News and Publications


Dartmouth Center for Implementation Science

Under the leadership of Jeremiah Brown, Ph.D., director of the newly-formed DCIS, a core group of Dartmouth faculty is at the forefront of using implementation science to address significant challenges in health and society, including substance use, cancer control and prevention, patient safety, and inequities in education. In the next five years, by 2027, the DCIS will grow its already substantial research program with the strategic recruitment and appointment of experienced researchers through open and planned faculty positions, and will create the only stand-alone advanced degree program in implementation science in the country.

Jeremiah Brown, Ph.D. is a tenured professor of Epidemiology and holds joint appointments in the Department of Biomedical Data Science and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Dr. Brown is well positioned to launch the DCIS given his expertise in implementation science and established network of research colleagues across Dartmouth and the nation. Dr. Brown is stepping into a two-year term to Chair the NIH study section in implementation science: Science of Implementation in Health and Healthcare (SIHH).  This role will give him insight into the most significant, innovative, and impactful new research topics and methods being proposed in the field.

Dr. Brown has formed a senior leadership team for DCIS with the skills, knowledge, expertise and shared vision and purpose to make it a success. Two co-directors have been identified: Kelly Aschbrenner, PhD (Psychiatry) and Sarah Lord, PhD (Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Data Science), each of whom has lead large, federally-funded implementation science research projects for more than a decade. Together, they have developed a network of colleagues from around the US, from which to recruit top faculty members and establish strong external collaborations that support the Center.

Dr. Hassapour recently published a new paper, and was awarded another R01. Congratulations!
Epidemiology faculty Dr. Howe was featured in a recent issue of Geisel Insider focusing on her research. The article is originally written by Timothy Dean and you can read it here.
Dr. Salas is gaining media attention on a new paper which you can learn about on AACR's website.
Congratulations to Drs. Salas & Christensen for publishing a new paper in Nature Communications. Learn more about the detailed work behind the science and you can read a more detailed news announcement here.
Drs. Gilbert-Diamond and Emond featured on Vermont Public Radio discussing "Dartmouth lab looks into how kids react to screen time, food and media stimuli". Read or listen to the interview here.
Center members Lucas Salas and Brock Christensen are featured on Science Daily on January 5, 2022. Read the article to learn more!
Dr. Modupe Coker was featured in Nature’s Pediatric Research with her accompanying article on global health inequities of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially impacting children in sub-Saharan Africa. You can read the article here.
Center investigator Saeed Hassanpour has received an R01, "Clinicopathologic and Genetic Profiling through Machine Learning and Natural
Language Processing for Precision Lung Cancer Management." The overall goal of this project is to build novel computational methods to discern the relationships between non-small cell lung cancer, somatic mutations, and drug resistance in targeted therapies via analyzing electronic medical records and pathology reports.Hassanpour Lab
geisel_vertical_blk_1 Faculty, trainees, and staff from the Center for Molecular Epidemiology attended the 2019 Northeast Regional IDeA Conference (NERIC) August 14-16 at the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Attendees included more than 300 students, faculty, scientists and administrators from Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont IDeA programs.  Center participants presented four papers and twelve posters during the conference.  More information on the 2019 NERIC, details on presentations and posters, and photos from the event are available on the Department of Epidemiology website: Members of the Center for Molecular Epidemiology Attend 2019 NERIC Conference.
Center investigator, Saeed Hassanpour, has received the 2019 Agilent Early Career Professor Award.  The award focuses on analytical and diagnostic measurements to promote and encourage research that advances important measurement technologies, and to establish strong, collaborative relationships between its researchers and leading professors early in their careers.“I’m very humbled and excited about receiving this award because, first of all, it’s a recognition of our work here at Dartmouth,” says Hassanpour, whose application was chosen over hundreds of nominees and four other finalists— from Harvard, University of Michigan, Duke, and Weill Cornell. “And to actually be recognized as the winner over such an outstanding group of researchers is a great honor.”

