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 (EHRs), 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. These include:
She has also developed statistical guidance to address methodological challenges introduced by pragmatic trials that leverage EHR 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. Work on this study spurred new methodology addressing statistical complexities of spatial confounding and time-varying health impacts.
Dr. Bobb is an affiliate associate 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 (ASA) and was elected the 2024 Chair of the ASA’s Biometrics Section. She has also served as grant reviewer for federal funding agencies and taught short courses on statistical methods for EHR data at national meetings. 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.
Bobb JF, Cruz MF, Mooney SJ, Drewnowski A, Arterburn D, Cook AJ (2022). Accounting for spatial confounding in epidemiological studies of individual-level exposures: an exposure penalized spline approach. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A. 185(3):1271–1293.
Bobb JF, Qiu H, Matthews AG, McCormack J, Bradley KA (2020). Addressing identification bias in the design and analysis of cluster-randomized pragmatic trials: a case study. Trials. 21(1):289.
∗ Included in collection on The future of pragmatic trials
Bobb JF, Valeri L, Claus Henn B, Christiani DC, Wright RO, Mazumdar M, Godleski JJ, Coull BA (2015). Bayesian kernel machine regression for estimating the health effects of multi-pollutant mixtures. Biostatistics. 16(3):493–508.
Bobb JF, Obermeyer Z, Wang Y, Dominici F (2014). Cause-specific risk of hospital admission related to extreme heat in older adults. JAMA. 312(24):2659–2667.
∗ Recognized as one of the Papers of the Year by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Bayesian methods; analysis of observational data; pragmatic trial design and analysis; analysis of spatial-temporal data
Biostatistics; implementation science
Biostatistics; behavioral health; alcohol and substance use disorders
Biostatistics; built environment
Health effects of air pollution, extreme weather events; statistical methods for complex environmental mixtures
Prevention and treatment
Lapham G, Boudreau DM, Johnson EA, Bobb JF, Matthews AG, McCormack J, Liu D, Samet JH, Saxon AJ, Campbell CI, Glass JE, Rossom RC, Murphy MT, Binswanger IA, Yarborough BJH, Bradley KA. Prevalence and treatment of opioid use disorders among primary care patients in six health systems. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020;207:107732. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107732. Epub 2019 Nov 15. PubMed
Sayre M, Lapham GT, Lee AK, Oliver M, Bobb JF, Caldeiro RM, Bradley KA. Routine Assessment of Symptoms of Substance Use Disorders in Primary Care: Prevalence and Severity of Reported Symptoms. LID - 10.1007/s11606-020-05650-3 [doi] J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Jan 23. pii: 10.1007/s11606-020-05650-3. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-05650-3 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed
Williams EC, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Ludman EJ, Richards JE, Hawkins EJ, Merrill JO, Saxon AJ, Lapham GT, Matson TE, Caldeiro R, Greenberg DM, Kivlahan DR, Bradley KA. Effect of a care management intervention on 12-month drinking outcomes among patients with and without DSM-IV alcohol dependence at baseline. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Aug 20. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-05261-7. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Richards JE, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Lapham GT, Williams EC, Glass JE, Ludman EJ, Achtmeyer C, Caldeiro RM, Oliver M, Bradley KA. Integration of screening, assessment, and treatment for cannabis and other drug use disorders in primary care: an evaluation in three pilot sites. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Aug 1;201:134-141. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.04.015. Epub 2019 Jun 8. PubMed
Pettigrew SM, Pan WK, Berky A, Harrington J, Bobb JF, Feingold BJ. In urban, but not rural, areas of Madre de Dios, Peru, adoption of a Western diet is inversely associated with selenium intake. Sci Total Environ. 2019;687:1046-1054. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.484. Epub 2019 Jun 2. PubMed
Nelson JC, Ulloa-Pe'rez E, Bobb JF, Maro JC. Leveraging the entire cohort in drug safety monitoring: part 1: methods for sequential surveillance that use regression adjustment or weighting to control confounding in a multi-site, rare event, distributed data setting. J Clin Epidemiol. 2019 May 17. pii: S0895-4356(17)30857-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2019.04.012. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
A trial led by KPWHRI researchers found that adding nurse care managers helped more people get needed treatment.
A new primary care approach improves alcohol-related preventive care as well as care for alcohol use disorder.
Use in pregnancy and screening in primary care studied by KPWHRI’s Kiel, Matson, and Lapham.
Using doctor's notes to learn about drug reactions, dementia, and cannabis use.
Top pediatric oncology hospitals reported lasting changes to programs involving visits with animals.