Research Staff

Lauren Bylsma – Epidemiologist
Ms. Bylsma, MPH, earned her degree at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in the Epidemiology and International Health program. Her research interests include maternal health, nutritional epidemiology, the relationship between environmental exposures and cancer, and the health consequences of air pollution, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. Her scientific career began in microbiological research during her undergraduate studies at Calvin College, where she investigated the abilities of biofilm bacteria to evade host cell mechanisms. As a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Ms. Bylsma worked as a research assistant and data entry supervisor for two years on a prospective cohort study evaluating the effects of air pollution on pre-term birth among 1,000 women in Mexico City. During this time, she also interned at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City managing nutritional data and analyzing fetal growth effects of maternal dietary patterns. Ms. Bylsma has experience conducting research in both English and Spanish, including questionnaire translation, subject interviews, and data presentation.
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Jenna Coalson – Epidemiologist
Dr. Coalson, PhD, MPH, brings specialized knowledge on infectious diseases. Ms. Coalson recently completed her PhD in Epidemiologic Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where she researched infectious disease transmission dynamics.  Her dissertation research focused on defining the role that asymptomatic cases play in the transmission of malaria parasites. She previously obtained an MPH in International Health Epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a BA in Human Biology, concentrating on The Biological and Social Aspects of Infectious Disease, from Stanford University.  She has experience in both laboratory and field epidemiologic research, having had internships in the San Mateo County Department of Public Health and the Kintampo Health Research Centre in Ghana and having worked briefly in the laboratories of the Stanford University Microbiology and Immunology Department, the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, and the Malawi College of Medicine.  Prior to beginning work with EpidStat, she worked for two years as a Scientist in the Exposure Assessment and Dose Reconstruction group at Exponent, Inc., where she assisted with a large occupational cohort study and performed various literature reviews on issues relating to asbestos exposure from consumer products, incidence and prevalence of various osseous and blood-related diseases and cancers, and treatment patterns in metastatic breast cancer.
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Sarah Irvin – Public Health Scientist
Ms. Irvin, MS, received her Master’s degree from George Mason University. She holds a B.Sc. in pre-medicine biology from Washington Adventist University. Ms. Irvin spent over five years at Exponent, Inc. in the health sciences consulting area including projects related to epidemiology, toxicology, mechanistic biology, and food and chemical regulatory science.  Ms. Irvin performed research activities on the toxicological properties of dioxin, and maintained an extensive database of literature on dioxin and its mechanisms of action.  She was also the senior research assistant on a large occupational epidemiology study of the mortality of over 20,000 pharmaceutical workers and her work included the collection of primary occupational data, validation of the assembled cohort, vital status ascertainment, working with over 20 states regarding the acquisition of death records, and assisting in the mortality analysis and report creation. Additional projects in which Ms. Irvin was involved included the safety assessment of chemical ingredients in cosmetic products, exclusive use registrations of certain agricultural active ingredients, literature reviews of various compounds for their mechanisms of action and safety in food products, and data abstractions from literature on breast cancer drugs and their health effects.
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Xiaohui Jiang – Biostatistician
Ms. Jiang, MS, has more than 10 years of experience as a biostatistician. She has provided data management and analytic expertise on a broad range of projects including evaluations of cancer risk among occupational cohorts, meta-analyses, and the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study.  Ms. Jiang has extensive experience in statistical analysis using many software platforms including SAS, STATA and R Statistical Software. She has co-authored multiple publications in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Chemosphere, and Environmental Science & Technology.
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Elizabeth Levin-Sparenberg – Epidemiologist
Dr. Levin, PhD, MPH, earned her Master’s degree in General Epidemiology and PhD in Epidemiologic Science from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  Before returning to Michigan to begin her PhD, Dr. Levin completed the two-year CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship in Chronic Disease at the Georgia Department of Public Health and worked as an Epidemiologist with the County of Marin in San Rafael, California where her work primarily focused on identifying and addressing health disparities in the County.  During graduate school Dr. Levin focused on molecular and infectious disease epidemiology and gained significant laboratory experience.  Her dissertation work characterized the molecular epidemiology of Bordetella pertussis and explored possible factors contributing to its resurgence in the United States, including vaccine driven evolution.  Dr. Levin also worked as a Graduate Student Instructor for the University of Michigan teaching courses in introductory public health, statistical programming languages, and evolution of infectious diseases.
