Exposure and Dose Metrics for Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology National Taiwan University
Hazardous exposures are usually complex extended temporal processes leading to the development of biological responses, "damage/adverse responses/health effects". A study intended to determine the quantitative relationship between exposure and risk of the effect requires a careful matching of the temporal variation in exposure with the kinetics of uptake, distribution and metabolism and matching those to the dynamics of response. However, bias and attenuation of the health risk estimate can be introduced when there is exposure error in air pollution measurement. Adequate exposure metrics may provide a means of reducing error (leading to less bias and uncertainty in health risk estimates) if they capture variability in exposure, which depends on the study design, health outcome, and pollutant of interest. To enable this, the course will start from a review of the basic components of exposure assessment for air pollution and subsequently introduce exposure metrics for four types of health outcomes: different combination of reversible/irreversible and discrete/proportional outcomes. Students will develop knowledge of exposure determinants and its temporal behavior (variability), in conjunction with skills for modeling temporal behavior of exposures and outcomes through simulations using excel spreadsheets. Guided critical analysis of publications will be performed, and information from simulations will be used to design an exposure assessment matched to the biology of the adverse effect(s). In the finals, the class will culminate with a design project where small groups of students design a new study of a specific exposure and hypothesized effect(s) reported in a previously critiqued scientific paper.
The overall goal of this class is to develop the student's ability to perform a biologically-based exposure assessment suited for testing an agent based hypothesis about a causal exposure-risk relationship in an epidemiological study. The specific learning objectives are: 1. The student's knowledge base of exposure characteristics and assessment methods, and their application will be broadened through presentations, readings, critiques, and discussions of exposure assessment for environmental and occupational epidemiology. 2. The students will be introduced to a temporal modeling approach for simulating environmental and occupational exposures (exposure metrics), formulating a model of a linked exposure and health effects process as the basis for designing an epidemiologic study, and they will apply this approach to four different types of disease outcomes. 3. The students will be able to apply the knowledge and use their analytical skills to critique the exposure assessments and linkage with the health outcomes in selected publications. 4. Given a previously critiqued publication with a limited exposure assessment, the students will develop an improved study design using the temporal model approach that will provide a better test of the epidemiologic exposure-risk hypothesis, and present that approach to the class.
The course sessions will include presentation on the topic of the day by the lecturer, and discussions of reading, review of homeworks, paper critiques, and other topics of interest.
Online Course Requirement
*Registration eligibility: juniors and above.
(College of Public Health) Graduate Institute of Environmental Health
Site for Inquiry
Please inquire about the courses at the address below.
Email address: http://ieh.ntu.edu.tw/?locale=en