E&PH Leadership

Melissa Bondy, Ph.D., Inaugural Department Chair

Dr. Bondy joined the Stanford community in October 2019. In addition to providing leadership for the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, she also serves as associate director for population sciences at the Stanford Cancer Institute, where she spearheads the research enterprise of the institute’s population sciences program, which is designed to reduce the burden of cancer and improve outcomes for patients with cancer.

"Dr. Bondy earned a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health.  Before coming to Stanford, she spent nearly two decades at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2001, she became director of the Childhood Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Center, a joint center of Baylor College of Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Children’s Hospital. Ten years later, she took on a new role as the associate director of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine’s Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, where she focused much of her research on understanding heredity patterns and genetic susceptibilities in brain and breast cancer...

Bondy serves on the National Cancer Institute’s board of scientific advisers and is a member of the external advisory board for several NCI-designated cancer centers. In 2018, she received the visiting scholar award from the NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics." Access the full Stanford appointment announcement

Steven Goodman, MD, MHS, PhD, Director of Graduate Studies

Steven Goodman, MD, MHS, PhD is Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research and Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, and Medicine. He is co-founder and co-director of the Meta-research innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS), a group dedicated to examining and improving the reproducibility and efficiency of biomedical research. He has since created and leads another initiative, the Stanford Program on Research Rigor and Reproducibility (SPORR), whose purpose is to teach and implement best practices in reproducible research in the School of Medicine. He led the Stanford CTSA KL2 and TL1 training programs from 2012-2019, and now leads the Translational Workforce Development components of the CTSA.

Dr. Goodman's own research concerns the proper measurement, conceptualization and synthesis of research evidence, with particular emphasis on Bayesian approaches to quantitation, and qualitative approaches arising from the philosophy of science. He is also interested in developing methods to use shared data to confirm and extend published science. He also has worked on the connections between ethics and clinical research and policy making. Finally, he has a strong interest in developing curricula and new models for teaching the foundations of good scientific practice, from question development to proper study design, conduct, analysis and inference. He teaches courses on clinical research methods, foundations of scientific and statistical reasoning, and evaluation of diagnostic and predictive technologies.

Martha Kessler, Executive Director of Finance & Administration

Ms. Kessler has 20 years experience directing organizational finances, staffing and administration at Stanford University. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Finance and Administration for the Department of Health Research and Policy, Population Health Sciences, Basic Science Shared Services Consortium and the Department of Structural Biology. She received the Marsh O'Neill Research Award in 2015 for participating in the perfect NIH score on the Clinical Translational Science Award. She also is the Stanford coordinator for pet-assisted therapy for pet visits to de-stress students, staff and faculty events around campus.

Abby C. King, PhD, Associate Chair for Academic Affairs

Recipient of the Outstanding Scientific Contributions in Health Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association, Dr. King's research focuses on the development, evaluation, and translation of public health interventions to reduce chronic disease in the US and globally. Her current research focuses on expanding the reach and generalizability of evidence-based interventions through use of state-of-the-art communication technologies; community-based participatory research perspectives to address health disparities among disadvantaged populations; and policy-level approaches to health promotion.

Dr. King has served on a number of government taskforces in the U.S. and abroad, including membership on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Scientific Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020, and the Science Board of the U.S. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She co-Chaired the USDHHS 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee. An elected member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and Past President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), In 2014 she was one of 10 scientists who received honors from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for outstanding research targeting health inequities.

Dr. King's research on global Citizen Science engagement to promote healthful environments for All was honored with an international excellence award in 2015 in addition to Stanford Medical School’s inaugural faculty community engagement award in 2018 and SBM’s 2018 Research to Practice Award. Among additional honors that she has received are the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Distinguished Research Mentor Award, the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity's inaugural lifetime achievement award in 2019, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine's 2020 Distinguished Scientist Award. She also has been honored with the 2020-21 Alva Myrdal Guest Professorship Award at Mälardalen University, Sweden. She has twice received the Stanford Prevention Research Center’s Outstanding Contributions to Teaching Award.

John Witte, Ph.D., MS, Vice Chair

Dr. Witte joined the Stanford community in July 2021. In addition to serving as Vice Chair and professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, and as a professor of Biomedical Data Science and, by courtesy, of Genetics, he will also serve as a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute. 

Dr. Witte is an internationally recognized expert in genetic epidemiology. His scholarly contributions include deciphering the genetic and environmental basis of prostate cancer and developing widely used methods for the genetic epidemiologic study of disease. His prostate cancer work has used comprehensive genome-wide studies of germline genetics, transcriptomics, and somatic genomics to successfully detect novel variants underlying the risk and aggressiveness of this common disease. A key aspect of this work has been distinguishing genetic factors that may drive increased prostate cancer risk and mortality among African American men. Providing an avenue to determine which men are more likely to be diagnosed with clinically relevant prostate cancer and require additional screening or specific treatment can help reduce disparities in disease prevalence and outcomes across populations. Dr. Witte has also developed novel hierarchical and polygenic risk score modeling for undertaking genetic epidemiology studies. These advances significantly improve our ability to detect disease-causing genes and to translate genetic epidemiologic findings into medical practice. 

Dr. Witte has received the Leadership Award from the International Genetic Epidemiology Society (highest award), and the Stephen B. Hulley Award for Excellence in Teaching. His extensive teaching portfolio includes a series of courses in genetic and molecular epidemiology. He has mentored over 50 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, serves on the executive committees of multiple graduate programs, and has directed a National Institutes of Health funded post-doctoral training program in genetic epidemiology for over 20 years. Recently appointed to the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Counselors, Dr. Witte has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health.