The Survey and Statistical Methods Core (SSMC)

UMass Boston - Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center

Our Team

Co-Directors

Lois Biener, PhD, UMass Boston
Wendy London, PhD, DF/HCC

Lois Biener, PhD, Senior Research Fellow has been a study director at the UMass Center for Survey Research since 1990. Much of her work has focused on evaluating statewide tobacco control interventions by means of population-based telephone surveys of teenagers and adults. She has been Principal Investigator of studies funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Legacy Foundation. She has expertise in research design and survey methodology. Having served on journal editorial boards and on NIH and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant review committees, Dr. Biener can also consult on grant and manuscript preparation.

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Wendy B. London, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Director of Biostatistics and Director, Clinical and Translational Investigation Program, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has served as Faculty Director of the Dana Farber SDMC since the summer of 2013.  Dr. London is a biostatistician with research interests in neuroblastoma, prognostic stratification and design of clinical trials.  She also serves as the Lead Statistician for the Neuroblastoma Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG).

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Staff

Dragana Bolcic-Jankovic, MA, UMass Boston
Philip S. Brenner, PhD, UMass Boston
Mary Ellen Colten, PhD, UMass Boston
Carol Cosenza, MSW, UMass Boston
Floyd J. Fowler, PhD, UMass Boston
Joshua Gagne, MA, DF/HCC
Patricia Gallagher, PhD, UMass Boston
Ruth Lederman, MPH, DF/HCC
Carol Lowenstein, MBA, DF/HCC
Yolanda Martins, PhD, DF/HCC
Anthony Roman, MA, UMass Boston
Rumel S. Mahmood, MA, UMass Boston
Jessica LeBlanc, UMass Boston
Lee Hargraves, PhD, UMass Boston
 


Dragana Bolcic-Jankovic, MA, UMass Boston

Dragana Bolcic-Jankovic, MA, is a Project Manager at the UMass Center for Survey Research. She can provide support for developing instruments, pre-survey evaluation of questions, managing data collection and analyzing data. She has experience with research on medical and health services research, ethics research in medicine and science, particularly ethical issues surrounding genetics research. Her research interests include survey research issues when collecting signed consent from research subjects, as well as challenges involved in  establishment surveys.

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Philip S. Brenner, PhD, UMass Boston

Philip S. Brenner, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at the UMass  Center for Survey Research and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at UMass Boston. He has a particular interest in time diary data collection, use of mobile devices in data collection, and nondirective measurement procedures. His current research focuses on measurement error, particularly in the overreporting of normative behaviors like physical exercise, voting, and religious behaviors.

Mary Ellen Colten, PhD, UMass Boston

Mary Ellen Colten, PhD, a Study Director at the UMass Center for Survey Research, served as Director of the Center from 1989 to 2014.  Dr, Colten chaired the UMass Boston Institutional Review Board for over a decade. She is an expert in regulations regarding the protection of human subjects as well as in the planning, budgeting, and implementation of survey research projects.

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Carol Cosenza, MSW, UMass Boston

Carol Cosenza, MSW, a Project Manager at UMass Center for Survey Research, specializes in the design and evaluation of survey questions both in interviewer-administered and self-administered forms. She has particular expertise in the design, administration and interpretation of cognitive testing of survey instruments.

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Floyd J. Fowler, PhD, UMass Boston

Floyd J. Fowler, PhD, co-founded the Center for Survey Research at UMass Boston in 1971 and served as Director for 14 years. Dr. Fowler is the author (or co-author) of four text books on survey methods. He has a particular interest in the design and evaluation of survey questions. Three main areas of his recent research are how best to measure the outcomes of medical treatments, how medical decisions are made, and other aspects of the patient experience.

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Joshua Gagne, MA, DF/HCC

Joshua Gagne, MA, is a cultural anthropologist with extensive experience in conducting and analyzing in-depth interviews and other forms of qualitative research with patients, physicians and other key-informants. He has extensive experience using standard qualitative coding systems to conduct line-by-line coding using NVivo data management software. Mr. Gagne manages qualitative research projects; develops qualitative research guides; facilitates focus groups and in-depth interviews; conducts cognitive interviewing; provides structural and thematic coding and thematic analysis of qualitative research; and trains interviewers and focus group facilitators.

