RESEARCH CAPABILITIES AT MEHARRY MEDICAL COLLEGE
Maps are a visual representation of data. We are developing an extensive county level, exposome database with over 13,000 health behavior and outcomes variables and over 20,000 environmental exposure variables. We also have data by census tract, zip code and other administrative units. While maps provide an opportunity to visualize how the characteristics vary by place, the underlying database provides an opportunity to analyze spatial and temporal relationships between health and environmental exposure data. We work statisticians and computer scientists to apply a broad range of statistical and computational analytics to understand these relationships.
Our long term goal is to increase the temporal dimension of the database to include measures from 1980 to present and to shrink the spatial unit from county level to census tract level wherever possible. This database will allow us to begin to look at relationships between environmental exposures and population health outcomes over time. While putative relationships are not indicators of causality, they can provide preliminary data for developing models, testing hypotheses and designing randomized controlled trials (RCTs).