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Sarina Abrishamcar, MPH 
PhD Student (Epidemiology), she/her 

I am a first year PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology. I received my BS in Pharmacology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and my MPH in Epidemiology with a certificate in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. I have been working with Dr. Huels since 2020 as a data analyst and research assistant for projects within the Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) consortium. I also completed my master's thesis with Dr. Huels, exploring the mediation of prenatal tobacco and alcohol exposure and child neurodevelopment by DNA methylation. Broadly, my research interests are in exposomics and genomics. Specifically, I am interested in how various perinatal, environmental, and psychosocial exposures affect health outcomes (such as neurodevelopment) in children and across the life course through epigenetic and other omics mechanisms.



Susan Buckenmaier, MPH
PhD Student (Epidemiology), she/her

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at Rollins School of Public Health.  Before coming to Emory, I received my BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Dickinson College (Go Red Devils!) and my MPH in Epidemiology from Unversity of Maryland (Go Terps!).  Between my MPH and my doctoral education, I worked at the National Cancer Institute and a Cancer Research Training Award Fellow with the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.  My interests are in persistent organic pollutants and their impact on reproductive health and how metabolomics mediate observed associations.  Currently, I am working with Dr. Huels on a project evaluating risk score approaches for metabolomic data.  In my free time, I love running, eating ice cream, and enjoying the Atlanta sunshine. 


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Junyu Chen, MPH
PhD Student (Epidemiology), he/him

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology. Before entering the program, I received a BS in Biological Science (focused on Molecular Biology) from Nanjing University in 2016 and my MPH in Epidemiology (focused on genetic epidemiology) from Emory University in 2018. I also worked in The Center for Computational and Quantitative Genetics in Emory University, where I turned my attention towards a methodological component of gene mapping studies. My current research interest is development and application of novel statistical and epidemiologic methods for multi-omics and GxE studies to understand the genetic contributions to complex diseases and traits. Currently, I am working with Dr. Huels to develop an analysis pipeline for the calculation of DNA methylation risk scores (MRS) and evaluate its robustness and applicability across diverse ancestries through simulation studies and real data analysis. In my free time, I like rock climbing, swimming, hiking and watching stand-up comedies. 



Grace Christensen, MPH
PhD Candidate (Epidemiology), she/her


I am a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. I received my BS in Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology, and my MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Michigan in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Before entering Emory’s PhD program, I was a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow working at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. There, I worked under the Environmental Epidemiology and Surveillance Section on projects ranging from biomonitoring to the development of groundwater standards. Broadly, my interests are in environmental epidemiology, specifically chemical mixtures and their effects on reproductive and developmental outcomes. Currently, I am working in Dr. Huels’ lab on a project investigating joint effects of indoor air pollution mixtures and psychosocial factors on childhood psychopathology in a South African birth cohort.




Lina Dimitrov, MPH
PhD Student (Epidemiology), she/her

I am a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. I received my BA in Neuroscience and Behavior from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2017 and my MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Boston University in 2020. My previous work experience between my degrees includes teaching English as a foreign language in France, pharmaceutical consulting, and an ORISE Fellowship at the CDC in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities where I worked on (and continue to work on) projects related to children’s mental health. Broadly, my interests are in understanding the etiology of neurobehavioral outcomes, and I am particularly interested in exploring how environmental chemicals may play into the development of these conditions. In my free time, I enjoy taking dance and aerial arts classes (and performing!), reading, hiking, and watching sitcoms that everyone else already watched 10 years ago.



Zhenjiang Li, MPH
PhD Candidate (Environmental Health Sciences), he/him 

I am currently a doctoral student in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health and received a BS in Preventive Health and an MS in Public Health. I have a broad interest in environmental epidemiology, with specific training in omics data analysis and the health effect of traffic-related air pollution on susceptible pollutions, such as pregnant women. My current research focuses on examining the use of saliva metabolomics to measure complex biological responses due to exposure to ambient air pollution. Prior to my PhD program, I worked on interrogating the adverse effects of maternal exposure to second-hand smoke and heavy metals on the development of neural tube defects in offspring in Northern China. I am working in Dr. Huels’ lab on Air pollution and Cognitive Function in the Emory Healthy Aging Study to assess exposures to air pollutant mixtures and estimate the associations between air pollution and cognitive decline among people over 50 years old.



Theresa Unseld, MSc
DAAD Visiting Scholar (Medical Biometry), she/her

I am a third year PhD student from Ulm University in Germany. I am joining Huels Lab in the fall semester 2022 for a four-month research project funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Before starting my PhD, I did my BSc and MSc in Mathematical Biometry at Ulm University in Germany and I spent a semester at Helsinki University in Finland funded by ERASMUS. Since 2020 I am doing my PhD at the Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry at Ulm University. My dissertation research at Ulm University is the application of Bayesian methods for sample size determination of animal trials in translational research. At Emory University I am working with Dr. Huels and Dr. Chang from the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics on the extension of Bayesian methods and their application to spatial health data. My main research interests are Bayesian statistics, statistical inference and sensitivity analysis using simulations.


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