work in public health has included a range of studies of cohorts, such as the Precursors study of Hopkins medical school graduates and several population-based cohorts with a focus on mental, substance abuse, and personality disorders.  He has organized scientific sessions and been invited lecturer at numerous conferences and schools.  Many of his articles are considered classics in biostatistics, winning accolades from leaders in his field.

            Currently editor of Statistica Sinica, he serves as coeditor of the Journal of American Statistical Association, Biometrics, and Biostatistics. Among his numerous honors and awards, in 1987 he was awarded the Snedecor Award for best publication in Biometry in 1986 by the American Statistical Association and in 1990 the PAHA Spiegelman Award for accomplishments in the field of health statistics. In 1997 Kung-yee received the 1997 Advising, Mentoring, and Teaching Recognition Award from John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health Student Assembly. A Distinguished Alumni Award from National Tsing-Hua University was presented in 2006.  

Known for his brilliance, geniality, and friendliness, Kung-Yee is a well-liked and respected colleague and professor. Being considered one of the top biostatisticians in the world has led to his being offered the presidency of the National Yang-Ming University in his native Taiwan, where he will be returning this year. In addition, he will direct neuroscience and psychiatry research in the medical school, considered one of the most prestigious in Asia.

The award committee comprised of C Hendricks Brown, Elizabeth Jane Costello, Bruce Link and Anthony Kouzis is delighted to announce Dr. Kung-Yee Liang as the recipient of this year’s Rema Lapouse Award. You are invited to attend Dr. Liang’s award ceremony and lecture at a special session of the American Public Health Association at the APHA’s annual meeting in Denver.

2010 Program Planning Report

The Program Planning Committee eagerly awaits this year’s Annual Meeting: Social Justice: A Public Health Imperative, in Denver from Nov. 6-10.

We are pleased to report that the Epidemiology Section will be sponsoring nearly 50 scientific sessions. These sessions will cover myriad timely and critical public health and epidemiological topics, including infectious diseases, social epidemiology, epidemiological methods, health disparities, maternal and child health, adolescent health, cardiovascular disease, occupational health and obesity.

Other noteworthy items on the Annual Meeting agenda for the Epidemiology Section include:

  • 3 business meetings to discuss various Section issues.
  • A Social Hour
  • to meet and greet colleagues.
  • Section awards
  • to honor those who have made significant contributions to the field of epidemiology.
  • Career panel and student awards
  • to introduce students to various professional paths available in epidemiology and to recognize exemplary student performance.

Late Breakers

A Call for Late-Breaker abstracts will be released this summer (~July). Late-breakers must be related to the Annual Meeting theme ("Social Justice") and/or reflect recent data/work that occurred after the general abstracts were due (February 2010).  More details will follow as they became available.


Invited Sessions

Be sure to catch our exciting invited sessions at this year’s conference:

1. A Public Health Focus on Infertility

2. Future of epidemiology

3. The NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function

4. Epidemiological Criminology I and II

5. Current issues in the epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the United States

6. Data driven public health practice: a matter of social justice

7. Opportunities and obstacles with Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)

8. Social epidemiology applied to understanding health disparities among injecting drug users (IDUS)

9. Using Immunization Information Systems (IIS) to support vaccination of vulnerable populations