Postdoctoral Fellows

 

Xiaofei He, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow - The Dartmouth Institute
PhD, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Dr. Xiaofei He's research interests include media communication and public health, social motives in cancer prevention, and cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses to health messages.

 

Hannah Laue, ScD, SM
Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Epidemiology
ScD, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Environmental Health, 2019
SM, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Environmental Health, 2015
BA, American University, Environmental Studies, 2012

Dr. Hannah Laue’s primary research interest is how environmental chemicals affect the neonatal/pediatric gut microbiome and subsequent health impacts, particularly impaired neurodevelopment.  During her doctoral degree, Dr. Laue assisted in developing a successful NIH grant to examine the effects of flame retardants on cognitive development, with the microbiome as a hypothesized mechanism. Using preliminary data from this grant she explored the association of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated biphenyls with the gut microbiome. Dr. Laue also employed novel statistical techniques to model the association between environmental metal mixtures and childhood neurodevelopment. In her postdoctoral work, she is building on these past projects to explore how exposure mixtures interact to alter the infant gut microbiome, and how the microbiome can in turn affect social and cognitive development in the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study.

Antonio Signes-Pastor, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Epidemiology
PhD, Miguel Hernández University, Spain

Dr. Antonio Signes has been a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Department of Epidemiology – Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth since October 2016. His research focuses on arsenic soil-plant transfer and distribution in the food chain, and human exposure, especially early life exposure, which has become his core research topic. He obtained his PhD from a Spanish University, but collaborated with several international institutions to meet the aims of his PhD project focused on human exposure to arsenic and methods for reducing it through the food chain in West Bengal, India. Dr. Signes has already held a post-doctoral position at Queen’s University of Belfast working on a project that he designed (RICENIC project) and was funded by the Marie Curie IEF - European Commission. The RICENIC project was successfully finished enhancing the framework for understanding inorganic arsenic with respect to informing the setting of inorganic standard in foods, especially rice destined for the production of food for infants and young children.

Brett T. Doherty, PhD
PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Epidemiology, 2018
MSPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Epidemiology, 2015
BS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Mathematics and Anthropology, 2012

Dr. Brett Doherty’s primary research interests include developmental and endocrine-related effects of exposures to environmental pollutants, particularly exposures that occur during the prenatal period and in early life. His graduate research primarily focused on cognitive and behavioral effects of prenatal exposures to two common classes of endocrine-disrupting pollutants: phthalates and organophosphate esters. Since joining the Department of Epidemiology in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, his primary research projects have included an investigation of exposure to a multitude of environmental contaminants during pregnancy in relation to plasma metabolomics, an investigation of prenatal and early life exposures to metal mixtures in relation to behavioral development, and support of multiple research projects applying mixtures modeling methods. In the future, Dr. Doherty aims to contribute to epidemiologic methods that better enable analysis of high-dimensional exposure data.


Past Associates

Rebecca T. Emeny, PhD, MPH
Cross-Disciplinary Postdoctoral Training Fellow- Department of Epidemiology
Research Scientist - SYNERGY Epidemiology Core
MPH, Ludgwig-Maxilimilan's University, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, 2009 
PhD, University of New Mexico, Biomedical Sciences, 2002 
BS, Cornell University, Technology & Society, 1993

A primary focus of Dr. Emeny's research is to identify molecular mechanisms of stress-induced immune modulation. This interest was initiated during her first postdoc as an NIH fellow in Neuroimmunology, at the Wadsworth Center Laboratories of the New York State Department of Health. For the last 6 years as deputy head of the Mental Health Research Unit in the Department of Epidemiology II at the Helmholtz Center in Munich, Germany, Dr. Emeny coordinated and conducted population-based studies that revealed genetic, epigenetic and metabolic correlates of stressors commonly occurring in generally healthy adults. These neuroendocrine-immune alterations may lead to chronic inflammatory diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease but are modifiable through stress-buffering activities such as exercise and sleep as well as psychological wellbeing and resilience. In addition, Dr. Emeny worked with the Munich Cancer Registry to use data-driven models to form hypotheses of tumor initiation and progression. Her interests in oncogenesis began in her graduate studies of natural and vaccine-induced human papillomavirus-specific immune responses. Currently, she is cross training in the Quantitative Biomedical Science program and looks forward to continuing her research efforts with the New Hampshire Birth Cohort and the Department of Epidemiology. A motivating force in Dr. Emeny's research is to translate molecular discoveries of cellular stress mechanisms into clinically meaningful practice. The identification of modifiable risk factors offers prophylactic and therapeutic opportunities to prevent the initiation and/or progression of pathogenic pathways that lead to cardiometabolic diseases and cancer.

Lucas A. Salas, MD MSc MPH PhD 
Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Epidemiology
PhD, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona, Spain
MPH, Universitat Pompeu Fabra-UPF/Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
MD, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia, 2009

Dr. Lucas Salas worked as a general practitioner and family physician in marginal neighborhoods of Bogota, until 2005. From 2005-2007, he was trained as a general epidemiologist in the National Faculty of Public Health of the Universidad de Antioquia. In Colombia, he was involved in several research projects including Cancer Surveillance systems and a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial for improving handwashing in children under five years of age in water stressed communities. My Ph.D. thesis dissertation was focused on molecular mechanisms of water carcinogens (disinfection by-products), and particularly DNA methylation changes and internal dose biomarkers of these toxicants (EPICURO/SBC, and MCC studies). In addition to my thesis, he was involved in the analyses of several genome wide methylation projects related to DOHaD, Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases, (INMA and PACE Consortia) and adult diseases (REGICOR). In November 2015, he moved to Dartmouth as a postdoctoral researcher. His work will be focused on genome wide methylation analyses of different classes of cancers.

