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Department of Population Health Sciences

Biostatistics and Data Science--Georgia Prevention Institute-- Epidemiology  
Department Chair: Varghese George, Ph.D. 
Vice Chair: Gregory Harshfield, Ph.D.

Miss the MCG State of the College Address?

Dr. David Hess tells how Population Health Sciences is making history! Click on video to see how our department is making a difference in health care.

New Publications 

Phylloquinone Intake Is Associated with Cardiac Structure and Function in Adolescents.

Douthit MK, Fain ME, Nguyen JT, Williams CF, Jasti AH, Gutin B, Pollock NK

Background: Associations between childhood vitamin K consumption and cardiac structure and function have not been investigated.Objective: We determined associations between phylloquinone (vitamin K-1) intake and left ventricular (LV) structure and function in adolescents.Conclusion: Our adolescent data suggest that subclinical cardiac structure and function variables are most favorable at higher phylloquinone intakes.
See full Manuscript

Meet our Post-Docs

Paula Rodriguez-Miguelez obtained her Ph.D with International Mention in Biomedical Science from University of Leon (Spain) and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden). Now, she is an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Integrative Vascular and Exercise Physiology (LIVEP) under Dr. Harris’ mentorship.
Her research interests are focused on understanding the impact of vascular dysfunctions in the pathophysiology of different diseases, including cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition, she is also interested in the effects that stress mediates in the development of vascular dysfunctions from both physiological and molecular perspectives.
Follow Dr. Rodriguez and her work
Dr. Matthew Tucker is originally from New Zealand and earned his doctorate in Kinesiology from the University of Arkansas. He is working as a post-doc on the LIVEP team where his research is focused on improving exercise capacity in patients with Cystic Fibrosis and vascular health in various clinical populations.
Follow Dr. Tucker and his work
Jinhee (Jinny) Jeong, recently received her Ph.D in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She will be working with Dr. Harshfield and Dr. Harris as a postdoctoral fellow. 
Dr. Jeong's research interest is exercise physiology related to cardiovascular health in clinical populations. She has been actively involved in the development of behavioral strategies including nutritional supplementation, dietary sodium restriction, and physical activity as a preventive therapeutic strategy on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with end-stage kidney disease receiving hemodialysis treatment. Moving forward, she would like to continue to research how exercise and other non-pharmacological interventions can be used to enhance the overall health and lives of patients with cardiovascular disease. Additionally, she  would like to explore how lifestyle factors and genetic and environmental factors relate to the risk and the prognosis of chronic diseases. 
Dr. Jeong is originally from South Korea and has two girls who keep her non-GPI hours busy, but absolutely joyful! She is very excited to join the high quality research and great people at the GPI division of Department of Population Health Sciences!
Follow Dr. Jeong and her work
Dr. Guang Hao is a Postdoc working with Dr. Shaoyong Su. His research interests involve the development of a greater understanding of the surveillance, prevention, and treatment of cardio-metabolic diseases, particularly hypertension. Currently, he is focusing on understanding the role of DNA methylation underlying the ethnicity differences (European Americans and African Americans) in subclinical cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors.
Follow Dr. Hao and his work
Yisong Huang is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Wang’ lab starting from August 2016. Yisong is originally from Chengdu, China. She earned her doctorate from Georgia Southern University from the Jiann-ping Hsu College of Public Health. Her doctoral research focused on Biostatistics. Her current research focus on OMICs data analysis and twin modeling. She has worked as a research specialist for Tasly Pharmaceuticals, and was a research assistant at Georgia Southern University while enrolled in their doctorate program. Her greatest achievement is her 3-year old daughter "who causes as much trouble as she can."  
Follow Dr. Huang and her work
Dr. Li Chen is a Postdoc working with Dr. Yanbin Dong and Dr. Haidong Zhu. Her research interests mainly focus on clinical, epigenetic and metabolomic effects of vitamin D supplementation, high sodium intake as well as other nutrients. Currently, her work is to study the impact of maternal supplementation of vitamin D on children, and understand the underlying molecular mechanisms.
Viral Panchal, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., M.B.B.S., is working with Dr. Daniel Linder, Ph.D. Dr. Panchal's research interests include Bayesian methods for variable selection in high-dimensional data situations, survival analysis methodology for modeling time-to-event data, applications of statistics in the health sciences (genomics, epidemiology, medicine and surgery). Dr. Panchal's past research included development of balanced Bayesian LASSO method, Bayesian multivariate regression for high-dimensional data with heavy-tailed errors and its application to T-cell leukemia data. His current research focuses on derivation of Markov chain Monte Carlo approach for logistic model using Polya-Gamma latent variables. 
On August 16, 2017, the local CSRA American Heart Association (AHA) celebrated their Heart Ball Kickoff and what better place to hold this GREAT event than here at the GPI division of Population Health Sciences !!!  Dr. Russell Keen is this year's president of the AHA / CSRA Heart Walk and because he chose the GPI to host the party, we were able to showcase our wonderful research facility to all the donors that attended.  Drs. Russell Keen, William Strong (founder of GPI) and Greg Harshfield (current director of GPI and VC of PHS) spoke at this event - telling their inspirational stories as to why they got into research and how much they love it!  A guest at this event, Mark Herbet from Herbert Homes, was so impressed with our facility that he wanted to make a very generous donation to our department. Many thanks to Mr. Herbert!  This donated equipment will be used to inspire future grants and research studies. 

Upcoming Events

September, 4th 2017 
September 11th 2017
The day Americans will never forget. Take the time this month to reflect on where you were when the twin towers fell 16 years ago.  

Population Health Sciences/ division GPI, takes a break from research to watch the eclipse! We know how to have a good time whether we are doing research or watching a world event. It's also worth mentioning we look awesome doing it. 

The Department of Population Health Sciences makes a big impact in their local community. Over five boxes of school supplies were delivered to Monte Sano Elementary School. Monte Sano serves the biggest underprivileged student population in Richmond County. These donated supplies help these students succeed in the most dire of circumstances. Thanks for all you do!  
James Halbert, MS
 Kim Norland
Eftihia Kountakis, BS

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Population Health Sciences / Augusta University · 1120 Walton Way · HS-1755 · Augusta, GA 30919 · USA

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