Epidemiology

 

Mission

The mission of the Epidemiology Core is to perform epidemiological research within Vitalant on blood donors toward assuring a safe and adequate blood supply; support additional research and operational projects requiring epidemiology, statistics, and database analytics expertise within VRI and more broadly to Vitalant, Creative Testing Solutions and their collaborators; and provide service as a data coordinating center for extramurally-funded projects. The Epidemiology Core maintains a donor/donation research database and a blood donation laboratory-screening database for all centers in the Vitalant network, provides ad hoc epidemiology, statistical, and analytic consulting to VRI and non-VRI collaborators, and offers data coordinating and management services for projects with extramural funding.


Director: Roberta Bruhn, MS, PhD

Roberta Bruhn, MS, PhD

Vitalant Research Institute
360 Spear Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94105

Phone: (415) 923-5310 ext. 189

Epidemiology and Statistics Consultation Support

We provide consultation regarding study design, human subjects research requirements, questionnaire content, sample size calculation, data collection and management, and statistical analysis techniques on an ongoing basis. Complete statistical analysis of projects as well as manuscript review and editing are also provided.


Survey Design and Implementation

The Epidemiology Core team can rapidly develop and deploy surveys on mass scale utilizing the Qualtrics platform. Expertise developed during the SARS-COV-2 pandemic allows our continued focus on quickly capturing data during emerging infectious disease outbreaks by collaborative development of survey tools and rapid implementation. Our team has expertise in survey distribution via the native Qualtrics environment and in combination with other management tools such as Eloqua.


Database Management and ETL Pipeline Support


We provide data collection and management, database and data linkage support, ETL pipeline management and statistical analysis to colleagues and collaborators for projects large and small. Data are securely maintained in encrypted, restricted access environments and managed by team members with more than 30 years of combined experience using SAS, Stata, SQL, R, Python, ArcGIS, and other data visualization tools.

Data Coordinating Center (DCC) Support


We provide complete study management and logistical support, including design of study management systems (SMS), electronic data capture (EDC) systems, electronic case report forms (eCRF), and routine study monitoring for research projects of any size.

We provide complete study management and logistical support for research projects of any size.

Daniel Hindes, BA

Daniel Hindes, BA
Research Associate III
 
Phone: (415) 923 - 5771 ext.306

Daniel Hindes, BA, has filled various roles at VRI, from administrative assistant, and Fellowship Program Coordinator to research coordinator, database coordinator in REDS II and III, to web-based questionnaire developer, and research interviewer trainer for nationwide studies in the United States, Brazil, and South Africa.

Zhanna Kaidarova

Zhanna Kaidarova
Sr. Statistician
 
Phone: (415) 923 - 5771 ext.455

Zhanna Kaidarova, MA, MBA works as a statistician at VRI for over 10 years and has been engaged in various studies including HOST, WNV, ZIKA, REDS III, TTIMS, performing SAS analytical programming, data management, quality control, and reporting for research projects.

Renata Buccheri

Renata Buccheri
Staff Scientist II
 
(415) 923-5771 ext. 5310-558

Renata Buccheri, M.D., Ph.D. has joined VRI as a Scientific Project Manager on the REDS-IV-P Brazil program and ADVANCE Study. Trained as an infectious disease physician, she has worked at VRI since 2020 and oversees large database projects focused on blood donors, HIV infections in donors, and assessing the risk of arbovirus infections in the blood supply in Brazil (ZIKV, CHIKV, and DENV).

 

Ana Gonzalez
Scientific Project Manager
 
(415) 923-5771 ext. 5310-265

Ana’s primary role while at VRI has been to manage the day-to-day activities of the RESPONSE & ADVANCE Studies.

Karla Zurita

Karla Zurita
Clinical Research Coordinator
 
(415) 923-5771 ext. 5310-551

Karla Zurita, CCRP, works as a clinical research coordinator on the TTIMS project and supports several concurrent studies in the Epidemiology Core, focusing on regulatory compliance, participant recruitment, and data management.

Catherine Sullivan

Catherine Sullivan
Clinical Research Coordinator
 
(901) 529-6363

Catherine Sullivan, BS, RA, joined VRI in 2021 as the study coordinator in Memphis, TN., for the ADVANCE Study. Previously, she worked as a COVID-19 contact tracer and has extensive clinical experience from her three years as an Emergency Department scribe in the Memphis area.

