Melody S. Goodman

In Funded Scholars
Melody S. Goodman
Melody S. Goodman

Melody S.



Assistant Professor
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Professional Bio

In June 2006, Melody S. Goodman received her Ph.D. from the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard University with minors in theoretical statistics and the social determinants of health disparities. She was a National Institute of Health (NIH) Minority Predoctoral Fellow. Her doctoral work focused on statistical methods for community-based cancer interventions and racial/ethnic health disparities research. She is currently an assistant professor of preventive medicine, Division of Evaluative Sciences, Graduate Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Dr. Goodman has also assumed the role of director for the Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research. This center was developed through a memorandum of understanding between the graduate program in Public Health at Stony Brook University and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services with the mission to improve health and health care for the residents of Suffolk County, Long Island.

Stony Brook University is her undergraduate alma mater where she received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in applied mathematics-statistics and economics and was a Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)/NIH Fellow. In 1999, at the age of 20, she received the Provost Award for Academic Excellence, was inducted into the Stony Brook chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and was one of only 40 students to graduate from Stony Brook’s Honors College that year.

While at the Harvard School of Public Health, Goodman was a teaching assistant for principles of biostatistics, a required course for the masters of public health (M.P.H.) degree. She was awarded a Distinction in Teaching Awarded three times. Dr. Goodman has worked as a biostatistician for the Schering Plough Research Institute, statistical consultant for the Center for Community Based Research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and a financial analyst at a top tier investment bank on Wall Street.

Project Description

The purpose of the proposed project is to develop statistical models that allow for the extrapolation of national data to obtain county, town, zip-code and other smaller geographic area estimates of the prevalence of five chronic diseases — asthma, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease — by race. By combining seven years (1997-2003) of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data with 2000 U.S. Census data we intend to build multi-level models to estimate local health disparities. Social, demographic and behavioral risk factors contributing to the prevalence of the disease will be modeled on three levels: state, county and individual. Separate models will be developed for each disease outcome.

My New Connections Experience

The professional development and networking opportunities afforded to me by New Connections has been invaluable. The coaching clinic affords opportunities to speak with senior investigators in the field find collaborators and mentors and allows us to develop the skills necessary to excel in academia.

Research Interests

My interests are social, behavioral and lifestyle risk factors that contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in chronic and preventable disease.
The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2007
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Public Health
  • Project Name: Using National Data to Obtain Local Health Disparity Estimates.

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