Our Faculty

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Faculty focus on understanding the determinants and prevention of disease, on the role of environmental factors in health and disease and on the administration of health programs to implement that understanding.

Harvey Arbesman, MD, MS Clinical Assistant Professor

Projects: Arbesman is an epidemiologist, board-certified dermatologist and Vice President of ArbesIdeas, a biomedical sciences research and consulting company. ArbesIdeas merges expertise in epidemiology, the creative problem solving process, medicine and healthcare to develop innovative solutions to biomedical sciences-related challenges.

Specialty/Research Interests: ALS biomarkers, melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, psoriasis, biomedical hypotheses

Matthew R. Bonner, PhD, MPH Associate Professor

Projects: Occupational exposure to organophosphate insecticides and neurobehavioral deficits in Egypt.

Specialty/Research Interests: Roles of occupational/environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility in the development of cancer. Specifically, occupational exposure to pesticides and cancer; exposure to ambient air pollution and breast cancer; and genetic susceptibility to lung cancer from residential radon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure.

Erin Campbell, MD, MPH Clinical Assistant Professor

Projects: Her scholarly activities include co-teaching, evaluating, and presenting the results of the Cooking for Health Initiative class series. The non-credit classes use a multidisciplinary approach to teach clinically relevant nutrition to medical and public health students.

Specialty/Research Interests:  Improving the nutrition education of health trainees, especially medical students, effective behavior change counseling for patients, comprehensive lifestyle medicine/intensive behavior modification programs for patients to improve chronic disease risk factors and outcomes, lifestyle medicine

Ying (Jessica) Cao, PhD Assistant Professor Health Services Policy and Practice

Projects: Cao is a behavioral economist whose research interests focus on judgment and decision-making in health and health care, empirical health policy analysis and global health issues. Her on-going projects involve economics of food and nutrition; consumer choices and household decisions on health service utilization and healthcare facility selection; and market demand for and effect of health insurance, etc.

Specialty/Research Interests: Health economics, behavioral economics, experimental economics, decision-making in health and healthcare, health services policy and practice, and cost-benefit analysis.

Carlos J. Crespo, DrPH, MS, FACSM Research Associate Professor

Projects: Crespo serves as a consultant to various projects with the Pan American Health Organization of the World Health Organization, and the Montegomery County Latino Health Initiative in Maryland.  

Specialty/Research Interests: epidemiology of physical activity in multiethnic populations, determinants of health disparities and the effect of physical activity.

Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD UB Distinguished Professor, Interim Chair

Projects: Diet and alcohol. Cancer epidemiology in Puerto Rico.

Specialty/Research Interests: Diet and alcohol consumption in relation to cancer, particularly breast cancer. Understanding how genetic factors may interact with diet to influence disease risk; how tumor characteristics may vary with dietary, genetic and other exposures; and the impact of exposures in early life on breast cancer risk.

Kim S. Griswold, MD, MPH Research Associate Professor

Projects:  Griswold is the medical director of a program that serves survivors of political and state-sponsored torture living in Western New York through an intensive case management and strength-based, client-centered model. She is co-investigator on a project to increase the primary care workforce size, leadership potential, diversity and commitment to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) models of practice in underserved areas throughout the region, state and nation.

Specialty/Research Interests: Griswold conducts research projects related to psychiatry, cultural care and public health and is currently involved in  breast health education of refugee and immigrant women and preparing trainees to care for vulnerable populations such as those patients living in poverty, seeking asylum and/or recovering from trauma. 

Katarzyna Kordas, PhD Associate Professor

Projects: Dr. Kordas works predominantly in international settings, with her primary research site being located in Montevideo, Uruguay. Together with colleagues and excellent research team from the Catholic University of Uruguay and the University of the Republic of Uruguay, they have been developing a research program in pediatric environmental epidemiology since 2006. Currently, they are conducting a longitudinal study on the cognitive and behavioral effects of low-level exposure to multiple metals in school children. Recently, Kordas spent 3 years at the University of Bristol in the U.K. working with the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), and has developed several projects related to the predictors and effects of environmental exposures in pregnant women and their offspring.