Kayla Callahan

Kayla Callahan
Epidemiology Research Associate
 
985-705-0737

Kayla Callahan, MS, ACRP-CP, works as an Epidemiology Research associate for the nationwide ADVANCE Study at VRI. She currently coordinates both the New Orleans and Baton Rouge Sites for the study and is looking forward to assisting with future projects.

 

Anna Joshua
Epidemiology Research Associate
 
225-461-9097

Epidemiology Research Associate

Radhika Shah

Radhika Shah
Clinical Research Coordinator
 
985-705-0737

Clinical Research Coordinator

Patrick Roberts

Patrick Roberts
Post Award Grant Analyst, CRC
 
415-923-5771 ext. 5310-546

Patrick Roberts, BA, CRC, works as a clinical research coordinator focusing on patient recruitment for the ADVANCE study. Additionally, Patrick supports roles within Research Administration and is an active administrative member for VRI’s Institutional Biosafety Board (IBC).

Aryssa Tadena

Aryssa Tadena
Research Assistant
(415) 923-5771 ext. 5310-740

Aryssa Tadena, BS is a research assistant providing support for numerous projects including TTIMS, REDS-IV-P, and ADVANCE.

Paul Nguyen
Scientific Data and Information Analyst

Paul Nguyen, MS, as a SAS analyst and database programmer supporting TTIMS, CDC SARS-COV-2 serosurvey studies, and genomic data pipelines.

Roberta Bruhn, MS, PhD

Blood Systems Research Institute
270 Masonic Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118

Phone: (415) 923-5771 ext. 189

Anne Guiltinan, MA, LMFT

Blood Systems Research Institute
270 Masonic Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118

Phone: (415) 923-5771 ext.517

Epidemiology and Statistics Consultation Support

We provide consultation regarding study design, human subjects research requirements, questionnaire content, sample size calculation, data collection and management, and statistical analysis techniques on an ongoing basis. Complete statistical analysis of projects as well as manuscript review and editing are also provided.


Database Analytics and Statistics Support

We provide database and data linkage support, as well as statistical analysis to colleagues and collaborators for manuscripts and presentations. Support for ArcGIS projects is also available.


Data Coordinating Center (DCC) Support

We provide complete study management and logistical support for research projects of any size.

The Epidemiology Core is extensively involved in the REDS-III Project:

Peer Reviewed Publications


Bahrami SH, Guiltinan AM, Schlumpf KS, Scott E, Banks LL, D'Andrea P, Hartman EL, Vij V, Wright DJ, Spencer B, Murphy EL; NHLBI Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II. Donation frequency of blood donors participating in a prospective cohort study of iron status. Transfusion 2011;51:1207-12.

Lanteri, M.C., Kaidarova, Z., Peterson, T., Cate, S., Custer, B., Wu, S., Agapova, M., Law, J.P., Bielawny, T., Plummer, F., Tobler, L.H., Loeb, M., Busch, M.P., Bramson, J., Luo, M., Norris, P.J. Association between HLA class I and class II alleles and the outcome of West Nile virus infection: an exploratory study. PLoS One. 2011; 6(8): e22948.

Douceron, E., Kaidarova, Z., Miyazato, P., Matsuoka, M., Murphy, E.L., Mahieux, R. HTLV-2 APH-2 expression is correlated with proviral load but APH-2 does not promote lymphocytosis. J Infect Dis 2012;205:82-86.

Custer, B., Agapova, M., Bruhn, R., Cusick, R., Kamel, H., Tomasulo, P., Biswas, H., Tobler, L., Lee, T.H., Caglioti, S., and Busch, M. Epidemiologic and laboratory findings from 3 years of testing United States blood donors for Trypanosoma cruzi. Transfusion 2012;52:1901-1911.

van den Berg, K., Lam, J., Bruhn, R., Custer, B., and Murphy, E.L. Water administration and the risk of syncope and presyncope during blood donation: a randomized clinical trial. Transfusion 2012;52:2577-2584. PMCID: PMC3404162.

