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 Biostatistics 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

Devick KL, Bobb JF, Mazumdar M, Claus Henn B, Bellinger DC, Christiani DC, Wright RO, Williams PL, Coull BA, Valeri L. Bayesian kernel machine regression-causal mediation analysis. LID - 10.1002/sim.9255 [doi] Stat Med. 2022 Jan 7. doi: 10.1002/sim.9255 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Richards JE, Boggs JM, Rowhani-Rahbar A, Kuo E, Betz ME, Bobb JF, Simon GE. Patient-reported firearm access prior to suicide death. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jan 4;5(1):e2142204. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.42204. PubMed

Carrell DS, Cronkite DJ, Shea M, Oliver M, Luce C, Matson TE, Bobb JF, Hsu C, Binswanger IA, Browne KC, Saxon AJ, McCormack J, Jelstrom E, Ghitza UE, Campbell CI, Bradley KA, Lapham GT. Clinical documentation of patient-reported medical cannabis use in primary care: toward scalable extraction using natural language processing methods. Subst Abus. 2022;43(1):917-924. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2021.1986767. PubMed

Li F, Tian Z, Bobb J, Papadogeorgou G, Li F. Clarifying selection bias in cluster randomized trials. Clin Trials. 2021 Dec 11:17407745211056875. doi: 10.1177/17407745211056875. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Buszkiewicz JH, Bobb JF, Kapos F, Hurvitz PM, Arterburn D, Moudon AV, Cook A, Mooney SJ, Cruz M, Gupta S, Lozano P, Rosenberg DE, Theis MK, Anau J, Drewnowski A. Differential associations of the built environment on weight gain by sex and race/ethnicity but not age. Int J Obes (Lond). 2021 Aug 27. doi: 10.1038/s41366-021-00937-9. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Hallgren KA, Matson TE, Oliver M, Witkiewitz K, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Caldeiro RM, Kivlahan D, Bradley KA. Practical assessment of alcohol use disorder in routine primary care: performance of an alcohol symptom checklist. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Aug 16. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-07038-3. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

Suicide prevention

Doctor and patient discussing mental health form

Most mental health patients answer firearm question

Study shows patients will usually answer a question about firearm access, providing key information for suicide prevention.

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

Moving-to-Health-Study_1col.jpg

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

Greg-Simon_Nasel-spray_1col.jpg

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.