Jennifer F. Bobb, PhD

Jennifer Bobb

I am excited about the potential for scientific discovery in the era of big data. With critical scientific thinking and advanced statistical methods, we can leverage rich data sources to improve public health.

Jennifer F. Bobb, PhD

Associate Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Jennifer Bobb, PhD, aims to apply rigorous statistical methods to address important problems in public health. She is interested in statistical issues that occur when data that were not originally collected for research purposes, such as administrative claims data or electronic health records, are used for addressing scientific questions relevant to clinical practice and health policy.

At Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI), Dr. Bobb collaborates with scientists across a broad range of research areas, including mental and behavioral health and social determinants of health. As an investigator with the Health Care Systems Addictions Research Network, she provides statistical leadership on pragmatic clinical trials at Kaiser Permanente Washington and other health systems. She is the lead statistician on a stepped wedge trial evaluating how mental health and wellness integration at Kaiser Permanente Washington affects clinical care and health outcomes, as well as a multi-site pragmatic trial to evaluate a program for increasing medication treatment for opioid use disorders within primary care settings. She has developed statistical guidance to address methodological challenges introduced by pragmatic trials that leverage electronic health records data to define study eligibility and outcomes.

With expertise in environmental biostatistics, Dr. Bobb has led large-scale epidemiological investigations on the health effects of exposure to extreme heat and air pollution. She developed flexible modeling approaches for estimating the health effects of multi-pollutant mixtures that broadly apply to settings where large numbers of exposures may interact or have complex relationships with health, along with publicly available software implementing these methods. In recent work, she is collaborating on the Moving to Health study, which explores whether changes in the built environment, such as access to healthy foods and walkability, affect long-term weight and diabetes management.

Dr. Bobb is an affiliate assistant professor in biostatistics at the University of Washington and an associate editor of the journal Biostatistics. She serves on the Committee for Funded Research of the American Statistical Association and is a member of the International Biometric Society. Before joining KPWHRI, Dr. Bobb completed her PhD in biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2012, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Research interests and experience

  • Biostatistics

    Bayesian methods; analysis of observational data; pragmatic trial design and analysis; analysis of spatial-temporal data

    Health Services & Economics

    Biostatistics; implementation science

  • Mental Health

    Biostatistics; behavioral health; alcohol and substance use disorders

    Social Determinants of Health

    Biostatistics; built environment

  • Environmental Health

    Health effects of air pollution, extreme weather events; statistical methods for complex environmental mixtures

  • Addictions

    Prevention and treatment

Recent publications

Buszkiewicz JH, Bobb JF, Hurvitz PM, Arterburn D, Moudon AV, Cook A, Mooney SJ, Cruz M, Gupta S, Lozano P, Rosenberg DE, Theis MK, Anau J, Drewnowski A. Does the built environment have independent obesogenic power? urban form and trajectories of weight gain. Int J Obes (Lond). 2021 May 11. doi: 10.1038/s41366-021-00836-z. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Matson TE, Carrell DS, Bobb JF, Cronkite DJ, Oliver MM, Luce C, Ghitza UE, Hsu CW, Campbell CI, Browne KC, Binswanger IA, Saxon AJ, Bradley KA, Lapham GT. Prevalence of medical cannabis use and associated health conditions documented in electronic health records among primary care patients in Washington state. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(5):e219375. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.9375. PubMed

Tsui JI, Akosile MA, Lapham GT, Boudreau DM, Johnson EA, Bobb JF, Binswanger IA, Yarborough BJH, Glass JE, Rossom RC, Murphy MT, Cunningham CO, Arnsten JH, Thakral M, Saxon AJ, Merrill JO, Samet JH, Bart GB, Campbell CI, Loree AM, Silva A, Stotts AL, Ahmedani B, Braciszewski JM, Hechter RC, Northrup TF, Horigian VE, Bradley KA. Prevalence and medication treatment of opioid use disorder among primary care patients with hepatitis C and HIV. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Feb 10. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06389-7. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Zhao Y, Naumova EN, Bobb JF, Henn BC, Singh GM. Joint association of multiple dietary components on cardiovascular disease risk: a machine learning approach. Am J Epidemiol. 2021 Feb 1;kwab004. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwab004. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Campbell CI, Saxon AJ, Boudreau DM, Wartko PD, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Matthews AG, McCormack J, Liu DS, Addis M, Altschuler A, Samet JH, LaBelle CT, Arnsten J, Caldeiro RM, Borst DT, Stotts AL, Braciszewski JM, Szapocznik J, Bart G, Schwartz RP, McNeely J, Liebschutz JM, Tsui JI, Merrill JO, Glass JE, Lapham GT, Murphy SM, Weinstein ZM, Yarborough BJH, Bradley KA. PRimary Care Opioid Use Disorders treatment (PROUD) trial protocol: a pragmatic, cluster-randomized implementation trial in primary care for opioid use disorder treatment. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2021;16(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s13722-021-00218-w. PubMed

Zanobetti A, Coull BA, Luttmann-Gibson H, van Rossem L, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kloog I, Schwartz JD, Oken E, Bobb JF, Koutrakis P, Gold DR. Ambient particle components and newborn blood pressure in Project Viva. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Dec 29:e016935. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.016935. Online ahead of print. PubMed

 

Research

urban setting apartments and skyscrapers obesity and the built environment

Built environment plays little role in weight gain

New research suggests fast food and other aspects of built environments don’t affect weight, contrary to earlier findings.

healthy communities

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How should we study the health of neighborhoods?

UW/KPWHRI research team confers with King County organizations at its "Moving to Health" Summit, sparking new collaborations.

medication safety

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Esketamine: How to assess new antidepressant’s efficacy

Dr. Gregory Simon says research is needed to see if this new drug for persistent depression will prevent suicides.