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

Sordillo JE, Switkowski KM, Coull BA, Schwartz J, Kloog I, Gibson H, Litonjua AA, Bobb J, Koutrakis P, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, Gold DR. Relation of prenatal air pollutant and nutritional exposures with biomarkers of allergic disease in adolescence. Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 12;8(1):10578. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-28216-0. PubMed

Yitshak-Sade M, Bobb JF, Schwartz JD, Kloog I, Zanobetti A. The association between short and long-term exposure to PM2.5 and temperature and hospital admissions in New England and the synergistic effect of the short-term exposures. Sci Total Environ. 2018;639:868-875. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.181. Epub 2018 May 26. PubMed

Williams EC, McGinnis KA, Bobb JF, Rubinsky AD, Lapham GT, Skanderson M, Catz SL, Bensley KM, Richards JE, Bryant KJ, Edelman EJ, Satre DD, Marshall BDL, Kraemer KL, Blosnich JR, Crystal S, Gordon AJ, Fiellin DA, Justice AC, Bradley KA. Changes in alcohol use associated with changes in HIV disease severity over time: a national longitudinal study in the Veterans Aging Cohort. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 May 24;189:21-29. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.04.022.[Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Liu SH, Bobb JF, Henn BC, Gennings C, Schnaas L, Tellez-Rojo M, Bellinger D, Arora M, Wright RO, Coull BA. Modeling the health effects of time-varying complex environmental mixtures: mean field variational Bayes for lagged kernel machine regression. Environmetrics, 29 (4).18 May 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/env.2504.

Bradley KA, Bobb JF, Ludman EJ, Chavez LJ, Saxon AJ, Merrill JO, Williams EC, Hawkins EJ, Caldeiro RM, Achtmeyer CE, Greenberg DM, Lapham GT, Richards JE, Lee AK, Kivlahan DR. Alcohol-related nurse care management in primary care: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 May 1;178(5):613-621. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0388. PubMed

Hopp S, Dominici F, Bobb JF. Medical diagnoses of heat wave-related hospital admissions in older adults. Prev Med. 2018 May;110:81-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.02.001. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

 

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.