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

Drewnowski A, Arterburn D, Zane J, Aggarwal A, Gupta S, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Bobb J, Cook A, Lozano P, Rosenberg D. The Moving to Health (M2H) approach to natural experiment research:a paradigm shift for studies on built environment and health. SSM Popul Health. 2018 Dec 28;7:100345. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2018.100345. eCollection 2019. PubMed

Shortreed SM, Cook AJ, Coley RY, Bobb JF, Nelson JC. Challenges and opportunities for using big health care data to advance medical science and public health. Am J Epidemiol. 2019 May 1;188(5):851-861. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwy292. PubMed

Marcum ZA, Walker R, Bobb JF, Sin MK, Gray SL, Bowen JD, McCormick W, McCurry SM, Crane PK, Larson EB. Serum cholesterol and incident Alzheimer’s disease: findings from the Adult Changes in Thought study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Dec;66(12):2344-2352. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15581. Epub 2018 Oct 5. PubMed

Liu SH, Bobb JF, Claus Henn B, Gennings C, Schnaas L, Tellez-Rojo M, Bellinger D, Arora M, Wright RO, Coull BA. Bayesian varying coefficient kernel machine regression to assess neurodevelopmental trajectories associated with exposure to complex mixtures. Stat Med. 2018 Sep 12. doi: 10.1002/sim.7947. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Bobb JF, Claus Henn B, Valeri L, Coull BA. Statistical software for analyzing the health effects of multiple concurrent exposures via Bayesian kernel machine regression. Environ Health. 2018 Aug 20;17(1):67. doi: 10.1186/s12940-018-0413-y. PubMed

Glass JE, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Richards JE, Lapham GT, Ludman E, Achtmeyer C, Caldeiro RM, Parrish R, Williams EC, Lozano P, Bradley KA. Study protocol: a cluster-randomized trial implementing Sustained Patient-centered Alcohol-related Care (SPARC trial). Implement Sci. 2018;13(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s13012-018-0795-9. PubMed

 

M2H study

Weight-gain-residential-relocation_M2H-study_1col.jpg

Can where you move impact future weight gain?

A new study finds that moving from low- to high-density neighborhoods might be related to reductions in weight gain.

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.