Our Team

Principal Investigator

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Sengwee Darren Toh, ScD | ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

 

Darren Toh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. He is a pharmacoepidemiologist with an interest in the comparative safety and effectiveness research of medical products. His research has been focused on 1) assessing the risks and benefits of medical products using electronic data collected as part of routine healthcare delivery, and 2) developing and applying privacy-protecting analytic methods to conduct multi-center studies in distributed data networks. Darren serves on the Executive Committee of the Operations Center for the FDA-funded Sentinel System, a congressionally mandated national medical product safety surveillance system. Darren received his doctoral degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Faculty page, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Faculty page, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Program in Pharmacoepidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Faculty Collaborators

 

Jason Block, MD, MPH | ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

 

Jason Block is a general internal medicine physician whose primary research interests are neighborhood-level determinants of weight gain and obesity, the evaluation of governmental and institutional policies and other novel interventions to improve diet, and leveraging electronic health record data for observational research and public health surveillance. He graduated from the Tulane University School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and he completed a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar program at Harvard University. He has served as a Senior Advisor in the Assistant Secretary for Health’s Office at the US Department of Health and Human Services, and he is a primary care physician and resident preceptor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Jeffrey Brown, PhD | ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

 

Jeffrey Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Medicine (DPM) at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. He is Research Director of the Therapeutics Research and Infectious Disease program at DPM. Dr. Brown is a health services researcher with expertise in pharmacoepidemiology and medical product safety research and surveillance. His primary research interests target the use of electronic health data to generate actionable evidence for decision-making, with a specific focus on the development of approaches to facilitate multi-institutional medical product safety surveillance and research. Dr. Brown is the inventor and Chief Product Officer of PopMedNet, an open-source software platform that facilitates the creation and operation of large-scale distributed health data networks. He is the co-lead of the PCORnet Distributed Research Network Operations Center, co-chair of the Informatics Core of the NCI Cancer Research Network, and co-lead of the EHR Core of the NIH Health Care System Research Collaboratory. Dr. Brown holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Tufts University and a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University. Jeff is an 8-time US national champion and 3-time world champion in Ultimate Frisbee and coached the Tufts Men’s Ultimate team for 20 years.

 

Xiaojuan Li, PhD | INSTRUCTOR

 

Xiaojuan Li is a member of the faculty in the Department of Population Medicine (DPM) at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She is a pharmacoepidemiologist with expertise in large electronic healthcare databases, advanced (pharmaco)epidemiologic and causal inference methods, and comparative safety and effectiveness research. Her research focuses on (1) advancing epidemiologic methods and study designs to improve validity of comparative effectiveness and safety research, (2) applying these methods to study long-term effects of complex treatments, (3) broadening these applications from single-database to multi-database studies, and (4) leveraging evidence generated from real-world data in single- and multi-database settings to support clinical and regulatory decisions. Dr. Li received her doctoral degree in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Population Medicine.

Rui Wang, PhD | ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

 

Rui Wang is an Associate Professor of Population Medicine and Director of the Biostatistics Center in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Wang received her PhD degree from Harvard University. Her research interests include the design and analysis of cluster randomized trials, where a group of subjects, as opposed to individuals, are randomized to each of the treatment arms in the trial. The particular questions she is addressing include the investigation of how the complex correlation structure within clusters affects the sample size and power of the trial, and how to analyze data from such trials efficiently, taking into account the correlation structure and the issue of missing data. She has also been developing improved statistical techniques for a cross-sectional approach that, when combined with modern HIV screening methods, can substantially reduce the cost and increase the accuracy of HIV incidence estimation. Her research interests also include subgroup analysis and precision medicine. Dr. Wang co-leads the data coordinating center for the Pediatric Adenotonsillectomy Trial for Snoring. She provides statistical input to Epicenter projects and the Preventing Avoidable Infectious Complications by Adjusting Payment (PAICAP) study.