Erika L. Moen PhD, MS
Cross-Disciplinary Postdoctoral fellow – Department of Epidemiology and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
PhD, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2014
MS, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2014
BA, Brown University, Providence, RI, 2009

Dr. Erika Moen’s postdoctoral research focuses on applying social network methodology to health services research. In her current work, she has mapped a nationwide network of hospitals involved in the care of Medicare beneficiaries with cardiovascular disease, and examined associations between a hospital’s “connectedness” in the network and adherence to clinical guidelines of implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy. With this work, Dr. Moen has demonstrated that social network methodology provides a new set of tools for characterizing health care systems. She plans to pursue this methodological application to cancer care delivery to uncover novel factors, in the form of network characteristics, driving variation in cancer care intensity, care quality, and adoption of new technology. Dr. Moen’s graduate work was in cancer biology at the University of Chicago, where she investigated genome-wide cytosine modifications and their implications on cellular sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents. While at University of Chicago, she was selected to participate in the Howard Hughes Med-into-Grad Translational Training Program, which culminated in a Masters in Translational Science.

Elizabeth B. Brickley, MPhil, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Epidemiology
PhD, National Institutes of Health & University of Cambridge, Public Health and Primary Care
MPhil, University of Cambridge, Epidemiology
MPhil, University of Cambridge, Environment, Society, and Development

Dr. Elizabeth Brickley's research interests include: (i) the developmental origins of early life immunity, (ii) the role of the microbiome at the maternal-fetal interface, and (iii) the evaluation of vaccine efficacy for the prevention of pediatric infectious diseases. Raised in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, Dr. Brickley graduated magna cum laude from Williams College with a BA in Biology and a concentration in Maritime Studies. She went on to the University of Cambridge where she earned dual MPhil degrees with Distinction in 'Environment, Society, and Development' and 'Epidemiology' as a Dr. Herchel Smith Fellow before undertaking her doctoral studies on 'The Life Course Epidemiology of Severe Malarial Anemia' as an NIH-OxCam Scholar. Beyond her research, Dr. Brickley is an experienced leader and has served her communities as student body president at both Williams College and Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.

Wes Viles, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics - Colby College
PhD, Boston University, Mathematics and Statistics
MA, BS, University of Maine, Mathematics

Dr. Wes Viles has research interests primarily oriented toward relational, or network-based, data with application in biology and medicine with particular attention given to the statistical mechanisms underlying proper network inference and characterization. His previous and existing work is both methodologic in the theory of network data analysis and interdisciplinary with collaborators from epidemiology and neurology, for example.

Anala Gossai, MPH, PhD 
Quantitative Sciences Team - Flatiron Health
PhD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Epidemiology, 2016
MPH, Yale University, Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases

Dr. Gossai graduated with a bachelors degree in Immunology from the University of Toronto, Trinity College; and continued on to Yale for a masters in the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases. At Dartmouth, she joined the Quantitative Biomedical Sciences program. With Dr. Margaret R. Karagas, Dr. Gossai investigates the seroepidemiology of human polyomaviruses, and their relationship to skin cancer in a large population-based case-control study. She hopes to extend her research into the New Hampshire Birth Cohort, where she would like to explore the relationship between infant health and measures of polyomavirus immunity.

Kevin C. Johnson, PhD  
Postdoctoral Associate, The Jackson Laboratory
PhD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Experimental and Molecular Medicine, 2016
BS, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, 2011

The mission of Dr. Johnson's research involves the identification of epigenetic alterations that occur in pre-invasive lesions and epigenetic changes associated with cancer progression. To this end, his research has relied upon interdisciplinary techniques from molecular biology, statistical genomics, and bioinformatics. He graduated from the PEMM program in 2016 under the mentorship of Brock Christensen.

Benjamin Green, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow - Marsit Epigenetics Lab
PhD Animal, Nutrition, and Food Science 2014 University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
BA Biology 2009 Colby College, Waterville, ME

Dr. Green is originally from Kingston, MA and completed his undergraduate work at Colby College in Waterville, ME where he studied Biology. Following his time in Maine, he began pursuit of a Ph.D. in Animal Sciences from the University of Vermont. His studies there focused on determining the causes of inter-animal variation in innate immunity of dairy cattle in addition to the developmental mechanisms of this response. His work specifically investigated the role of DNA methylation on gene expression following an immune challenge. Dr. Green's interests in the role of epigenetic factors on disease brought him to the Marsit lab at Dartmouth to continue working on the developmental origins of health and disease. His current project here will involve working with genome wide methylation data to determine the link between environmental exposures in utero and developmental alterations leading to alterations in childhood behavior. When not in the lab he enjoys getting outside whenever New England weather allows to either bike or hike and enjoy all this region has to offer. In addition he enjoys watching the Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins as well as a good cup of coffee.

Shohreh Farzan, PhD  
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California

Alison Paquette, PhD 
Postdoctoral Fellow - Institute for Systems Biology