A quarter-century journey to improve health - celebrating the silver anniversary of the Department of Population Medicine
Véronique Gingras is a research fellow (Pyle Fellowship Awardee) at the Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CoRAL) working with Marie-France Hivert and Emily Oken. She received her undergraduate degree in nutrition and her Master of Science from Laval University in Quebec City, and her PhD in nutrition from Montreal University. Her previous research experiences include examining dietary patterns associated with cardiometabolic risk and developing effective strategies to improve the adoption of a healthy lifestyle in individuals with type 1 diabetes.
Izzuddin M Aris, PhD, received his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences, and his graduate degree in Epidemiology from the National University of Singapore. His research focuses on prenatal predictors of childhood growth, overweight/obesity and related cardio-metabolic disease. His previous work in a Singapore birth cohort has led to publications demonstrating the associations of perinatal determinants such as pre-pregnancy weight, gestational weight gain, gestational glycemia and breastfeeding duration, with childhood adiposity and risk of subsequent overweight obesity.
Justin Bohn, Sc.M., Sc.D., is an Epidemiologist in the Therapeutics and Infectious Disease Epidemiology group at the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. Dr. Bohn received both his Sc.M. and Sc.D. in Epidemiology from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Jennifer Lyons, PhD, MPH, is a Research Scientist in the Therapeutics and Infectious Disease Epidemiology group at the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She works on the FDA-sponsored Sentinel Initiative for drug safety surveillance.
Opioid prescriptions have increased dramatically over the last two decades, partly driven by claims of safety not backed by evidence. The rise in dangerous opioid use has caused substantial morbidity and death. HPI faculty and fellows have explored patterns in opioid prescribing and policies intended to improve the opioid epidemic. In particular, HPI faculty have advised on optimal research designs to rigorously analyze trends in opioid use and interventions that affect opioid prescribing.
Specialty medicines, many of which are products of biotechnology advances and orphan drugs, can provide novel and potentially life-changing treatment options for a growing number of serious conditions, including cancers, inflammatory diseases, and rare diseases. At the same time, the increasingly high costs of specialty medicines represent an enormous economic burden to patients and society. Allocating scarce resources to specialty medicines involves many difficult ethical and economic decisions for both families and payers.
Changes in health policies and legislation can have broad impacts on health care use and patient outcomes. HPI investigators frequently study major changes to the US health system at the national and state level, applying rigorous research designs to generate actionable data for policymakers. Examples of far-reaching policy changes that HPI has examined include limits on the number of prescriptions allowed to Medicaid patients, Medicare Part D, the rise of high-deductible insurance after the Medicare Modernization Act, the Affordable Care Act, and state opioid regulations.