Guiltinan, A.M., Kaidarova, Z., Behan, D., Marosi, C., Hutching, S., Kaiser, M., Moore, E., Devita, D., Murphy, E.L.; for the HTLV Outcomes Study (HOST). Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder among human T-lymphotropic virus Types I- and II-infected former blood donors. Transfusion 2013;53:60-68.

Ngo, L., Bruhn, R., and Custer, B. Risk perception and its role in attitudes toward blood transfusion: a qualitative systematic review. Transfusion Medicine Reviews 2013;27:119-128.

Bruhn, R., Lelie, N., Custer, B., Busch, M., Kleinman, S., and the International NAT Study Group. Prevalence of HIV RNA and antibody in first, lapsed, and repeat blood donations across five international regions and relative efficacy of alternative screening scenarios. Transfusion 2013;53:2399-2412.

Lelie, N., Bruhn, R., Custer, B., Busch, M., Kleinman, S., and the International Individual Donation NAT Study Group. Efficacy and cost effectiveness of nucleic acid amplification testing (NAT) and serologic screening in preventing HBV, HCV and HIV transmission risk. Mexican Journal of Transfusion Medicine 2013;6:37-39.

Chang YB, Kaidarova Z, Hindes D, Bravo M, Kiely N, Kamel H, Dubay D, Hoose B, Murphy EL. Seroprevalence and Demographic Determinants of Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type-1 and -2 Infections among First-time Blood Donors, U.S. 2000-2009. J Infect Dis 2014;209(4):523-31.

Miranda C, Moreno E, Bruhn R, Larsen NM, Wright DJ, Oliveira CDL, Carneiro-Proietti ABF, Loureiro P, de Almeida-Neto C, Custer B, Sabino EC, and Goncalez TT for the NHLBI Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II (REDS-II), International Component. Knowledge of HIV testing and attitudes towards blood donation at three blood centres in Brazil. Vox Sanguinis 2014;106:344-353. PMCID: PMC4455888.

Bloch EM, Shah A, Kaidarova Z, Laperche S, Lefrere JJ, van Hasselt J, Zacharias P, Murphy EL; the Anglophone Africa Transfusion Research Group. A pilot external quality assurance study of transfusion screening for HIV, HCV and HBsAG in 12 African countries. Vox Sang 2014;107(4):333-42.

Custer B, Bravo M, Bruhn R, Land K, Tomasulo P, and Kamel H. Predictors of hemoglobin recovery or deferral in blood donors with an initial successful donation. Transfusion 2014;54(9):2267-75.

Bloch E, Cohn C, Bruhn R, Hirschler N, and Nguyen K. A cross-sectional pilot study of blood utilization in twenty-seven hospitals in Northern California. Am J Clin Pathol. 2014 Oct;142(4):498-505.

Bloch E, Busch M, Lee T-H, Montalvo L, Matthews Y, Bird A, Bruhn R, and Stefan V. Microchimerism in the transfused obstetric population. Vox Sanguinis 2014;107(4):428-30.

Kane MA, Bloch E, Bruhn R, Kaidarova Z, and Murphy EL. Demographic determinants of syphilis seroprevalence among U.S. blood donors, 2011-2012. BMC Infect Dis. 2015 Feb 15;15:63. PMCID: PMC4369345.

Bruhn R, Custer B, Vanderpool S, Townsend M, Kamel H, and Tomasulo P. Impact of increasing sample volume from 4 ml to 8 ml on bacterial detection rates in apheresis platelets: a meta-analysis. Vox Sang 2015;108(3):318-20.

Rahbar E, Cardenas JC, Baimukanova G, Usadi B, Bruhn R, Pati S, Ostrowski SR, Johansson PI, Holcomb JB, Wade CE. Endothelial glycocalyx shedding and vascular permeability in severely injured trauma patients. J Transl Med. 2015 Apr;13:117. PMCID: PMC4397670.

Bruhn R, Lelie N, Busch M, Kleinman S and the International NAT Study Group. Relative efficacy of nucleic acid amplification testing and serologic screening in preventing hepatitis C virus transmission risk in seven international regions. Transfusion 2015;55(6):1195-205.

