Epidemiology and Biostatistics Dissertation Defense: Rini Jose
Thursday, March 23, 2023
3:00 PM-4:00 PM
"The importance of place and space: individual and community-level determinants of hepatitis C virus in Philadelphia, PA"
Rini Jose, MPH, PhD student at Dornsife
Advisor: Seth Welles
Committee Members: Alison Evans, Neal Goldstein, Danica Kuncio, Ana Martinez-Donate
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a bloodborne infectious disease that has increased in prevalence across the United States. Although we have made strides in expanding the availability of HCV screening and curative therapies, eliminating HCV will require a more granular understanding of the drivers behind HCV infection, including the importance of contextual and structural barriers. This dissertation harnesses the inherent strengths of surveillance data while simultaneously addressing epidemiologic biases that often plague these ubiquitous data sources. Surveillance data collected by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) will examine and explore contextual and individual risk factors of HCV infection and subsequent treatment with three aims: First, we created a healthcare spatial density variable to explore individual and neighborhood-level predictors associated with HCV among women of reproductive age, a priority population for expanded screening of HCV. Then, we explored and corrected for missing treatment status in Philadelphia surveillance data, through a multilevel lens. Finally, we explored and corrected potential selection bias in surveillance data.
Rini Jose is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology working under the supervision of Dr. Seth Welles. Her research interests include infectious diseases and sexually transmitted infections.