Adibi Group

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Adibi, ScD, MPH. I am an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology with a secondary appointment in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. I have established an interdisciplinary research program at Pitt Public Health that includes a wet laboratory and an analytical group, and a robust team of trainees contributing different pieces to the puzzle. Favorite aspects of my job are reading, thinking and writing, learning methods, biomarker validation, discovery and engaging with others who share a common interest.  Favorite activities outside of my job are time with kids and friends, nature, sailing, creating beautiful spaces, and study of foreign language and music.

adibij@pitt.edu, department website

2011 | University of California, San Francisco | Post-doctoral training in placental and stem cell biology
2008 | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health | Post-doctoral training in environmental epidemiology
2007 | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health | ScD
2002 | Mailman School of Public Health | MPH
1992 | Brown University | AB

Lab Members

Xiaoshuang Xun, MPH

I am a PhD student in Epidemiology at Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh under the guidance of Dr. Jennifer Adibi. My research interests are prenatal environmental exposures, advanced epidemiological methods, and machine learning. I like hiking, horror movies, and beaches. My cat is biting my laptop screen, I’d better go and get him some treats.

Qing Yin, PhD, MS

I am a PhD graduate from Department of Biostatistics at University of Pittsburgh. My doctoral dissertation focuses on constrained statistical inference, nonparametric regression and causal mediation analysis. I worked as a graduate student researcher in Dr. Adibi’s lab during my PhD period on several projects examining the associations among teratogens, placental biomarkers and birth outcomes and developing methods to describe the associations. I like cooking, running and playing table tennis.

Megan Smith, BS

I am a research specialist at the Center for Biological Imaging and completed three years of undergraduate research and a thesis project in the Adibi Lab. My research interests include the statistical modeling of environmental exposures and prenatal biomarkers collected through basic biological research. I currently image tissues using ribbon-scanning confocal microscopy and whole tissue clearing methods. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, baking, and making digital art. 

Alex Layden, BS

I am an MD-PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. My research interests are in perinatal epidemiology, nutrition, and global health. For my doctoral work, I am investigating how maternal obesity predisposes women to preterm birth through placental dysfunction measured by placental histopathology and placental transcriptomics. Outside of lab, I enjoy molecular gastronomy (cooking and eating), any racquet sport, and pretending to know art at museums. 

Marisa Millenson, ScM

I am an MD-PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. My research interests include maternal and child health, environmental health, and pregnancy outcomes related to nutrition and pharmacologic use in pregnancy. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, biking in and around the city, playing cello and bass guitar, watching acclaimed films, and practicing photography.

Hai-Wei Liang, MS

I am a third-year Ph.D. student in the epidemiology department at Pitt and have joined Adibi’s lab for two years. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Health in Taiwan. My research interests include biomarker wet lab work, environmental exposure (endocrine disruptors specifically), and maternal and child health. I like to cook and bake during my free time. I also enjoy traveling, trying different foods, and meeting people from around the world.

Kharlya Carpio, MPH

I am a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology. My research connects maternal exposures, including endocrine disruption, infectious disease, and stress, with maternal health during prenatal and postpartum periods. I am interested in exploring how computational tools can be leveraged to measure indicators of maternal morbidity, particularly as experienced by racial minority women. Before joining the Adibi lab, my research focused on obstacles to vaccine uptake among women at risk for cervical cancer in developing countries. In my spare time, I enjoy taking on food projects like making cheese and baking bread.

Rahel Birru, PhD

My research interests are in the fields of exposure science, toxicology, microbiology, and public health. For my postdoctoral project, I am examining a panel of biomarkers that can characterize the impact of maternal chemical exposures on fetal reproductive organ development. In my free time, I enjoy trying out new cuisines and language learning.

Former Lab Members

Yaqi Zhang, MS, lab manager 2014-2017

Abigail Cartus, PhD, graduate student researcher 2016-2018

Ethan Blum, MPH 2014-2016

Pooja Gupta, BA, undergraduate student researcher 2018-2021