Gibb SL, Zhao Y, Potter D, Hylin MJ, Bruhn R, Baikumanova G, Zhao J, Xue H, Abdel-Mohsen M, Pillai SK, Moore AN, Johnson EM, Cox CS, Dash PK, and Pati S. TIMP3 attenuates the loss of neural stem cells, mature neurons and neurocognitive dysfunction in Traumatic Brain Injury. Stem Cells. 2015;33(12):3530-44. PMID: 26299440.

Li L, Deng X, Da Costa AC, Bruhn R, Deeks SG and Delwart, E. Virome analysis of antiretroviral-treated HIV patients shows no correlation between T-cell activation and anelloviruses levels. J Clin Virol. 2015;72:106-13. PMID: 26479202; NIHMSID: NIHMS728851; PMCID: PMC4697764.

Vo M, Bruhn R, Kaidarova Z, Custer B, Murphy EL, and Bloch E. A retrospective analysis of false positive infectious screening results in blood donors. Transfusion. 2016 Feb;56(2):457-65. doi: 10.1111/trf.13381. PMID: 26509432.

Baimukanova G, Miyazawa B, Potter D, Muench M, Bruhn R, Gibb SL, Spinella PC, Cap AP, Cohen M, Pati S. Platelets Regulate Vascular Endothelial Stability: Assessing the Storage Lesion and Donor Variability of Apheresis Platelets. Transfusion 2016 Mar;56 Suppl 1:S65-75. doi: 10.1111/trf.13532.

Baikumanova G, Miyazawa B, Potter, D, Gibb S, Keating S, Danesh A, Beyer A, Dayter Y, Bruhn R, Muench M, Cap AP, Norris PJ, Spinella P, Cohen M, and Pati S. The effects off 22 and 4C storage of platelets on vascular endothelial integrity and function. Transfusion 2016 Mar;56 Suppl 1:S52-64. doi: 10.1111/trf.13455.

Bloch EM, Levin AE, Williamson PC, Cyrus S, Shaz B, Kessler D, Gorlin J, Bruhn R, Lee TH, Montalvo L and Busch MP. A prospective evaluation of chronic B. microti infection in seroreactive blood donors. Transfusion. 2016 Jul;56(7):1875-82. doi: 10.1111/trf.13617. PMID: 27184253.

Simmons G, Brès V, Lu K, Liss NM, Brambilla DJ, Ryff KR, Bruhn R, Ocampo D, Linnen JM, Latoni G, Petersen LR, Williamson PC and Busch MP. High chikungunya virus incidence and frequency of viremic blood donations in Puerto Rico during 2014 epidemic. EID, 2016;22(7):1221-8. doi: 10.3201/eid2207.160116. PMID: 27070192.

Usadi B, Bruhn R, Lin J, Lee TH, Blackburn E, and Murphy EL. Telomere length, proviral load and neurologic impairment in HTLV-1 and HTLV-2-infected subjects. Viruses. 2016 Aug 11;8(8). pii: E221. doi: 10.3390/v8080221; PMID: 27529270.

Bruhn R, Moreno E, Sabino E, Ferreira NAF, Carneiro-Proietti AB, Lopes ME, Sampaio D, Loureiro P, Custer B and Goncalez TT for the NHLBI Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II (REDS-II) International Component. Self-reported Historic HIV Testing in a Brazilian Blood Donor HIV Case/Control Study. Transfusion, September 2016 doi: 10.1111/trf.13792. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27716930.

Bialkowski W, Bruhn R, Edgren G, and Papanek P. Citrate anticoagulation: are blood donors donating bone? J Clin Apher. 2016 Oct;31(5):459-63. doi: 10.1002/jca.21438. PMID: 26607494.

Lelie N, Bruhn R, Busch M, Vermeulen M, Tso W-C, Kleinman S and the International NAT Study Group. Detection of different categories of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in a multi-regional study comparing the clinical sensitivity of HBsAg and HBV DNA testing. Transfusion, 2017 Jan;57(1):24-35. doi: 10.1111/trf.13819. PMID: 27673757.