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Patricia Gallagher, PhD, UMass Boston

Patricia Gallagher, PhD is a study director at UMass Center for Survey Research. She has been a long time contributor to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems project. This work includes survey instrument development and the design of data collection protocols to gather information about the health experiences of diverse populations. Dr. Gallagher has particular expertise in multi-mode data collection, and surveying low income and Spanish-speaking populations.

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Ruth Lederman, MPH, DF/HCC

Ms. Lederman provides specialized research support for projects that entail self-report and observational data collection from research subjects. Ms. Lederman is trained in epidemiology and brings expertise to the SSMC in data management and analysis. She has extensive experience utilizing strategies to maximize participation rates in data collection efforts across a range of community and clinical settings. Ms. Lederman can provide support in  data collection,; sampling and locating research subjects, question design and evaluation and construction of in person and web-based data collection forms.

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Carol Lowenstein, MBA, DF/HCC

Ms. Lowenstein joined the Dana Farber Survey and Data Management Core in 2009 after serving for 10 years as Associate Director of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Rapid Case Identification Core, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to that, she served for 6 years as Assistant Director for Registry Operations at the Massachusetts Cancer Registry within the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Ms. Lowenstein is responsible for the administrative oversight of SSMC activities at DF/HCC  and can provide medical record review and abstraction services.

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Yolanda Martins, PhD, DF/HCC

Yolanda Martins, PhD, Senior Survey Methodologist, joined the Survey and Data Management Core at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the fall of 2010. Dr. Martins has expertise in research design and methodology, including questionnaire development, patient-reported outcomes, psychometric testing and assessment and the relationship between attitudes and behaviors. In addition, she has extensive experience in behavioral research statistical analyses and has worked with a variety of populations ranging from infants to adults in varying sociocultural group. She has served as a methodological consultant for academics and governments in areas including medicine, psychology, health, and education. She also has over 14 years of experience teaching statistics, research methods, survey design and testing and assessment, to undergraduate and graduate students, and colleagues.

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Anthony Roman, MA, UMass Boston

Anthony Roman, MA, has been Senior Statistician at UMass Center for Survey Research since 1985. He consults to all areas relating to sampling, weighting of data, statistical analysis of complex surveys, and use of alternative modes of data collection. Mr. Roman has overseen projects such as the Massachusetts Youth Health Survey, alcohol use among college students; measuring the lack of health insurance in Massachusetts; and interactive voice technology (IVR) for gathering sensitive data.

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Rumel S. Mahmood, M.A., UMass Boston

Rumel Mahmood is an Assistant Study Director at the UMass Center for Survey Research. He is proficient in many software programs and statistical packages, and is a Microsoft certified database specialist.  Mr. Mahmood previously served as an Economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics for a new national survey; as an IT Analyst for Harvard teaching hospitals; and for a private sector public opinion polling firm.

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Lee Hargraves, PhD, UMass Boston

Lee Hargraves became Director of the UMass Center for Survey Research in February, 2014.  He is a leader in the development and use of survey methods to assess health care quality from patients’ perspectives. Dr. Hargraves’ research has contributed to national efforts to document racial and ethnic disparities in health care. His research interests include validation of survey questions using administrative data, improving response to longitudinal surveys, and questionnaire design.  Lee is currently working on the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS™) project, collaborating with the CAHPS Instrument Development Team. He is Research Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health at UMass Medical School and an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health, UMass Amherst.

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Jessica LeBlanc, UMass Boston

Jessica LeBlanc is an Assistant Study Director at the UMass Center for Survey Research.  She has expertise in data collection management and survey development.  She can provide support for programming instruments for online administration (using SNAP), CAPI (computer-assisted personal interviewing) and training research staff on CAPI administration.  Jessica is also an experienced cognitive interviewer.

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