Our Faculty

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Children collecting water from a well.

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.

Matthew R. Bonner.

277 Farber Hall

Phone: (716) 829-5385

Fax: (716) 829-2979


Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
School of Public Health and Health Professions

Research Topics: Environmental and occupational epidemiology; cancer epidemiology; pesticides; air pollution; radon; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; phthalates.

Pavani Kalluri Ram.
Research Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
School of Public Health and Health Professions

Research Topics: Child survival; handwashing; global health; diarrheal diseases; acute respiratory infections; infectious disease epidemiology.

Ying (Jessica) Cao.

268H Farber Hall

Phone: (716) 829-5369

Fax: (716) 829-2979


Assistant Professor, Division of Health Services Policy and Practice
Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
School of Public Health and Health Professions

Research Topics/Projects: Health economics; behavioral economics; experimental economics; decision-making in health and healthcare; health services policy and practice; cost-benefit analysis. 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.

Jo L. Freudenheim.

270D Farber Hall

Phone: (716) 829-5375

Fax: (716) 829-2979


UB Distinguished Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
School of Public Health and Health Professions

Research Topics/Projects: Cancer epidemiology, using epidemiologic tools to understand carcinogenesis at the population, individual, tissue and molecular levels in order to better prevent and control the disease. Recent projects include a study in Western New York as well as one with collaborators at the University of Puerto Rico to study breast cancer among Puerto Rican women. The latter study is focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms for the increases in incidence seen there. The work in Puerto Rico includes an examination of early life diet and physical activity in breast cancer risk. With collaborators at The Ohio State University, she is also involved in a study of the biology of healthy breast tissues using tissues collected from reduction mammoplasties. Finally, she is also doing research comparing effects of electronic cigarettes and cigarettes to never use of both among healthy young people.


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

Dr. Lina Mu seated at desk.

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.

Dr. Katia Noyes.

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.

Jim Olson.

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.

xuefeng Ren.

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.

Dr. Laura Smith.

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.   

Dr. Meng Wang.

Meng Wang, PhD Assistant Professor

Projects: In the past twelve years, Wang has been intensively involved in several large epidemiological research projects on air pollution in the United States (MESA-Air), Europe (ESCAPE and TRANSPHORM) and China (CAREBEIJING). His main contributions included developing high-quality exposure models for air pollutants, assessing effectiveness of air pollution control policies, and understanding the biological and subclinical processes of air pollution on disease progression.

Specialty/Research Interests: Environmental exposure monitoring, air pollution modeling, health impacts of environmental exposures.


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.