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Student Researchers

The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) is led by a team of distinguished experts in the field of population health. Learn more about the SHOW leadership, administration and field team.

 

Kristen MaleckiKristen Malecki, PhD, MPH

 

Co-Director, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin
Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences

 

Kristen Malecki is an assistant professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences. She has a PhD in environmental epidemiology and health policy and master of public health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

Dr. Malecki serves as the co-director for the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW), overseeing survey implementation efforts and ancillary study development. She has been a leader in the development and evaluation of indicators for environmental health risk assessment and policy. Dr. Malecki is lead co-investigator for the Network for Health Equity in Wisconsin, a program using SHOW as a tool for evaluating the impact of multilevel "natural experiments" such as the economic downturn, health care reform and community driven prevention efforts on population health and health disparities.

 

Dr. Malecki also works to bridge applied public health practice with academic research focusing on environmental health and health disparities using a social determinants of health model. She also serves as the Principal Investigator for a number of SHOW ancillary studies involving community-academic partnerships.

 

Before coming to UW-Madison she served as the lead epidemiologist for the state Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. In these roles she has gained extensive experience in leading and managing multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, practitioners and policy makers in development of environmental health surveillance and epidemiologic data for addressing chronic diseases and disparities in the state of Wisconsin and the nation.


Paul PeppardPaul Peppard, PhD

 

Co-Director, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin
Principal Investigator, Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study
Associate Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences

 

Dr. Peppard joined the faculty of the Department of Population Health Sciences in 2008. He holds MS degrees in preventive medicine and statistics, and a PhD in epidemiology from UW-Madison.

 

Dr. Peppard conducts NIH-funded epidemiologic research into the causes and consequences of sleep disorders including the impact of the obesity epidemic on sleep apnea prevalence; the behavioral (e.g., physical inactivity, weight gain, alcohol use) and genetic predictors of sleep apnea; and, outcomes of sleep disorders (e.g., hypertension, cognitive dysfunction, depression).

 

Other areas of research interest include health disparities, summary measures of population health and population health monitoring.


Tammy LeCaireTamara (Tammy) LeCaire, PhD

 

Associate Director, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Tammy joined the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin team as associate director in January 2015. She holds a PhD in population health sciences and an MS in preventive medicine, both with emphasis in epidemiology, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her role as lead scientist for SHOW, Tammy provides oversight and scientific support to survey implementation as well as in data dissemination by the science team. She also supports investigators in grant development and writing.

 

Tammy was involved as a consultant for SHOW during the earlier stages of planning for the project, particularly in the development of protocols for biological samples collection and processing and consequently provides support to the SHOW Biorepository.

 

Tammy brings to SHOW nearly 20 years’ experience in research project management at UW-Madison.

 

Prior to her work with the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, Tammy was the Project Director for the longstanding study of individuals followed from diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, the Wisconsin Diabetes Registry Study. She has also been fortunate to work for the landmark Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences as well as the Department of Surgery’s Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research (WiSOR) Program.

 

Tammy is incredibly excited to help support the vast research infrastructure of SHOW as well as its use by investigators across the UW-Madison campus and beyond. She is very motivated to expand this use and looks forward to providing grant writing support especially for those investigators new to the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin.


Javier NietoF. Javier Nieto, MPH, MD, PhD

 

Chair and Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences

Investigator, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

F. Javier Nieto is the chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He received his MD from the University of Valencia, Spain, in 1978. Between 1979 and 1985 he completed a residency in family and community medicine in Spain and an MPH degree in Havana, Cuba.

 

After a brief period working for the Spanish government in developing primary health care centers in a rural area in central Spain, he came to the United States, to Johns Hopkins University, where he completed a master in health science (MHS, 1989) and a PhD degree in epidemiology (1991). In 1991 he joined the faculty of the Department of Epidemiology in the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and served as an associate professor between 1998 and 2001. Between 1993 and 2001, he served as a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Epidemiology. He joined the Department of Population Health Sciences at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in January 2002.

 

Dr. Nieto's main areas of research interest include:

  • Cardiovascular disease epidemiology
  • Markers of subclinical atherosclerosis
  • Emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease (homocysteine, inflammation markers, chronic infections)
  • Health consequences of sleep disorders
  • Psychosocial stress

He is also interested in methodological issues in survey research and epidemiology and in the teaching of epidemiologic methods. Along with Moyses Szklo, he is co-author of a textbook on intermediate epidemiology methods (Epidemiology: Beyond the Basics, 2nd Edition. Boston, Mass, Jones & Bartlet Publishers, 2007). He is the director of the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW).

 

In 2003, Dr. Nieto joined the Madison Symphony Orchestra Choir, where he sings with the bass section.


Maria NikodemovaMaria Nikodemova, MS, PhD

 

Grants Facilitator and Lab Director, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Dr. Nikodemova joined the SHOW in November 2015. She holds a PhD in physiology and MS in population health sciences with emphasis on epidemiology. Her role in SHOW is to facilitate transdisciplinary research examining the multiple determinants of health and health disparities in Wisconsin by diverse groups of investigators. In her position she promotes the use of SHOW’s research infrastructure and biorepository in new grant submissions by investigators on and off the UW-Madison campus.