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Neha Mandava – Research Associate
Ms. Mandava, MPH, holds a Master’s degree in General Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Politics from Willamette University. Her research at the University of Michigan included literature reviews for chronic illnesses, such as Type II Diabetes and Hypertension. Ms. Mandava previously held an internship at the Karmanos Cancer Institute where she collaborated on a study examining depression in cancer patients and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene. She has experience conducting statistical analysis using SAS and R and her research interests include chronic illnesses, cancer, and genetics.
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Susan T. Pastula – Epidemiologist
Ms. Pastula, MPH, has 20 years of epidemiology experience including research, project management, data collection, and analysis.  As an Epidemiologist, she coordinated occupational health studies funded jointly by company and unions. She was instrumental in the design, development, and field training of an in-house injury surveillance system for use in manufacturing locations.  She also analyzed employee health claims data related to chronic conditions and healthcare use.  Ms. Pastula has worked in university, industry, and consulting settings and has conducted research in occupational, environmental, pharmacoepidemiology, drug development, and the safety of drugs and medical devices.  She has published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, and the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
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Connor Pomeroy – Research Associate
Mr. Pomeroy, MPH, earned his degree at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in General Epidemiology. His research interests include mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, and environmental epidemiology, with a focus on building sustainable healthcare policy in low-resource areas. He previously held an internship at the Detroit Health Department, where he investigated areas of highest risk for elevated blood lead levels and their associated risk factors. During his time at the University of Michigan, he worked as a research assistant to build a mathematical model helping explain polio transmission found in sewage in southern Israel. He has experience conducting literature reviews, and in many software platforms including SAS, R, GIS, and Matlab. Mr. Pomeroy received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
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Heidi Reichert – Biostatistician
Ms. Reichert, MA, earned her graduate degree at the University of Michigan. She has 10 years of experience as a statistical consultant and analyst for a diverse set of projects including analyses involving medical record data, claims data, survey data and data from the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study. Her methodological interests include risk adjustment methods and models for clustered and longitudinal data. She has extensive data management and programming experience in Stata and also uses SAS and R. Ms. Reichert has given workshops on data management and lectured on statistical methods using Stata and SAS at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
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Margaret Sadoff – Senior Research Associate
Ms. Sadoff, MPH, JD, has a diverse background that includes cancer research, regulatory science, risk assessment, and law.  Maggie began her career in science as a research assistant at Thomas Jefferson University’s Kimmel Cancer Center.  She assisted with basic biomedical research on DNA mismatch repair mechanisms and hereditary colon cancer.  After graduating from University of Michigan School of Public Health with an MPH, Maggie served as a toxicologist for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in the Air Quality Division where she performed human health risk assessments and evaluated chemical toxicity data for use in regulatory review.  Later, she earned a JD from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and became a Michigan licensed attorney.

Lynn Zwica – Senior Exposure Scientist
Ms. Zwica, MS, has over 15 years of experience working in academic research and private consulting, including extensive experience in the area of litigation support. Ms. Zwica is a trained exposure scientist, having obtained MS degrees in both Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene at the University of Michigan School of Public Health as part of the Hazardous Substances Academic Training Program. She also holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Ms. Zwica’s scientific interests include occupational and environmental exposure assessment, risk assessment, and cancer etiology, with a focus on lymphohematopoietic disease and its relationship to solvent exposure. As an academic researcher she played a significant role in the design and conduct of numerous projects most notably as the household dust sampling coordinator for the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study where she oversaw and participated in the development of the sampling protocol as well as supervised the sampling and handling of over 700 household dust samples. In the private sector, Ms. Zwica has been involved in industry research projects as well as provided litigation support to numerous clients, primarily focusing on exposure to chemicals and cancer.
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