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David M. Umbach, Ph.D.

Biostatistics Branch

David M. Umbach, Ph.D.
David M. Umbach, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

Tel (919) 541-4939
Fax (919) 541-4311

Curriculum Vitae (umbach-cv.pdf)  Download Adobe Reader
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop A3-03
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
Delivery Instructions

David Umbach’s primary methodological interest is the development of new statistical tools for detecting and characterizing gene-environment interactions through epidemiologic studies. Currently, he is investigating extensions to a recently proposed hybrid design for studying genetic influences on risk.  These extensions focus on utilizing exposure information, whether categorical or continuous, in the context of this design.  He is also working on methods for use with a case-parents design when subjects are genotyped at multiple linked SNPs that allow discovery of potential risk-tagging haplotypes.

Umbach has recently developed an interest in the statistical design and analysis of studies involving gene expression microarrays and certain mass spectrometry techniques for proteomics, particularly SELDI-TOF.  Data from these sources pose challenges for standard statistical techniques because there are typically many more observations on each sample than there are samples in a study. 

He also actively collaborates with NIEHS researchers on a variety of studies. Topics include the following: aspects of genetic susceptibility to cancer, environmental and genetic influences on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, effects of pesticides on respiratory diseases in the Agricultural Health Study cohort, and the hormonal effects of soy formula in infants.

Selected Publications

  1. Statistical Methods for Genetic, Molecular and Environmental Epidemiology
  2. Weinberg CR, Umbach DM.  A hybrid design for studying genetic influences on risk of diseases with onset early in life. American Journal of Human Genetics 2005; 77:627-636. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  3. Weinberg CR, Umbach DM. Choosing a retrospective design to assess joint genetic and environmental contributions to risk. American Journal of Epidemiology 152:197-203, 2000. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  4. Umbach DM, Weinberg CR . The use of case-parent triads to study joint effects of genotype and exposure. American Journal of Human Genetics 66:251-261, 2000. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  5. Umbach, D.M. Unit conversion as a source of misclassification in U.S. birthweight data. American Journal of Public Health 90:127-129, 2000. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  6. Weinberg, C.R., and D.M. Umbach. Using pooled exposure assessment to improve efficiency in case-control studies. Biometrics 55: 718-26, 1999. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  7. Umbach DM, Weinberg CR. Designing and analyzing case-control studies to exploit independence of genotype and exposure. Statistics in Medicine 16:1731-1743, 1997. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS

Statistical Methods for Gene Expression Microarrays and Genomics

  1. Huang W, Umbach DM, Ohler U, Li L.  Optimized mixed Markov models for motif identification. BMC Bioinformatics 2006, 2 June; 7:279 (electronic access). [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  2. Huang W, Umbach DM, Li L.  Accurate anchoring alignment of divergent sequences. Bioinformatics 2006; 22:29-34. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  3. Liu D, Umbach DM, Peddada SD, Li L, Crockett P, Weinberg CR.  A random-periods model for expression of cell-cycle genes.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2004; 101:7240-7245. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  4. Peddada SD, Lobenhofer EK, Li L, Afshari CA, Weinberg CR, Umbach DM. Gene selection and clustering for time-course and dose-response microarray experiments using order restricted inference. Bioinformatics 2003; 19:834-841. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS

Genetic Susceptibility to Cancer

  1. Yim HW, Slebos RJC, Randell SH, Umbach DM, Rivera MP, Detterbeck FC, Taylor JA.  Smoking is associated with increased telomerase activity in short-term cultures of human bronchial epithelial cells.  Cancer Letters 2007; 246: 24-33. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  2. Terry P, Umbach DM, Taylor JA. APE1 genotype and risk of bladder cancer: evidence for effect modification by smoking.  International Journal of Cancer. 2006; 118:3170-3173. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  3. Terry P, Umbach DM, Taylor JA.  No association between SOD2 or NQO1 genotypes and risk of bladder cancer.  Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 2005; 14:753-754. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  4. Slebos RJC, Umbach DM, Sommer CA, Horner GA, Choi J, Taylor JA.  Analytical and statistical methods to evaluate microsatellite allelic imbalance in small amounts of DNA.  Laboratory Investigation 2004; 84:649-657. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS

Neurodegenerative Diseases

  1. Chen H , Richards M , Sandler DP , Umbach DM , Kamel F. Head injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. American Journal of Epidemiology 2007; 7:810-816. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  2. Kamel F, Tanner CM, Umbach DM, Hoppin JA, Alavanja MCR, Blair A, Comyns K, Goldman SM, Korell M, Langston JW, Ross GW, Sandler DP.  Pesticide exposure and self-reported Parkinson’s Disease in the Agricultural Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 2006; 165:364-74. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  3. Kamel F,Umbach DM, Hu H, Munsat TL, Shefner JM, Taylor JA, Sander DP.  Lead Exposure as a Risk Factor for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  Neurodegenerative Diseases 2005; 2 (3-4):195-201. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  4. Terry PD, Kamel F, Umbach DM, Lehman TA, Hu H, Sandler DP, Taylor JA. VEGF promoter haplotype and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Journal of Neurogenetics 2004; 18:429-434. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  5. Kamel F, Umbach DM, Hu H, Munsat TL, Shefner JM, Sandler DP. Lead exposure and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Epidemiology 2002; 13:311-319. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  6. Kamel F, Umbach DM, Stallone L, Richards M, Hu H, Sandler DP, . Association of lead exposure with survival in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Neurology; 2008; 116(7):943-947. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS

Respiratory Diseases in the Agricultural Health Study

  1. Hoppin JA, Valcin M, Henneberger PK, Kullman GJ, Umbach DM, London SJ, Alavanja MCR, Sandler DP. Pesticide use and chronic bronchitis among farmers in the Agricultural Health Study. American journal of industrial medicine 2007 50(12):969-979. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  2. Hoppin JA, Umbach DM, Kullman GJ, Henneberger PK, London SJ, Alavanja MCR, Sandler DP.  Pesticides and other agricultural factors associated with self-reported farmer’s lung among farm residents in the Agricultural Health Study.  Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (in press). [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  3. Hoppin JA, Umbach DM, London SJ, Lynch CF, Alavanja MCR, Sandler DP.  Pesticides associated with wheeze among commercial pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 2006; 163:1129-1137. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  4. Hoppin JA, Umbach DM, London SJ, Alavanja MCR, Sandler DP. Diesel exhaust, solvents, and other occupational exposures as risk factors for wheeze among farmers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004; 169:1308-1313. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  5. Hoppin JA, Umbach DM, London SJ, Alavanja MCR, Sandler DP. Chemical predictors of wheeze among farmer pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study. American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine 2002; 165: 683-689. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS

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