A Case Study in

Public Health


Population and public health research are critical to advancing public understanding of disease epidemiology and for promoting health, broadly. The timeliness of conducting and publishing such research is key to guiding policy and often prevention methods.

Dr. Margaret K. Doll , an assistant professor at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences , has been a long-time collaborator of Precision Analytics on several successful publications that have important public health implications.

Our team has been able to provide expertise in epidemiologic methods, applied statistics, and software to support the data management, cleaning, and analyses of these research investigations, and provide critical feedback at all stages of the research lifecycle.

Dr. Doll’s research program

Dr. Margaret K. Doll obtained her PhD in Epidemiology from McGill University and MPH from Johns Hopkins University. As an assistant professor at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, she actively leads research in epidemiological methods, disease surveillance, and vaccine-preventable diseases. Dr. Doll’s investigations often involve complex analytic methods using various data sources and she has authored several peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals.

Collaborating with public health researchers

Our team at Precision Analytics consists of experts in epidemiological research, applied statistics and data science, which has allowed us to become a trusted collaborator among public health researchers. By providing high-quality methodologic and analytic support, we enable researchers such as Dr. Doll to gain valuable insights from rigorous study designs and data analysis methods that are tailored to each research question to ensure reliable and timely results.

Why Dr. Doll chose Precision Analytics

We understand that public health researchers often lead and collaborate on multiple projects simultaneously, which necessitates an agile team to deliver on tight deadlines. In choosing to work with Precision Analytics, Dr. Doll has been able to dedicate time to various projects in parallel, with the confidence that our team would assess the quality of the data and apply rigorous methods appropriate for the research question.

How Precision Analytics responded

An example of our collaboration includes conducting a survey analysis, adjusting for nonresponse. Following the repeal of religious exemptions for vaccinations required for school entry in New York State, Dr. Doll led a study examining the impact of this policy change on student enrollment and absenteeism. The study involved administering surveys to all schools across New York State.

A common obstacle in survey data collection is the issue of non-response that may result in a nonrepresentative sample. To address this nonresponse in the analysis, our team at Precision Analytics proposed and implemented survey weights calculated from gradient boosted logistic regression.

Additional examples of how we have supported research investigations include implementing the following study designs and analytic methods:

  • Latent class analysis to identify distinct patterns of pediatric vaccine uptake in the U.S.
  • Geospatial analysis to examine geographic trends in pediatric vaccine uptake in the U.S.
  • Simulation to assess the level of bias in a test-negative study design
  • Estimating prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 using a hierarchical Bayesian framework to account for uncertainty in the diagnostic tests.
The results

Precision Analytics has proven capable of delivering on tight timelines and complex tasks to support the research of Dr. Doll, which has resulted in a lasting partnership. Through collaboration on several research projects, we have guaranteed results that uphold rigorous epidemiologic and statistical standards.

Examples of work we have collaborated on

Doll MK, Morrison KT, Buckeridge DL, Quach C. Two Birds With One Stone: Estimating Population Vaccination Coverage From a Test-negative Vaccine Effectiveness Case-control Study. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Oct 15;63(8):1080-1086. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw397

Doll MK, Weitzen SD, Morrison KT. Trends in the uptake of pediatric measles-containing vaccine in the United States: A Disneyland effect? Vaccine. 2021 Jan 8;39(2):357-363. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.11.048

McLaughlin CC, Doll MK, Morrison KT, McLaughlin WL, O’Connor T, Sholukh AM, Bossard EL, Phasouk K, Ford ES, Diem K, Klock AM, Jerome KR, Corey L. High Community SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Seroprevalence in a Ski Resort Community, Blaine County, Idaho, US. Preliminary Results. medRxiv [Preprint]. 2020 Jul 21:2020.07.19.20157198. doi: 10.1101/2020.07.19.20157198


Our team at Precision Analytics has experience in the research life cycle, with the two founders also adjunct faculty at McGill University.

We can provide support at every stage of the process: from conception of study design to analysis and submission of manuscripts for publication. Our team is excited to collaborate with investigators from all domains of research, particularly in leveraging myriad data sources and types to arrive at meaningful insights.


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