Prugger C, Laperche S, Murphy EL, Bloch EM, Kaidarova Z, Tafflet M, Lefrere JJ, Jouven X. Screening for transfusion transmissible infections using rapid diagnostic tests in Africa: a potential hazard to blood safety? Vox Sang. 2016 Feb;110(2):196-8. doi: 10.1111/vox.12327. Epub 2015 Dec 8. DOI: 10.1111/vox.12327; PMCID: PMC5061037; PMID: 26646317.

Book Chapters


Murphy EL, Bruhn R. Human T cell leukemia viruses types 1 & 2. In Kaslow, R., Stanberry, L. LeDuc, J., eds. Viral Infections in Humans: Epidemiology and Control 5th ed. New York, NY:Springer; 2014.

Murphy EL, Bruhn R. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus. In Bennett, J., Dolin, R., Blaser, M., eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA:Elsevier; 2014.

Bruhn R, Mahieux R, Murphy EL. Human Lymphotropic viruses: HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. In Richman DD, Whitley RJ, and Hayden, FG, eds. Clinical Virology, 4th ed. Washington, DC:ASM Press, 2017. doi:10.1128/9781555819439

Daniel Hindes, BA

Daniel Hindes, BA
Research Associate III
 
Phone: (415) 923 - 5771 ext.306

Daniel Hindes, BA, has filled various roles at VRI, from administrative assistant and Fellowship Program Coordinator to research coordinator, database coordinator in REDS II and III, to web-based questionnaire developer, and research interviewer trainer for nationwide studies in the United States, Brazil, and South Africa.

Zhanna Kaidarova

Zhanna Kaidarova
Statistician II
 
Phone: (415) 923 - 5771 ext.455

Zhanna Kaidarova, MA, MBA works as a statistician at VRI for over 10 years and has been engaged in various studies including HOST, WNV, ZIKA, REDS III, TTIMS, performing SAS analytical programming, data management, quality control, and reporting for research projects.

Renata Buccheri

Renata Buccheri
Scientific Project Manager, Brazil
 
(415) 923-5771 ext. 5310-558

Renata Buccheri, M.D., Ph.D. has joined VRI as a Scientific Project Manager on the REDS-IV-P Brazil program and ADVANCE Study. Trained as an infectious disease physician, she has worked at VRI since 2020 and oversees large database projects focused on blood donors, HIV infections in donors, and assessing the risk of arbovirus infections in the blood supply in Brazil (ZIKV, CHIKV, and DENV).

 

Ana Gonzalez
Scientific Project Manager
 
(415) 923-5771 ext. 5310-265

Ana’s primary role while at VRI has been to manage the day-to-day activities of the RESPONSE & ADVANCE Studies.

Karla Zurita

Karla Zurita
Clinical Research Coordinator
 
(415) 923-5771 ext. 5310-551

Karla Zurita, CCRP, works as a clinical research coordinator on the TTIMS project and supports several concurrent studies in the Epidemiology Core, focusing on regulatory compliance, participant recruitment, and data management.

Catherine Sullivan

Catherine Sullivan
Epidemiology Research Associate
 
(901) 529-6363

Catherine Sullivan, BS, RA, joined VRI in 2021 as the study coordinator in Memphis, TN., for the ADVANCE Study. Previously, she worked as a COVID-19 contact tracer and has extensive clinical experience from her three years as an Emergency Department scribe in the Memphis area.

Kayla Callahan

Kayla Callahan
Epidemiology Research Associate
 
985-705-0737

Kayla Callahan, MS, ACRP-CP, works as an Epidemiology Research associate for the nationwide ADVANCE Study at VRI. She currently coordinates both the New Orleans and Baton Rouge Sites for the study and is looking forward to assisting with future projects.

 

Anna Joshua
Epidemiology Research Associate
 
225-461-9097

Epidemiology Research Associate

Radhika Shah

Radhika Shah
Clinical Research Coordinator
 
(415) 923-5771 ext. 5310-551

Clinical Research Coordinator

Patrick Roberts

Patrick Roberts
Post Award Grant Analyst, CRC
 
415-923-5771 ext. 5310-546

Patrick Roberts, BA, CRC, works as a clinical research coordinator focusing on patient recruitment for the ADVANCE study. Additionally, Patrick supports roles within Research Administration and is an active administrative member for VRI’s Institutional Biosafety Board (IBC).