 

Prior to her work on the Survery of the Health of Wisconsin, Maria completed her post-doctoral training at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda and later worked as a basic research scientist at the UW-Madison studying the role of the immune system in CNS disorders. She was also involved with the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort study, investigating the association of sleep apnea and cognition.


Corinne EngelmanCorinne Engelman, MSPH, PhD

 

Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences

Investigator, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Dr. Engelman is a genetic epidemiologist interested in complex diseases and quantitative traits of aging, such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Alzheimer's
  • Early cognitive and neurobiological changes consistent with preclinical Alzheimer's
  • Vitamin D deficiency

She is particularly interested in gene-gene and gene-environment interactions and methodologic approaches to studying the genetic contribution to complex phenotypes.

 

One major area of research is on the genetic architecture of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with many adverse health outcomes, including bone diseases, cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, making vitamin D an important health outcome of interest.

 

Dr. Engelman is studying the genetic, behavioral and environmental predictors of vitamin D levels in the blood and of the association between vitamin D and other health outcomes, such as obesity and blood pressure, in Caucasians from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW), as well as African and Hispanic Americans from the multicenter Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study Family Study (IRASFS).


Lisa Cadmus-BertramLisa Cadmus-Bertram, PhD

 

Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Investigator, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Dr. Cadmus-Bertram joined the Department of Kinesiology in 2014. She holds a PhD in epidemiology and psychology from Yale University (2007) and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, in conjunction with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (2007-2009). Prior to coming to UW-Madison, she was on the faculty in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California-San Diego.

 

Dr. Cadmus-Bertram’s research program centers on the role of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and obesity in cancer prevention and survivorship, with a special focus on the use of mobile technologies to enhance health promotion interventions. Other areas of interest include obesity prevention, objective measurement of physical activity, and quality of life.


Ajay SethiAjay Sethi, PhD

 

Associate Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences

Co-Investigator, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

Dr. Sethi received his PhD in Epidemiology and MHS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He received a BS in Physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

Dr. Sethi’s research interests lie broadly in the study of infectious diseases. His research aim to identify modifiable behavioral and structural factors associated with transmission and morbidity if infection is established. His studies employ both quantitative and qualitative methods in clinic- and community-based settings, observational and quasi-experimental study designs, and is conducted in both the US and abroad. In the SHOW, Dr. Sethi and colleagues are investigating the role of the the gut microbiota on various health outcomes.


Mari PaltaMari Palta, PhD

 

Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences and Biostatistics and Medical Informatics

Scientist, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Mari Palta received her PhD in biostatistics in 1977 followed by postdoctoral training in epidemiology, both from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She also holds a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology, and an undergraduate degree in mathematics, mathematical physics and English from the University of Lund, Sweden.

 

She was a faculty member in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Iowa 1979-1982, and a scientist in the Biostatistics Center at the University of Wisconsin, 1982-1987. She has been a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1987 and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Population Health Sciences, and Biostatistics and Medical Informatics.

 

Professor Palta directs and collaborates in several different research projects, and has an over-riding interest in evaluating and developing methodology. Her statistical methods research has addressed longitudinal models with measurement error, confounding and missing data, and the analysis of preference scored health outcomes. She has been the principal investigator of two epidemiologic cohort studies of very low birth weight and diabetes which continue to generate spin-off studies and new analyses. Her clinical subject matter interests range from maternal and child health to respiratory conditions, diabetes and sleep.


 

Erika Hagen

Erika Hagen, MS, PhD


Scientist, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin
Director of Scientific Operations, Wisconsin Sleep Cohort and REST Studies

 

Dr. Hagen is an associate scientist in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She has an MS and PhD in population health sciences from UW-Madison and did her undergraduate work at the University of Chicago. Dr. Hagen is an epidemiologist interested in child health and behavior and the physiological and social influences on sleep and other health outcomes across the life course.


Elizabeth SteinElizabeth Stein, MD, MS

 

Preventive Medicine Resident, University Of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Investigator, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Dr. Stein began training as a preventive medicine resident in July of 2015. She holds a MD from Howard University and a master's degree in Foods and Nutrition from University of Georgia. During graduate and medical school, she researched vitamin D status in children living in Georgia and metabolic syndrome in non-Hispanic blacks living in Philadelphia. Prior to coming to UW-Madison for preventive medicine residency, she completed her intern year in psychiatry at University of Florida.

 

Dr. Stein's research at SHOW will focus on the veteran population of Wisconsin, with an emphasis on chronic disease and mental health in this population. She will also investigate differences in health status and behaviors of veterans using different health care systems, such as the Veterans Administration and private health care systems.


Christine McWilliamsChristine McWilliams, MPH

 

Associate Researcher, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Christine McWilliams joined SHOW in 2010 after completing a master's degree in community health promotion from Portland State University. Ms. McWilliams is a researcher at SHOW and oversees the program's research partnerships and ancillary studies. Her primary areas of research interest at SHOW include reproductive health, contraceptive use, and pregnancy and STD prevention.