Jessica Young, PhD | ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

 

Jessica Young is an Assistant Professor and Biostatistician in the Department of Population Medicine. Her research focuses on the development and application of statistical methods that may remain valid for estimating the causal effects of time-varying treatment strategies on health outcomes in the face of complex time-varying confounding and selection bias. She has particular interest in failure event outcomes that may be subject to competing risk events and dynamic time-varying treatment strategies; i.e. strategies under which treatment assignment at a given time may depend on time-evolving patient characteristics. Dr. Young received her doctoral degree in Biostatistics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. Prior to joining DPM, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Research Associate in the Program on Causal Inference at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Project Manager

 

Mia Gallagher, MPH | PROJECT MANAGER

 

Mia Gallagher is a Project Manager in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She manages the Privacy-Preserving Analytic and Data-Sharing Methods study under the leadership of Dr. Toh as well as a variety of other projects within the DPM including two projects within the Medication Exposure in Pregnancy Risk Evaluation Program (MEPREP).  She has over eight years of experience managing complex public health research projects. Mia received a Masters of Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Analytic and Informatic Team

 

Qoua L. Her, PharmD, MSPharm, MSc | RESEARCH ANALYST III

 

Qoua Her is a Research Analyst within the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (HPHCI). He is a pharmacist, informatician, and epidemiologist. Prior to joining HPHCI, Qoua was a pharmacist in the hospital and community settings. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin, Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Policy and Outcomes (emphasis in Pharmacoeconomics) from the University of Florida, Master of Science in Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Medical Informatics and Outcomes Research at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  

Jessica Malenfant, MPH | SENIOR HEALTH INFORMATICS ANALYST

 

Jessica Malenfant is a Senior Health Informatics Analyst in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She provides informatics and software development leadership and expertise to support socio-technical platforms used in large-scale research and public health surveillance initiatives. Her prior experience includes working as a surveillance epidemiologist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and implementing electronic health record-based tools to help radiologists meet quality measures. She focuses on using public health experience to interpret and apply data, standards, and technologies to projects. Jessica holds an MPH from the Boston University School of Public Health and Certificate in Clinical Informatics from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Yury Vilk, PhD | SENIOR SAS PROGRAMMER

 

Yury Vilk is a Senior SAS Programmer in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. He designs and develops SAS programs for research projects and administers two SAS data warehouses, which are part of the Sentinel Distributed Database and the Health Care Systems Research Network Virtual Data Warehouse. His most recent work focuses on the development of SAS-based applications that implement privacy-protecting statistical methods, including distributed regression in horizontally and vertically partitioned distributed data networks. Other recent projects include: a study of opioid prescription patterns; an application for timely detection of potential adverse reactions to various vaccines; and a project comparing the effectiveness of various strategies for the prevention of MRSA+ clinical cultures in intensive care units. Dr. Vilk has a doctoral degree in Physics from Rutgers University, NJ.
 

Research Fellows

Di Shu, PhD | RESEARCH FELLOW

 

Di Shu is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She received her MSc in Statistics with specialization in Biostatistics from the University of Western Ontario and her PhD in Statistics from the University of Waterloo. She is interested in the development and applications of suitable biostatistical methods for assessing comparative safety and effectiveness with real-world data which may have complex structures.  She is conducting her post-doctoral research in the Therapeutics Research and Infectious Disease Epidemiology (TIDE) group under the mentorship of Dr. Darren Toh, with a focus on privacy-preserving methods for distributed data.

Jenna Wong, PhD | RESEARCH FELLOW

 

Jenna Wong is a post-doctoral research fellow and Pyle Fellowship Awardee in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She received her MSc in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa and her PhD in Epidemiology from McGill University. Her research focuses on predictive modelling applications in epidemiology using electronic and linked administrative health data. She has created dynamic risk prediction models for in-hospital mortality, risk indexes for post-discharge outcomes, and machine learning algorithms for antidepressant treatment indications. She is conducting her post-doctoral research in the Therapeutics Research and Infectious Disease Epidemiology (TIDE) group under the mentorship of Dr. Darren Toh, where she is exploring the use of machine learning to extract information from unstructured electronic health data to enhance pharmacoepidemiologic research.

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Department of Population Medicine

Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

401 Park Drive, Suite 401 East, Boston, MA 02215