Specialty/Research Interests: environmental epidemiology, global health, toxic metals and child development, health effects of metal mixtures, nutrient-metal interactions, dietary predictors of toxicant exposure, gene-environment interactions

Heather A. Lindstrom, PhD Research Assistant Professor

Projects: Lindstrom is the Research Director and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University at Buffalo. Lindstrom was previously the Director of the Division of Disease Control at the Erie County Department of Health and an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer (2004-2006) in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Specialty/Research Interests: intersection of public health and emergency medicine, sexually transmitted infections, aging and health communication/risk perception

Lina Mu, MD, PhD Associate Professor

Projects: Environmental risk factors for cancer in China.

Specialty/Research Interests: Environmental epidemiology, in particular cancer etiological studies in relation to environmental pollution. Associations between indoor and outdoor air pollution with lung cancer; water pollution with liver function alteration and three upper-GI cancers (esophageal, stomach and liver cancer). Current research includes biological response to the dramatic change in air quality; gene-environmental interaction in the development of lung cancer; and gene expression and breast cancer survival.

Ekaterina (Katia) Noyes, PhD, MPH Professor; Director, Division of Health Services Policy and Practice;
Director, MPH Concentration in Health Services Administration

Specialty/Research Interests: Outcomes and quality of care assessment; economic evaluation of healthcare programs; comparative effectiveness research; multidisciplinary team science and stakeholder engagement; and regional care delivery in surgical oncology.

James R. Olson, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor
Director, Division of Environmental Health Sciences

Projects: Health risks and biomarkers of exposure to organophosphate insecticides and neurobehavioral deficits in Egypt.

Specialty/Research Interests: Assessing the health risks and biomarkers of exposure, effect and susceptibility to organophosphate (OP) pesticides and persistent halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons.

Pavani Kalluri Ram, MD Associate Professor

Projects: Hand washing with soap, household water treatment and sanitation, household ventilation/air quality in Asia and Africa.

Specialty/Research Interests: Improving child survival in resource-poor settings; evaluating programs that promote hand washing with soap; assessing whether the perinatal period is a unique teachable moment for hand washing behavior; assessing whether the risk of secondary transmission of influenza from index case-patients to household contacts will be reduced with intensive hand washing promotion.

Carole B. Rudra, PhD, MPH Research Assistant Professor

Projects: She is a perinatal epidemiologist with an interest in both behavioral and environmental exposures.

Specialty/Research Interests: impact of physical activity on pregnancy complications, maternal wellness, geographic information systems for exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies of physical activity, the built environment, and environmental exposures

Xuefeng Ren, MD, PhD Assistant Professor

Projects: Water, arsenic, obesity/diabetes, DNA methylation. The impact of exposure to organotins on health in China (Inner Mongolia).

Specialty/Research Interests: Biomarkers of carcinogenesis; molecular and cellular biology; toxicology; and genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of environmental mutagens and carcinogens in relation to cancer and other health outcomes. Specifically, to understand how genetic and epigenetic factors and environment exposures interact to cause cancer and other diseases, and to develop molecular tests for early detection, prognosis and potentially novel therapeutic strategies.

Laura E. Smith, PhD Assistant Professor

Projects: Smith continues her research at the Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research, Meyrick Park, Harare, Zimbabwe. She is conducting research in the context of the SHINE (Sanitation, Hygiene, Infant Nutrition Efficacy Project) trial in Zimbabwe, which is investigating the independent and combined effects of improved infant and young child feeding, and/or improved water, sanitation, and hygiene on stunting and anemia. As part of the SHINE trial, she is leading the work investigating the effect of mycotoxin exposure on adverse birth outcomes and child stunting.

Specialty/Research Interests: Nutritional epidemiology with a focus on maternal and child health research. Mycotoxin exposure, pregnancy exposure, birth outcomes.   

Hong Xue, PhD, MS, Research Assistant Professor

Projects: Obesity study in China, childhood obesity study in the US, cross-country comparison study on obesity and non-communicable chronic diseases

Specialty/Research Interests: Conducting interdisciplinary research in public health, integrating economics, nutrition, epidemiology, and systems science in studying obesity and non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) in the global context; developing economic and systems modeling of obesity and NCDs using big health data sets (‘big data’); studying food systems and global health. 

Shauna C. Zorich, MD, MPH Clinical Assistant Professor  

Specialty/Research Interests: Preventive medicine; public health; general epidemiology; infectious disease epidemiology; biology.