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Robert S. Gordon Jr. Lecture

Named in honor of Robert S. Gordon, Jr., former Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service and Special Assistant to former NIH Director James Wyngaarden, it is part of the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series. Topics focus on clinical research and epidemiology. Speakers are selected by the NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP).

Should Older Adults with Diabetes and Obesity Lose Weight?

May 18, 2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Rena R. Wing, Ph.D., Brown University

Whether older individuals with diabetes and obesity should be encouraged to lose weight remains controversial. Observational studies have suggested that weight loss in older adults may be associated with increased risk of mortality, but this conclusion may be due to unintentional weight loss. A randomized trial in which some individuals are assigned to a weight loss program is the best way to address the question of whether intentional efforts to lose weight are appropriate for older individuals who have diabetes and obesity.

Epidemiology of Cognitive Aging: Why Observational Studies Still Matter

February 10, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Kristine Yaffe, M.D., University of California, San Francisco

Observational studies have contributed to groundbreaking findings on the role of modifiable risk factors for cognitive aging including cardiovascular risk factors, sleep, and traumatic brain injury. Drawing from a multidisciplinary perspective, Dr. Yaffe will highlight how epidemiological studies can advance the field by generating hypotheses, applying innovative methods across the life course, and investigating populations often not included in trials.

In scientific method we don’t just trust: or why replication has more value than discovery

March 13, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
John P.A. Ioannidis, M.D., D.Sc., Stanford University

Science is the best thing that has happened to Homo sapiens. It is important to apply the scientific method in ways that are the most efficient in leading to—and translating—important discoveries. However, this goal is not easy. There are many situations where research practices are applied in suboptimal ways, resulting in a reproducibility crisis in which trust in scientific findings is diminished. In his lecture, Dr. Ioannidis will discuss how we can improve the robustness, efficiency, and transparency of research practices.

Advancing population health: five propositions and a research agenda

May 23, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Ana V. Diez Roux, M.D, Ph.D., MPH, Drexel University

Dr. Diez Roux is internationally known for her research on the social determinants of population health and the study of how neighborhoods affect health. Her work on neighborhood health effects has been highly influential in the policy debate on population health and its determinants. Her research areas include social epidemiology and health disparities, environmental health effects, urban health, psychosocial factors in health, cardiovascular disease epidemiology, and the use of multilevel methods.

The changing epidemiology of HPV and cervical cancer: from etiology, to validation of prevention methods, to dissemination

May 3, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Mark Schiffman, M.D., M.P.H., NCI-DCEG

Over three decades of studies moving from etiology to preventive methods research to guidelines development, Dr. Schiffman has learned some broad lessons about the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiology that he will describe.

Biomedical research: increasing value, reducing waste

April 20, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Michael B. Bracken, Ph.D., MPH, FACE, Yale School of Public Health

More than $200 billion is spent worldwide annually on biomedical research but estimates suggest as much as 85 percent may be wasted. What are the determinants of research waste, and is such a high figure justified? A series of five papers in The Lancet (January 8, 2014) introduced this topic in detail and is updated in this lecture. This presentation focuses on redundancy and duplication of research hypotheses, research designs that cannot reliably test hypotheses, publication bias, and irreproducibility. Solutions for reducing waste and increasing value are discussed.

Research directions for solving the obesity epidemic in high-risk populations

December 3, 2014
Shiriki Kumanyika, Ph.D., M.P.H., Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

The prevalence of obesity is high in the United States, especially among children and adults in most U.S. racial/ethnic minority and low-income populations, compared to whites or those with higher incomes. This observation continues to beg for explanations that can point the way toward effective and durable solutions. Several potential explanations relate to the social, economic, and physical environments that influence eating and physical activity.

Epidemiology: Back to translation

September 25, 2013
Moyses Szklo, M.D., The Johns Hopkins University

Epidemiology was born of the need to discover the evidence necessary for the practice of public health. Early generations of epidemiologists produced data with the objective of translating their findings into public health action. However, the need for epidemiology to establish its scientific credentials, and the fact that subsequent generations of epidemiologists lacked a public health background, eventually resulted in an almost exclusive focus on etiology.

The page was last updated on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 9:51am