Veronica Vieira

picture of Veronica  Vieira

Professor, College of Health Sciences
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 (17 of 68; * indicates student or post-doc)
1. Vieira VM, Fabian MP, Levy J, Webster TF, Korrick SA (2017) Spatial Variability in ADHD-Related Behaviors among Children Born to Mothers Residing near the New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site. American Journal of Epidemiology. In Press.
2. Vieira VM, Villanueva C*, Chang J, Ziogas A, Bristow RE (2017) Impact of community disadvantage and air pollution burden on geographic disparities of ovarian cancer survival in California. Environ Research. 2017 Apr 7;156:388-393. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.03.057. [Epub ahead of print]
3. Hoffman K*, Weisskopf M, Roberts A, Raz R, Hart JE, Lyall K, Hoffman E, Laden F, Vieira VM. Geographic patterns of autism spectrum disorder among children of Nurses’ Health Study II women. American Journal of Epidemiology. In Press.
4. Avanasi R*, Shin HM, Vieira VM, Bartell SM (2016) Impacts of geocoding uncertainty on reconstructed PFOA exposures and their epidemiological association with preeclampsia. Environ Research. 151:505-512.
5. Aschengrau A, Gallagher LG, Winter MR, Vieira VM, Webster TF, Janulewicz PA, Ozonoff DM (2016) No association between unintentional head injuries and early life exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE)-contaminated drinking water. J Envir Occup Med. 58(10):1040-1045.
6. Padilla C*, Kihal W, Vieira VM, Deguen S (2016) City specific spatiotemporal infant and neonatal mortality clusters: Links with socioeconomic and air pollution spatial patterns in France. Int J Environ Res Public Health.13(6). pii: E624.
7. Hart JE, Bertrand KA, DuPre N, James P, Vieira VM, Tamimi RM, Laden F (2016) Long-term Particulate Matter Exposures during Adulthood and Risk of Breast Cancer Incidence in the Nurses' Health Study II Prospective Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 25(8):1274-6.
8. Avanasi R*, Shin HM, Vieira VM, Bartell SM (2016) Variability and epistemic uncertainty in water ingestion rates and pharmacokinetic parameters, and impact on the association between perfluorooctanoate and preeclampsia in the C8 Health Project Population. Environ Research. 146:299-307.
9. Girguis M*, Bartell SM, Lu Y, Hu X, Strickland MJ, Vieira VM (2016) Maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution and birth defects. Environ Research. 146:1-9.
10. Avanasi R*, Shin HM, Vieira VM, Savitz DA, Bartell SM (2016) Impact of exposure uncertainty on the association between perfluorooctanoate and preeclampsia in the C8 Health Project population. Environmental Health Perspectives. 124(1):126-32.
11. Aschengrau A, Janulewicz PA, White RF, Vieira VM, Gallagher L, Webster TF, Ozonoff D (2015) Long-term neurotoxic effects of early life exposure to tetrachloroethylene-contaminated drinking water. Ann Glob Health. 82(1):169-79.
12. Hoffman K*, Aschengrau A, Webster T, Bartell S, Vieira VM (2015) Association between residence at birth and mental health disorders: a spatial analysis of retrospective cohort data. BMC Public Health. Jul 20; 15:688.
13. Di Salvo F, Meneghini E, Vieira V, Baili P, Mariottini M, Baldini M, Micheli A, Sant M (2015) Spatial variation in mortality risk for hematological malignancies near a petrochemical refinery: a population-based case-control study. Environmental Research. 140:641-648.
14. Aschengrau A, Winter MR, Vieira VM, Webster TF, Janulewicz PA, Gallagher LG, Weinberg, J, Ozonoff DM (2015) Long-term health effects of life exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE)-contaminated drinking water: a retrospective cohort study. Environ Health. Apr 12; 14(1):36.
15. Yazdy MM*, Werler MM, Feldkamp ML, Shaw GM, Mosley BS, Vieira VM (2015) Spatial analysis of gastroschisis in the national birth defects prevention study. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 103(6):544-53.
16. Bristow RE, Chang J, Ziogas A, Vieira VM (2015) Spatial analysis of advanced-stage ovarian cancer mortality in California. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 213(1):43.e1-8.
17. Yazdy M*, Werler MW, Anderka M, Langlois P, Vieira VM (2015) Spatial analysis of gastroschisis in Massachusetts and Texas. Ann Epidemiol. 25(1):7-14.
Spatial and Temporal Modeling of PM2.5 and Infant Morbidity (NIH/NIEHS R01 ES019897-01A1, 2011-2017) Role: Principal Investigator. This study will investigate the relationships between ambient PM2.5 concentrations and infant morbidity in a population-based cohort using novel spatial and temporal modeling methods including remote sensing and generalized additive models.
Superfund Research Program at Boston University (NIH/NIEHS 2P42 ES007381-16A1, 2012-2019) 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.
Bayesian integration of biomarkers and spatial exposure data (NIH/NIEHS R21 ES023120-01, 2013-2016) Role: Co-Investigator. The major goals are to determine the sensitivity of previously reported C8 Health Project epidemiologic associations between PFCs and pregnancy-induced hypertension/preeclampsia to spatiotemporal exposure uncertainty, and to reanalyze those data using new Bayesian models that combine spatiotemporal exposure estimates with exposure biomarkers.
Environmental exposures, early proliferative changes and breast cancer risk (Komen Foundation Grant IIR13264020, 2013-2017) Role: Principal Investigator at UCI (subcontract from Harvard University). This study will examine the spatial associations between breast cancer risk, environmental exposures, and contextual factors including community-level socioeconomic status and housing characteristics.
Spatiotemporal Analysis of Disparities in Ovarian Cancer Treatment and Survival (NIH/NIMHD R01 MD009697-01A1, 2016-2020) 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.
Professional Society
Other Experience
Associate Professor
Boston University 2010—2011

Assistant Professor
Boston University 2006—2010

Research Assistant Professor
Boston University 2005—2006

Research Scientist
Massachusetts Department Of Public Health 2003—2005

Graduate Programs
Public Health

Environmental Toxicology

Research Center
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
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