 

Prior to working at SHOW, Ms. McWilliams conducted clinical research in asthma and allergy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also worked on several research projects while studying in Oregon, including the project "HEALTHY," working with over 800 local high school students to prevent diabetes; and building the POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) registry through the state. Ms. McWilliams is especially passionate about SHOW's community-level work because she believes that communities are the networks where powerful health improvement begins.


Amanda RasmusonAmanda Rasmuson, MS

 

Associate Researcher, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

Laboratory Manager, Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study

 

Amanda Rasmuson joined SHOW in 2016 and is part of a team that oversees the program’s research ancillary studies. She also oversees the data collection and processing of Accelerometry and assists the Field Team Manager with quality control of the field staff.

 

Additionally, Ms. Rasmuson is the Laboratory Manager of the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, an ongoing longitudinal study of the causes, consequences and natural history of sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea, now in its 27th year.


Michelle LaMoreMichelle LaMore

 

Med Lab Tech/Phlebotomist, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Michelle comes to us with over 15 years of experience working in the medical field and has been with SHOW since 2014.

 

She travels statewide collecting biological specimens and data from survey participants. She trains new phlebotomy staff and has been involved with other studies including a sleep study and the Angler Study.

 

Michelle earned her college degree while living and working in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She moved to Madison in 2010 and has worked in several specialties including urology, fertility, obstetrics and gynecology, and clinic lab.

 

Michelle is passionate about holistic health and wellness and advocates for more natural approaches to healthier lifestyle. She has taken several classes on clinical aromatherapy and herbal medicine.

 
Michelle has gained valuable insight and knowledge while working with SHOW. She takes pride in her work and finds it to be extremely rewarding.


Jennifer TratnyekJennifer Tratnyek

 

Administrative Program Manager, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Ms. Tratnyek has worked at the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) since May 2010, supporting SHOW's ability to collect data in the field and implement ancillary studies. She has recently taken on the leadership role of administrative program manager, and will be responsible for overseeing the areas of administration, finance, human resources, public relations and field team logistics.

 

Prior to working at SHOW, Ms. Tratnyek has worked in management and administrative capacities in the areas of health and wellness, employee benefits, human resources, as well as supporting research and interventions for the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University.

 

Ms. Tratnyek brings to SHOW a strong interest in health and well-being, along with many years of project management and administration experience, and is dedicated to helping SHOW create an invaluable resource on the health of Wisconsin residents.


Susan Wright

Susan Wright, MS

 

Field Team Manager, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Susan Wright has led SHOW's field logistics, participant recruitment, and data collection since 2008. She's been supporting broad based survey research and data collection projects at the University of Wisconsin since 1989, working for the school's departments of Population Health Sciences, Family Medicine and Pharmacy. She brings many pieces of her expertise to her role at SHOW, and finds working toward improved health in Wisconsin very gratifying.


Doug Esselman

Doug Esselman

 

Field Team Supervisor, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Doug began collecting data for SHOW in 2014 as a field interviewer and has since took on the role of field team supervisor. He travels across the state to monitor field team performance and logistically coordinate the interaction between the field staff and SHOW HQ. Doug has a passion for health and wellness and finds working at SHOW to be extremely rewarding.


Andy Bersch

Andy Bersch, MS

 

Biostatistician, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Andy Bersch is SHOW's resident biostatician. He stays busy managing the project's sampling design, creating analytic data sets, computing sampling weights, and analyzing data. Mr. Bersch has worked as a biostatistician for the UW Carbone Cancer Center and as a statistician for the National Wildlife Health Center. A true blue environmentalist at heart, he has been especially interested in exploring SHOW's data and the intersections between health and environment.


Matt MoehrMatt Moehr, MS

 

Database Administrator, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Matt joined the SHOW team in 2013 and has been busy improving the technology infrastructure for the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin ever since. He works to harmonize and ensure the security and confidentiality of all of SHOW's complex database systems. Matt is always happy to assist in new data collection or novel analysis projects.

 

Before coming to the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, Matt worked in data management positions at the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab and the Department of Oncology - both at the University of Nebraska - and the UW AIDS Vaccine Research Lab. When he's not wrangling data, Matt makes a little time for finishing his PhD in sociology, where his dissertation is on neighborhood effects and spatial analysis.


Chase MorganChase Morgan

 

Program Assistant, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

 

Chase started at the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin in 2016 as a program assistant providing overall support to the SHOW team in Madison, as well as the interviewers out in the field.

 

Prior to arriving at SHOW Chase obtained his anthropology degree from UW-Madison and spent some time in Canada pursuing an advanced degree in folklore. Chase’s work organizing anthropology outreach programs, working with Native tribes and conducting field work at graduate school, provides a unique insight into population studies. Having spent time in the anthropology realm, Chase is well-acquainted with working directly with people and the importance of building connections within research.

 

Meet our student researchers


Who We Are

Last updated: 05/23/2017
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