Veronica M. Vieira

picture of Veronica M. Vieira

Professor, College of Health Sciences
Public Health

Interim Chair, Environmental and Occupational Health
Public Health

DSc, Boston University School of Public Health, 2003, Environmental Health

Phone: (949) 824-7017

University of California, Irvine
2084 Anteater Instruction & Research Building
653 East Peltason Drive
Mail Code: 3957
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Spatial epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, exposure modeling, GIS
Research Abstract
My research involves spatio-temporal analyses of health data for examining the contributions of known risk factors and environmental exposures to the underlying geographic pattern of disease risk. I work extensively with reconstructing historic environmental exposures using GIS and have an extensive knowledge of groundwater modeling, spatial statistics, and on persistent environmental contaminants including tetrachloroethylene (PCE, a dry-cleaning solvent), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, a perfluorinated compound (PFC) involved in the manufacturing of Teflon), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, a common class of flame retardants). The current focus of my research is the spatio-temporal analysis of birth defects and infant morbidity in relation to air pollution using generalized additive models (GAM) in a geographic framework. As a researcher with the Boston University Superfund Research Program for the past 15 years, I investigate spatial and chemical/non-chemical patterns of cancer, reproductive outcomes, ADHD-related behaviors, and risky behaviors. In addition, I work with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to examine geographic patterns of rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, autism spectrum disorder, and breast cancer among the participants of the Nurse’s Health Study (NHS) cohort. As a member of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, my current grant applies spatial statistics to assess geographic location as a barrier to receiving adequate ovarian cancer treatment in California. My work also includes international collaborations with researchers in France, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, and Italy.
Recent Publications (11 of 91; * indicates student or post-doc)
80. Padilla CM, Painblanc F, Soler-Michel P, Vieira VM (2019) Mapping variation in breast cancer screening: Where to intervene? Int J Environ Res Public Health. 16(13). pii: E2274.
81. Villanueva C*, Bristow RE, Chang J, Ziogas A, Vieira VM (2019) Contribution of Geographic Location to disparities in ovarian cancer treatment. JNCCN 17(11):1318-1329.
82. Khalili R*, Bartell SM, Levy J, Fabian MP, Korrick SA, Vieira VM (2019) Using birth cohort data to estimate prenatal chemical exposures for all births around the New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site in Massachusetts. Environmental Health Perspectives 127(8):87008. DOI: 10.1289/EHP4849.
83. Ribeiro AI, Santos AC, Vieira VM, Barros H (2020) Hotspots of childhood obesity in a large metropolitan area: does neighbourhood social and built environment play a part? International Journal of Epidemiology 49(3):934-943.
84. Bristow RE, Villanueva C*, Chang J, Ziogas A, Vieira VM (2020) A Risk-Adjusted Model for Ovarian Cancer Care and Disparities in Access to High-Performing Hospitals. Obstetrics & Gynecology 135(2):328-339.
85. Vieira VM, VoPham T, Bertrand KA, James P, DuPré NC, Rulla TM, Laden F, Hart JE (2020) Contribution of socioeconomic and environmental factors to geographic disparities in breast cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study II. Environmental Epidemiology 4(1):e080.
86. Aschengrau A, Winter MR, Gallagher LG, Vieira VM, Butler LJ, Fabian MP, Carwile JL, Wesselink AK, Mahalingaiah S, Janulewicz PA, Weinberg JM, Webster TF, Ozonoff DM (2020) Reproductive and developmental health effects of prenatal exposure to tetrachloroethylene-contaminated drinking water. Environ Sci Process Impacts. 22(3):555-566.
87. VoPham T, Bertrand KA, Jones RR, Deziel NC, DuPre NC, James P, Liu Y, Vieira VM, Tamimi RM, Hart JE, Ward MH, Laden F (2020) Dioxin exposure and breast cancer risk in a prospective cohort study. Environ Res 186:109516.
88. Tang Y*, Vieira VM, Bartell SM, Gillen DL (2020) A stratified generalized additive model and permutation test for temporal heterogeneity of smoothed bivariate spatial effects. Stat Med. 2020 Aug 13. doi: 10.1002/sim.8718 (in press).
89. Deville N*, Khalili R, Bartell SM, Fabian MP, Levy J, Korrick SA, Vieira VM (2020) Prenatal environmental exposures and associations with teen births. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2020 Sep 10. doi: 10.1038/s41370-020-00262-9 (in press).
90. Bai L*, Gillen DL, Bartell SM, Vieira VM (2020) Mapping smoothed spatial effect estimates from individual-level data: MapGAM. R journal (in press).
91. Villanueva C*, Bristow RE, Chang J, Ziogas A, Vieira VM (2020) Ovarian cancer in California: Guideline adherence, survival, and the impact of geographic location, 1996–2014. Cancer Epidemiology (in press).
Superfund Research Program at Boston University (NIH/NIEHS 2P42 ES007381-16A1, 2012-2021) Role: Principal Investigator at UCI, Project 2. The BU Superfund Research Program consists of a program of research and interdisciplinary training organized around five closely connected research projects that investigate the effects of specific toxic exposures in human and non-human populations exposed to complex mixtures near a Superfund site. Project 2 explores new methods for detecting and analyzing patterns of chemical and non-chemical interactions in epidemiologic data.
Spatiotemporal Analysis of Disparities in Ovarian Cancer Treatment and Survival (NIH/NIMHD R01 MD009697-01A1, 2016-2021) Role: Co-Principal Investigator (MPI). The goal of the current proposal is to define the contribution of geographic location to racial and socioeconomic disparities in ovarian cancer treatment and survival. This research will contribute to our understanding of the relationship between distance to receiving care and ovarian cancer mortality and quality of care.
UCI PFAS Health Study (CDC/ATSDR U01 TS000308; PI: Bartell; 2019 – 2024) Role: Co-I. This study, along with other studies in the CDC/ATSDR PFAS multi-site health study, will determine whether modelled and measured serum concentrations for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are associated with a variety of cross-sectional health outcomes in child and adult participants.
Professional Society
Other Experience
Associate Professor
Boston University 2010—2011

Assistant Professor
Boston University 2006—2010

Graduate Programs
Public Health

Environmental Health Sciences

Research Center
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
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