Geisel News
Hassanpour Lab 

Medscape quoted Michael Passarelli, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, in an article featuring research by other scientists about the risk of cardiovascular disease for patients with colorectal cancer. While colorectal cancer patients have previously relied on body mass index, this study, published in JAMA Oncology, indicates that computed tomography imaging will more accurately predict future risk of cardiovascular disease. "I think the takeaway here, at least from my point of view, is that the notion of the obesity paradox for mortality from colorectal cancer and separately from cardiovascular disease seems to be largely an artifact of the inadequacies of measuring obesity using height and weight," says Passarelli, who also wrote an accompanying editorial on his colleagues' research.
geisel_vertical_blk_1 The Center is please to fund two new pilot studies to advance Molecular Epidemiology at Dartmouth and beyond: Dr. Jeremiah Brown's project entitled,  “Novel Biomarkers to Predict Readmission in Pediatric and Adult Heart Surgery” and Dr. Roberta diFlorio-Alexander project entitled, “Fat-infiltrated lymph nodes and node positive breast cancer in obese women”.
Center investigator Saeed Hassanpour has received an R01, "Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening and Risk Assessment Through Deep Learning on Medical Images and Records" to build a novel, automatic, image-analysis method that can accurately detect and classify different types of colorectal polyps on whole-slide microscopic images. Hassanpour's work seeks to improve the efficacy of colorectal cancer screening programs, precision medicine, and public health.
NIH Reporter
Hassanpour Lab

The Center is pleased to welcome Phase II Project Leader, Erika Moen, as one of thirty-two new teacher-scholars who joined the Dartmouth College faculty this academic year.  Moen initiated her COBRE-funded research project, "The Role of Physician Network Properties in Diffusion of Novel Cancer Technology in July.

Dartmouth News
Moen Lab

Center investigator Anne Hoen published a paper in Nature Scientific Reports on "Sex-specific associations of infants' gut microbiome with arsenic exposure in a US population." Her findings were featured on Geisel School of Medicine's newspage and was featured as an NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month.
Geisel News 
Center investigator Anne Hoen published a paper in Microbiome on "Maternal diet during pregnancy is related with the infant stool microbiome in a delivery mode-dependent manner." Her findings were featured in Newsweek.
Research led by Center Investigator Megan Romano and co-authored by Center Director Margaret Karagas was featured in the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health’s Friday Letter. Dr. Romano and her co-authors studied the influence of phthalates on maternal and newborn thyroid hormones. Their findings suggest that co-exposure to multiple phthalates is inversely associated with total thyroxine among pregnant women and newborns and highlights the importance of integrating statistical methods for studying chemical mixtures into environmental epidemiology studies.
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health 
geisel_vertical_blk_1 Center investigator Diane Gilbert-Diamond has received an R01 to investigate the relation of genetic factors, food cues, and self-regulation with excess consumption and adiposity in children. The overarching hypothesis of the present study is that some children are genetically predisposed to eating in the absence of hunger in response to environmental food cues, and further that self-regulatory capacity can protect children from this reward-driven overeating. The study findings will have important implications for individualized child obesity intervention and prevention programs, and will also impact the public policy discourse on TV and Internet advertising of unhealthy foods to children.
NIH Reporter 
geisel_vertical_blk_1 Center investigator Anne Hoen has received an R01 to investigate multi-omic functional integration. This grant proposes the developing, evaluating, applying and distributing a new set of tools for performing meaningful analysis and integration of ‘omics data for human microbiota studies. This work has the potential to to help translate experimental and human subjects studies of the microbiota into targeted therapies that shift the microbiota toward a health-promoting state.
NIH Reporter
geisel_vertical_blk_1 The Center is pleased to fund two new Pilot Studies to advance Molecular Epidemiology at Dartmouth and beyond:
Dr. Vivien Taylor: "Maternal and in utero exposure to arsenic from marine-based dietary supplements" 
Dr. Marta Rodriguez-Garcia: "Role of the microbiome in shaping neutrophil immune responses in the female reproductive tract before and after menopause"  
Juliette Madan Center Investigator Juliette Madan was featured in a Nature editorial article discussing new research suggesting the possibility of a fetal microbiome.  "There's very little in and on the human body that could be considered sterile," says Madan.
Epidemiology postdoc Dr. Lucas Salas' research was featured on the cover of the journal Epigenetics. Dr. Salas, who is in Brock Christensen's lab, and his co-authors studied global DNA methylation dysregulation patterns across cancer types, showing a higher impact in CpG-poor areas of the genome. This work enhances scientific understanding of the impact of epigenetic changes across cancer types.
geisel_vertical_blk_1 Center investigator Brock Christensen has received a new R01 to study biomarkers of bladder cancer. The grant proposes to leverage an existing population-based study of bladder cancer that includes a range of patient age groups, has several years of follow up, includes patient treatment and outcome data, as well as matched tumor samples. The project aims to advance towards improved risk projection in newly diagnosed patients by helping to develop a novel and flexible immune monitoring toolkit that can inform clinical decision-making.
NIH Reporter
geisel_vertical_blk_1 New research from Dr. Brock Christensen's lab identified CpG sites that demonstrated significant associations with subject age in normal breast tissue. This study suggests that regions in the genome where DNA methylation changes occur with age are particularly sensitive to disruption in cancer.
Science Daily
Breast Cancer Research
Center investigator Megan Romano published an article on "Maternal serum perfluoroalkyl substances during pregnancy and duration of breastfeeding" in Environmental Research. Her findings were featured in Science Daily.
Science Daily 
geisel_vertical_blk_1 Drs. Juliette Madan and Anne Hoen's publication in JAMA Pediatrics (March 2016 issue) on delivery mode and the microbiome, "Association of Cesarean Delivery and Formula Supplementation with the Intestinal Microbiome of 6-Week-Old Infants" received considerable media attention.
JAMA Pediatrics
NPR Science Friday Interview

