Graduate Programs at UC Irvine
I recruit students primarily through the Graduate Program in Environmental Health Sciences. I am also affiliated with the following graduate programs: Statistics, and Public Health.
Methods in environmental health: probabilistic models and statistical methods for exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, and risk/decision analysis
Much of our research group's recent work is centered on characterizing exposures and pharmacokinetics of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in humans, and their relationships to a variety of health outcomes. This includes our detailed reconstruction of historical exposures for the C8 Studies in West Virginia and Ohio, pharmacokinetic studies of perflurooctanoate, US-wide analysis of the relationship between PFAS water concentrations and birthweight, critical review of published studies on PFAS and cancer, and many other exposure science and epidemiology studies of PFAS. Our work in this area has been funded by a variety of sources, and we are currently working with our local community and the CDC to study PFAS exposures and health effects in Orange County communities, as part of a national multi-site study.
Exposure Science Projects
Our group's interest in exposure science methods centers on the development and application of statistical methods for estimating chemical exposure rates using environmental fate and transport models, behavioral data, and biomarkers such as blood lead, hair mercury, or urinary pesticide metabolites. One major challenge in this area is that the computational complexity and large number of parameters in toxicokinetic models (using systems of differential equations) makes formal statistical estimation difficult in settings with complex exposure variation over time. Much of our research is centered on the use of discrete linear approximations to more complex continuous-time models, facilitating formal statistical estimation using estimating equations and Bayesian approaches. Application of these methods include epidemiologic studies of environmental exposures to mercury and perfluorooctanoate.
Spatial Epidemiology Projects We also collaborate with the Spatial Epidemiology Research Group on a variety of projects.
Preferred Skills/Qualifications for Prospective Students