COVID-19 Information

Trainees

Post-Doctoral Fellows

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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.

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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.

Graduate Students

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Catherine C. Pollack, BS
PhD Candidate, jointly mentored by Diane Gilbert-Diamond and Tracy Onega

I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Quantitative Biomedical Sciences program here at Dartmouth. I completed my undergraduate degree with high distinction from the University of Virginia (UVA), where I pursued a double major in biomedical engineering and applied statistics. While at UVA, I participated in two summer internships with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). At NASEM, I worked with the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics and the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics to develop white papers that bridged the gap between mathematics, statistics, data science and public policy. This experience fueled my passion for science communication; as a result, my dissertation project merges epidemiology and data science to develop software tools that can combat digital public health misinformation. Beyond my formal research, I perform statistical analysis on diverse clinical projects as a consultant with the Biostatistics Consultation Core, serve as a graduate peer writing tutor with the Center for Research, Writing, and Information Technology, and play clarinet with the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble. I also enjoy running, and I hope to participate in the upcoming Walt Disney World marathon!

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Rebecca Lebeaux, BS
PhD student, mentored by Annie Hoen

As a New Hampshire native, I'm glad to be back in my home state! Prior to joining Dartmouth as a PhD student in the Quantitative Biomedical Sciences program, I completed my B.S. in Anthropology and Human Biology with a minor in Math at Emory University. Currently, I study the unintended consequences of antibiotics to the infant gut microbiome and early childhood health. Outside of research, I love walking or running outside, playing fetch with my cat Darwin, and eating chips and salsa.

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Youdinghuan "David" Chen, MS
PhD student, jointly mentored by Brock Christensen and Arminja Kettenbach
Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine, 2015-present

Understanding the underlying biology of disease is my passion. For this reason, I pursued undergraduate study in Biology at Pacific Lutheran University and graduate study in Biochemistry at the University of Michigan. I gained laboratory research experience in a variety of disciplines, including developmental biology, immunology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. In Summer 2015, I joined the Program in Experimental & Molecular Medicine (PEMM) that aims to advance the mission of translational research at Dartmouth. In Fall 2016, I became a co-mentee of Dr. Brock Christensen and Dr. Arminja Kettenbach, and received the Burroughs-Wellcome Big Data in Life Sciences Training Grant. My PhD thesis aims to integrate epigenetics and proteomics data for a better predication of breast cancer risks, using bioinformatics, biostatistics, and laboratory-bench approaches. Outside of lab, I enjoy baking, gardening, music, and literature.

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Reno Leeming
PhD student, mentored by Michael Passarelli

Having worked in healthcare for many years, I have a passion for translational research. My primary interests include the etiology, progression, and treatment of cancer. As a PhD student at Dartmouth, I am studying genetic and dietary biomarkers that impact bladder cancer survival

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Yuka Moroishi, BS
PhD student, jointly mentored by Jiang Gui and Margaret Karagas

Originally from Japan, I completed my B.S. in statistics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA with minors in economics and healthcare policy and management. I am currently a PhD student in the Quantitative Biomedical Sciences program. My research interests include the statistical modeling of human gut microbiome and infectious disease data, as well as mediation analysis with respect to arsenic exposure in infants. In my spare time, I enjoy exploring the local food and drink scene.

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Meghan Muse, BS
PhD student, jointly mentored by Brock Christensen and Diane Gilbert-Diamond

I am interested in studying maternal and child health through the lens of bioinformatics and epidemiology. I chose the QBS program at Dartmouth because it provides the unique opportunity to be cross trained in these fields as well as the field of biostatistics. Outside of the lab, I enjoy running, hiking, and taking advantage of all the other outside activities that New Hampshire has to offer.

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Quang Nguyen, BS
PhD student, jointly mentored by Anne G. Hoen and H. Robert Frost

I graduated from Bates College in 2017 double-majoring in Biochemistry and Mathematics. My current research interest is in investigating the dynamics of the infant gut microbiome and its impact on infant health. This interest is motivated by my previous undergraduate work in gene expression dynamics across developmental stages in zebrafish. Other than research, I enjoy hiking, cooking, knitting and yearly rereads of all the Jane Austen novels.

