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CSDE Seminar Series

Population Research Discovery Seminars

Population Health Panel

Anjum Hajat, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, UW

Jessica Jones-Smith, Associate Professor, Nutrition, Health Services, Epidemiology, UW

Jennifer Otten, Assistant Professor, Nutrition, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Health Services, UW

James Buszkiewicz, doctoral student, Epidemiology, UW

Organized by: David Grembowski


12:30-1:30 PM PT

“Fringe Banking, the Unbanked and Health: implications for social and economic policy” — Anjum Hajat

“A Two-Way Street: Impacts of positive income shocks and financial disincentives on weight-related health” — Jessica Jones-Smith

“The Health Effects of Minimum Wage Policies” — Jennifer Otten and James Buszkiewicz


Anjum Hajat’s current research interests look at understanding the social and environmental stressors that disproportionately impact disadvantaged populations and how these stressors impact a variety of health outcomes, a research area that may have implications for understanding the underlying causes of health disparities. She was awarded a NIH K99/R00 Career Development Award to study the intersection of psychosocial stressors and air pollution on CVD. She also conducts research on the impacts of financial instability and precarious work on health outcomes. These upstream factors are critical to better understanding population health. In addition, Dr. Hajat is interested in biomarkers that are impacted by social and environmental stressors; this line of research aims to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms by which social stressors cause disease. Lastly, she is interested in applying novel epidemiologic methods to her research.

Jessica Jones-Smith is an obesity epidemiologist who studies social, environmental and economic causes and correlates of obesity risk. Specifically, her research focuses on investigating distal drivers of nutrition-related health inequities and follows three main lines: 1) investigating community and individual economic resources as causal factors in obesity-related health status; 2) evaluating the obesity-related impacts of health and non-health related policies; and 3) documenting disparities in nutrition-related diseases based on socioeconomic factors and race/ethnicity, across the lifespan and in numerous populations. Her current approach combines public health nutrition and epidemiologic methods with econometric techniques to study these topics.

Jennifer Otten’s research is focused around the impacts of public health, nutrition, and food policies and the policy process on health behaviors and health outcomes; food systems, as it relates to food and nutrition policy; and, on understanding and improving the ways in which research gets to the public policy table.

James Buszkiewicz is a doctoral student at UW’s Epidemiology department. Buszkiewicz has a Master’s in Public Health concentrating in Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, and his specific areas of interest are in the social and epidemiological determinants of chronic disease, specifically as they pertain to obesity and diabetes.