Huffington Post
Juliette Madan Dr. Juliette Madan was featured as an expert on National Public Radio's All Things Considered in February 2016, speaking to vaginal microbiome transfer as studied by peers at NYU.
NPR All Things Considered
Dr. Brock Christensen published a paper in Nature Communications identifying the role of two DNA modifications, 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), in a set of 30 glioblastomas, and their relationship with patient survival. "An intense interest has emerged in detailing the functional role of distinct DNA modifications in both healthy and disease tissues," said Christensen. "Here, we uncovered that specific DNA 5mC and 5hmC patterns are disrupted in GBM and uniquely characterize the molecular switches of the genome known as 'enhancers.' Importantly, we discovered that 5hmC signatures had a particularly strong association with patient survival."
Click here for the AAAS press release
Click here for the full article
geisel_vertical_blk_1 The Center is pleased to fund three new Pilot Studies to advance Molecular Epidemiology at Dartmouth and beyond:
Dr. Elizabeth Barry: "Effects of obesity on pathways driving early colorectal carcinogenesis"
Dr. Jennifer Doherty: "Methylation subtypes of ovarian cancer in African American women"
Dr. Carmen Marsit: "Nested case-control study of epigenetic markers of early-life wheeze"
Tracy Punshon Dr. Punshon was awarded experimental beam time at the Bionanoprobe (beamline 21-ID-D) at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. Dr. Tracy Punshon investigates placental arsenic concentrations in relation to both maternal and infant biomarkers of exposure in a new study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.
Click Here for the Manuscript
Click here for US News coverageDr. Punshon has since published several manuscripts on the human placenta.
Click here for Link to Manuscript in J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol
Click here for Link to Manuscript in Anal Bioanal Chem
Click here for Link to Manuscript in Environ Sci Technol
Exciting research emerging from the Christensen lab was recently published on DNA methylation in ductal carcinoma in situ related with future development of invasive breast cancer in Clinical Epigenetics.
Click here for the Manuscript.
Dr. Christensen received a Young Investigator Travel Award to attend the 2016 NISBRE meeting in Washington, DC where he will present on his COBRE research.
Dr. Saeed Hassanpour, assistant professor of data science with a secondary appointment in epidemiology was recruited to Dartmouth and the Center for Molecular Epidemiology in 2015. Dr. Hassanpour is an expert in text mining and big data analytics.
Click here for Data Science Press Release

New Department of Epidemiology
We are excited to announce that the Dartmouth Board of Trustees approved the new academic Department of Epidemiology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. COBRE Center for Molecular Epidemiology Director, Dr. Margaret Karagas, will lead this new department. Click here to read more.
For information on faculty positions within the Department of Epidemiology and Center for Molecular Epidemiology, please visit the Department website.


Dr. Brock Christensen was featured an AAAS press release on "Linking Risk Factors and Disease Origins in Breast Cancer," and he contributed to the NHDES Report Examining Health Impacts of Arsenic in Drinking Water from Private Wells in NH, October 2014.
Click here for the AAAS press release
Click here for the NHDES release