Tag: #research

What we should have been doing all along: Translational Epidemiology

When I was applying to get into the DrPH program, the interviewer — who would later become my academic advisor — asked me for my thoughts on Translational Epidemiology. Translational Epidemiology (TE) is the use of epidemiology in different stages between identifying a population-level problem to identifying a solution for it, to evaluating what that problem was. It is presented…

Another day, another bad anti-vaccine study

Let’s say that you think food A caused disease B. To test your theory, you get cases of people who got B and controls of people who did not get B. Then you compare the odds of exposure to A. The ratio between the odds is called the odds ratio, and anything significantly different from 1.0 means there’s some sort…


Where do you begin to understand Zika?

It’s all the rage these days to get worked-up about Zika. Just like last year with Ebola, this year we’re freaking out over a disease from “over there” coming “over here” and hurting Americans. Also, the observed association between Zika infection in pregnancy and microcephaly is scaring the crap out of people. (It’s really scaring the far-right, anti-abortion people because…

Data, institutions, and troublemakers

Two very interesting things happened in close temporal proximity to each other this week. They are related, and they really opened my eyes to the kind of world that is public health. They also taught me a lot about institutional memory. Actually, three things happened this week, but the third has its roots in the 1940s.

The relative risk of population-based studies

Most studies carried out in the research of diseases and medications is carried out at the population level. But the findings of such studies may not always apply to the individual in front of you. So you need to take a few things into account.

Physics and Surveys

So there’s this concept in physics which states that the very act of observing something has an effect on that thing. For example, to see a molecule, we need to hit it with electrons, and those electrons cause a change in that molecule. The same can be said of larger things. If you go to Africa to observe a pride…