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Curtis Petersen, MPH
PhD student, jointly mentored by Brock Christensen and Ethan Berke

After a lot of experience working in molecular research I decided to try and understand how macro factors influenced the micro systems I had been studying and working with. In this endeavor I studied epidemiology as a masters student at The Dartmouth Institute where I focused on breast cancer. In 2014 I helped start a remote medical sensing group working on how we can use technology and big data to help people manage their health. This process spurred me into thinking about how we might be able to use this information to interpret epigenetic changes.

I am interested in examining next generation phenotyping, bridging the gap between the exposome and disease. I aim to link the huge amount of data that we are now continuously collecting from people to how it influences genetic expression. I think that our health systems can be greatly improved through advanced analytics of new data. I hope that this work will help influence how policy is shaped and how we measure quality healthcare.

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Owen Wilkins, BS
PhD student, Christensen Lab
Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine

Whilst completing my undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, I gained a particular interest in the complexities of cancer biology. To pursue this curiosity I joined the Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine at Dartmouth, where I joined the laboratory of Dr. Brock Christensen. My thesis research focuses on more completely understanding the functions of non-coding RNAs in cancer. Specifically, I study how variations in microRNA-related single nucleotide polymorphisms are associated with clinical outcomes in different cancers. Outside the lab, I enjoy several outdoor pursuits, including hiking and rock climbing.

Medical Students

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Cynthia Chan
Geisel School of Medicine Student, mentored by Margaret Karagas

Cynthia grew up in New York City and China, majored in Biology at Yale University, and conducted occupational health research in China before attending Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Her research during medical school has focused on pediatric nevus development under the mentorship of Dr. Karagas, oncologic dermatopathology, and non-invasive cutaneous imaging devices.

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Nicolina (Nina) Mascia
Geisel School of Medicine student

I grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and I am currently a 2nd year medical student at Geisel School of Medicine. I studied neuroscience at Dartmouth College before continuing on at Geisel. My research interests include infertility, neonatal exposures, and developmental outcomes. I hope to use all I learn with the Department of Epidemiology and NHBCS to pursue a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and possibly a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

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Larry Kuklinski
Geisel School of Medicine Student, mentored by Margaret Karagas

Larry is a 4th year student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Originally from Southern California, he studied neuroscience at Harvard College before coming to Dartmouth. His clinical interests include dermatology and pathology, and he plans to pursue a residency in dermatology and possibly a fellowship in dermatopathology. He has enjoyed exploring the epidemiology of keratinocyte cancers with Dr. Karagas and his published work has included case-control studies of the risk of keratinocyte cancers in relation to sex hormone exposure and photoaging. He is also interested in the intersection of hematology and dermatology with research on keratinocyte cancers in the post bone marrow transplant setting as well as mastocytosis.

Undergraduate Students

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Sara Fragione, '23
I am a Dartmouth undergrad from Methuen, Massachusetts. I plan on majoring in neuroscience and am currently on a pre-med track. I am also considering minoring in anthropology. Besides academics, I am on the track and field team at Dartmouth. I hope that working with NHBCS will help me improve my organizational skills and learn about the many components of doing research, which is an important aspect of biomedicine.

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Julia Robitaille '23
I am currently studying Biology as an undergraduate at Dartmouth and I am part of the Cross County and Track and Field teams. I also write for the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science and hope to attend medical school in the future. I am particularly interested in preventative medicine, which aligns with the research done at the NHBCS. I enjoy being able to contribute to a study that is making a difference in the health and well-being of many people in my community and beyond.

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Lydia Davis '23
I am from the Bay Area of California and I am currently in my first year at Dartmouth. I plan on double majoring in biology and art history and, if possible, pursuing a minor in global health. I am interested in how infectious disease disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities and I am on the pre-med track. I believe that working with NHBCS will provide me with data organization skills that will be valuable for my future endeavors, as well as an insight into the field of epidemiology.

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Sylvia Hipp, '22
I grew up in Pinehurst, North Carolina before coming to Dartmouth. I am pre-med and potentially majoring in Geography modified with Sociology. I hope to focus my studies on public health with an emphasis on understanding how under-servedpopulations and regions are disproportionately affected by disease. I am new to NHBCS and believe working with this group will allow me to gain valuable insight into data collection and epidemiology research, which I hope will influence my own research in the future as I work toward becoming a doctor.

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Lily Mott, '21
Lily lives in Enfield, New Hampshire and is a junior studying environmental engineering at the University of Vermont. She has enjoyed her time working for the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study and is looking forward to applying the skills she has learned to life after college. One of the main things she has learned while working for NHBCS is that attention to detail is key to having good organization skills. Another thing she has learned is that you need to be organized in order to be an efficient worker.

