Bio

Honors & Awards


  • Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, Stanford VPGE (2013-)
  • Fulbright Fellow, Japan, Institute for International Education (2007-2008)

Membership Organizations


Education & Certifications


  • Master of Science, Stanford University, EPIDM-MS (2011)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Cornell University, Biology (2007)

Service, Volunteer and Community Work


  • Cardiology Clinic Coordinator, Arbor Free Clinic (4/2/2009 - 9/1/2010)

    Location

    Stanford, CA

Personal Interests


Hiking, Cinema, Cooking & Dining, Languages

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


My interests and experience are in epidemiology as it relates to:

1) Population health, with a particular focus on chronic diseases and aging globally.

2) Translational medicine and medical devices, with experience in drug development for neglected tropical diseases.

I am additionally interested in international exchange and health diplomacy.

Research Projects


  • The Global Burden of Disease: Methodological Validation (MedScholars Project)
  • Computationally-Guided Repurposing of Drugs to Treat Chagas Disease (Scholarly Concentration Project)

    Supported by the SPARK Center.

    Start Date

    4/1/2009

    Location

    Stanford, CA

    Collaborators

Lab Affiliations


Publications

Journal Articles


  • Multi-Country Analysis of Palm Oil Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality for Countries at Different Stages of Economic Development: 1980-1997 GLOBALIZATION AND HEALTH Chen, B. K., Seligman, B., Farquhar, J. W., Goldhaber-Fiebert, J. D. 2011; 7

    Abstract

    Cardiovascular diseases represent an increasing share of the global disease burden. There is concern that increased consumption of palm oil could exacerbate mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke, particularly in developing countries where it represents a major nutritional source of saturated fat.The study analyzed country-level data from 1980-1997 derived from the World Health Organization's Mortality Database, U.S. Department of Agriculture international estimates, and the World Bank (234 annual observations; 23 countries). Outcomes included mortality from IHD and stroke for adults aged 50 and older. Predictors included per-capita consumption of palm oil and cigarettes and per-capita Gross Domestic Product as well as time trends and an interaction between palm oil consumption and country economic development level. Analyses examined changes in country-level outcomes over time employing linear panel regressions with country-level fixed effects, population weighting, and robust standard errors clustered by country. Sensitivity analyses included further adjustment for other major dietary sources of saturated fat.In developing countries, for every additional kilogram of palm oil consumed per-capita annually, IHD mortality rates increased by 68 deaths per 100,000 (95% CI [21-115]), whereas, in similar settings, stroke mortality rates increased by 19 deaths per 100,000 (95% CI [-12-49]) but were not significant. For historically high-income countries, changes in IHD and stroke mortality rates from palm oil consumption were smaller (IHD: 17 deaths per 100,000 (95% CI [5.3-29]); stroke: 5.1 deaths per 100,000 (95% CI [-1.2-11.0])). Inclusion of other major saturated fat sources including beef, pork, chicken, coconut oil, milk cheese, and butter did not substantially change the differentially higher relationship between palm oil and IHD mortality in developing countries.Increased palm oil consumption is related to higher IHD mortality rates in developing countries. Palm oil consumption represents a saturated fat source relevant for policies aimed at reducing cardiovascular disease burdens.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1744-8603-7-45

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300306700001

    View details for PubMedID 22177258

  • Comparative Analysis of Old-Age Mortality Estimations in Africa PLOS ONE Bendavid, E., Seligman, B., Kubo, J. 2011; 6 (10)

    Abstract

    Survival to old ages is increasing in many African countries. While demographic tools for estimating mortality up to age 60 have improved greatly, mortality patterns above age 60 rely on models based on little or no demographic data. These estimates are important for social planning and demographic projections. We provide direct estimations of older-age mortality using survey data.Since 2005, nationally representative household surveys in ten sub-Saharan countries record counts of living and recently deceased household members: Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. After accounting for age heaping using multiple imputation, we use this information to estimate probability of death in 5-year intervals ((5)q(x)). We then compare our (5)q(x) estimates to those provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Division (UNPD) to estimate the differences in mortality estimates, especially among individuals older than 60 years old.We obtained information on 505,827 individuals (18.4% over age 60, 1.64% deceased). WHO and UNPD mortality models match our estimates closely up to age 60 (mean difference in probability of death -1.1%). However, mortality probabilities above age 60 are lower using our estimations than either WHO or UNPD. The mean difference between our sample and the WHO is 5.9% (95% CI 3.8-7.9%) and between our sample is UNPD is 13.5% (95% CI 11.6-15.5%). Regardless of the comparator, the difference in mortality estimations rises monotonically above age 60.Mortality estimations above age 60 in ten African countries exhibit large variations depending on the method of estimation. The observed patterns suggest the possibility that survival in some African countries among adults older than age 60 is better than previously thought. Improving the quality and coverage of vital information in developing countries will become increasingly important with future reductions in mortality.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0026607

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296507500095

    View details for PubMedID 22028921

  • Aging, Transition, and Estimating the Global Burden of Disease PLOS ONE Seligman, B. J., Cullen, M. R., Horwitz, R. I. 2011; 6 (5)

    Abstract

    The World Health Organization's Global Burden of Disease (GBD) reports are an important tool for global health policy makers, however the accuracy of estimates for countries undergoing an epidemiologic transition is unclear. We attempted to validate the life table model used to generate estimates for all-cause mortality in developing countries.Data were obtained for males and females from the Human Mortality Database for all countries with available data every ten years from 1900 to 2000. These provided inputs for the GBD life table model and served as comparison observed data. Above age sixty model estimates of survival for both sexes differed substantially from those observed. Prior to the year 1960 for males and 1930 for females, estimated survival tended to be greater than observed; following 1960 for both males and females estimated survival tended to be less than observed. Viewing observed and estimated survival separately, observed survival past sixty increased over the years considered. For males, the increase was from a mean (sd) probability of 0.22 (0.06) to 0.46 (0.1). For females, the increase was from 0.26 (0.06) to 0.65 (0.08). By contrast, estimated survival past sixty decreased over the same period. Among males, estimated survival probability declined from 0.54 (0.2) to 0.09 (0.06). Among females, the decline was from 0.36 (0.12) to 0.15 (0.08).These results show that the GBD mortality model did not accurately estimate survival at older ages as developed countries transitioned in the twentieth century and may be similarly flawed in developing countries now undergoing transition. Estimates of the size of older-age populations and their attributable disease burden should be reconsidered.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0020264

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291005800039

    View details for PubMedID 21629652

  • The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases Bloom DE, Cafiero, ET, Jané-Llopis E, Abrahams-Gessel S, Bloom LR, Fathima S, Feigl AB, Gaziano T, Mowafi M, Pandya A, Prettner K, Rosenberg L, Seligman B, Stein A, Weinstein C 2011

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