Susan Buckenmaier, MPH
PhD Student (Epidemiology)
Summer research assistant

I am a first-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. 

E-mail: susan.buckenmaier@emory.edu

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Junyu Chen, MPH
PhD Student (Epidemiology) 
Rotation student

I am a first-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. 

E-mail: junyu.chen@emory.edu

Grace Christensen, MPH
PhD Student (Epidemiology) 
Research assistant

RESEARCH INTERESTS

I am a doctoral student 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 analyzing air pollution mixtures and their effect on cognitive function in the Emory Healthy Aging Study.

E-mail: grace.christensen@emory.edu

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EDUCATION

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Anna Kilanowski, MSc
PhD Student (Epidemiology) 
Visiting research assistant

I am a second year PhD student from Munich in Germany and I am joining the Huels Lab over the summer 2021 for a three-month research project funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Before starting my PhD, I did my BSc in Health economics at the University of Wuppertal (Germany) and my MSc in Clinical Trials at the University College in London. Since 2019 I am doing a PhD in Medical Research at the University of Munich and work at the Institute of Epidemiology of the Helmholtz Center Munich as research assistant. Here, I am part of the working group for allergic disease epidemiology and investigate genetic and epigenetic effects in the development of allergic diseases in childhood and adolescence. My project with Dr. Huels is looking at different Methylation Risk Scores for aeroallergen sensitization and their prediction accuracy for allergies in the German LISA birth cohort. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, cooking and going to the zoo. 

E-mail: anna.kilanowski@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Andrea Lane, BSPH, BA 
PhD Student (Biostatistics) 
Summer research assistant

I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2016 with a BSPH in biostatistics and BA in mathematics. I am interested in statistical methodology development for multi-omics data and causal inference. In my dissertation work with Dr. Hao Wu, I am developing a method to detect a cell-type-specific mediation effect in DNA methylation data. I am working with Dr. Huels to evaluate and compare methods of generating metabolomics risk scores.

E-mail: alane7@emory.edu

Website: anlane611.github.io

Zhenjiang Li, MPH
PhD Student (Environmental Health Sciences) 
Research assistant

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.

E-mail: zhenjiang.li@emory.edu

Wenhao Wang, MPH
PhD Student (Environmental Health Sciences)
Rotation student 

I am a first-year pre-candidacy doctoral student in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health. Before the beginning of the PhD program, I received my Bachelor of Medicine in Preventive Medicine from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (focusing on heavy metal exposure risk assessment) in 2018. I did my Master of Public Health in Environmental Health from Emory University in 2020 (focusing on ambient air pollution modeling). In general, I am interested in big data-driven studies of ambient air pollution and its public health impacts. My current research includes applying statistical and machine learning methods in ambient air pollution modeling, ambient air pollution exposure and health impact among the senior population, and the application of multiple -Omics in air pollution exposure assessment. Currently, I am working with Dr. Huels to use weighted epigenetic distance-based methods in the interaction between ambient air pollution and DNA methylations.

E-mail: wenhao.wang@emory.edu

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