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Alexandra Eyvazzadeh '21
I am currently a junior at Dartmouth College, where I have translated my interests in global health and healthcare equity intoa curriculum including the Sociology major, Global Health minor, and pre-med track. In summer 2019, I began working for the NHBCS, and the experience has only proved more and more invaluable. Joining the project has taught me the fundamentalsof population-based research through my work in data collection, and exposure to research methods and outcomes. I planto use my work experience from the NHBCS in Kosovo this upcoming winter, where I will be working for the Global Health Policy Lab. My future aspirations include attending medical school and continuing to be an advocate for globalhealthcare equity wherever my work may lead me.

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Brynn Rankin
I grew up in York, ME, and am currently a sophomore at Dartmouth College looking to major in Biology modified with Math. In January of 2019, I began working with the Department of Epidemiology in the NHBCS as a research assistant, and the experience has allowed me to learn more about what goes into research and all the moving parts that need to be coordinated for a successful study. I am so thrilled to be able to work for such an important project and wish to attend medical school after graduation.

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Michael Green '21
I was born in Columbia, Maryland, and am majoring in Biology with a minor in Global Health. I started working for the Department of Epidemiology during January of 2018, within the NHBCS. With the NHBCS I have worked as a research assistant. During my time with the team I have developed my skills as an aspiring scientist by working on different data collection methods and evaluating the protocol implemented regarding the collection and entry of this data. At Dartmouth, I joined the heavyweight crew team as a novice during my freshman winter. Additionally, I have been an active member of the EE Just program and received funding from them in order to gain experience that will help my path towards becoming a research scientist. My time with the Department of Epidemiology has given me a desire to pursue some form of a Doctorate degree in a public health field.

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Nate Gallagher
Nate Gallagher is an undergraduate student majoring in biology and anthropology at Dartmouth College. His research examines the association between inflammatory markers during pregnancy and birth as they relate to neurodevelopmental scores in infants. Beyond inflammatory markers, he is interested in other mechanisms by which maternal experiences of stress or discrimination can be embodied and transmitted to the next generation.

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Stephanie Rivera Ithier '21
I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I am currently a freshman at Dartmouth College studying Biology and Spanish. Being part of the Department of Epidemiology has allowed me to gain a new perspective on research, a truly invaluable opportunity. Since I began working for the NHBCS, I have been able to learn about the distinct methods of data collection used in epidemiological studies. Moreover, I have witnessed all the preparation and, most importantly, the teamwork that is necessary for such amazing projects to be carried out. I hope to go on to medical school to obtain my M.D. degree after graduation.

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Haillie Zens
I grew up in Thetford Center, Vermont. Currently, I am in my second year of undergrad at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario majoring in Chemistry. I am interested in pursuing a career in medicine. During the summer of 2019, I worked in the Department of Epidemiology as part of Anne Hoen's Lab, where I learned valuable programming and analytic skills while helping clean datasets from the NH Birth Cohort Study for use in analyses. When I'm not in the lab or the library I enjoy dance, theatre, going to the movies, and cooking.

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Cindy Takigawa '21
During the time I have worked at the Department of Epidemiology, I have learned and gained many invaluable skills. I now understand how much coordinated effort goes into research, and have become more productive and methodical with how I use my time. Working at the NHBCS has broadened my view on research, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work here. After graduating, I plan to attend Medical School.

Former Students

Alexander Titus, BS, BA, PhD (QBS '19) - Christenson Lab

Miguel García-Villarino, PhD (Epidemiology '19) - Karagas Lab

Despina Karalis, Dartmouth BS, MS (Epidemiology) - Karagas Mentee

Sara Lundgren, PhD - Christensen Lab

Jorge E. Moreno Olivas, Dartmouth BS '19

Shania Shehata, NHBCS

Michelle Martinez, Dartmouth BS '18, NHBCS

Thuy-Vy Nguyen, Dartmouth BS '19

Gabrielle O'Donoghue, Dartmouth BA '17, NHBCS

Alisha Yan, NHBCS

Jai Woo Lee, Dartmouth MS

Elle Nutter, PhD - Doherty Lab

Jennifer Luyapan, PhD - Passarelli Mentee

Julia Litzky, MD/PhD