Theodore R Holford, PhD

Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Biostatistics and Professor of Statistics and Data Science

Research Interests

Asthma; Lung Neoplasms; Public Health; Global Health; Statistics; Geographic Information Systems

Public Health Interests

Biostatistics; Environmental Health; Epidemiology Methods

Research Organizations

School of Public Health: YSPH Global Health Concentration

Faculty Research

Yale Cancer Center: Cancer Prevention and Control

Global Health Studies

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Summary

Professor Holford's current research extends his work with age-period-cohort models for population disease trends to analyses that quantify the impact of exposure to known risk factors on those trends. His work measuring the impact of cigarette smoking on lung cancer mortality is an example of this approach and it is part of the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET). These models are useful in planning disease control strategies. Another focus of his research is the development of methods for studying the impact of environmental exposures on disease risk using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). These applications include the effect of exposure to traffic on asthma symptoms, and the prediction of areas that have habitats that are compatible with vectors for specific microbial diseases.

Specialized Terms: Development and application of statistical methods in health research; Methodology for the analysis of spatial and temporal trends in disease

Extensive Research Description

  • Modeling Interventions for Lung Cancer Mortality (CISNET)
  • Population Models for the Effect of Cigarette Smoking on Health
  • Asthma Severity in Children and Fine Particle Composition
  • Effect of Exposure to Traffic Related Pollution on Health

Selected Publications

  • Comparison of smoking history patterns among African American and White cohorts in the U.S. born 1890 to 1990 Holford, T.R., Levy, D.T., Meza, R. Comparison of smoking history patterns among African American and White cohorts in the U.S. born 1890 to 1990. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 18 (suppl 1): S16-S29, doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv274, 2016
  • Spatiotemporal calibration and resolution refinement of output from deterministic models Gilani, O., McKay, L.A., Gregoire, T.G., Guan, Y., Leaderer, B.P., Holford, T.R. Spatiotemporal calibration and resolution refinement of output from deterministic models. Statistics in Medicine 35, 2422-2440, 2016.
  • Age-period-cohort approaches to back-calculation of cancer incidence rate Oh, C., Holford, T.R. Age-period-cohort approaches to back-calculation of cancer incidence rate. Statistics in Medicine. 334: 1953-1964, 2015.
  • Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

    Rabinowitz, P.M., Slizovskiy, I.B., Lamers, V., Trufan, S.J., Holford, T.R., Dziura, J.D., Peduzzi, P.N., Kane, M.J., Reif, J.S., Weiss, T.R., Stowe, M.H. Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania. 2015 Jan;123(1):21-6. Epub 2014 Sep10. PMCID:PMC4286272

  • Tobacco control and the reduction in smoking-related premature deaths in the United States, 1964-2012.

    Holford, T.R., Meza, R., Warner, K.E., Meernik, C., Jeon, J., Moolgavkar, S.H., Levy, D.T. Tobacco control and the reduction in smoking-related premature deaths in the United States, 1964-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association. 311: 164-171, 2014. PMCID: PMC4056770

  • Patterns of birth cohort-specific smoking histories, 1965-2009.

    Holford, T.R., Levy, D.T., McKay, L.A., Clarke, L., Racine, B., Meza, R., Jeon, J., Feuer, E.J. Patterns of Birth Cohort–Specific Smoking Histories, 1965–2009. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 46: e31-e37, 2014. PMCID: PMC3951759.

  • Comparing the adequacy of carcinogenesis models in estimating U.S. population rates for lung cancer mortality.

    Holford, T.R., Levy, D.T. Comparing the adequacy of carcinogenesis models in estimating U.S. population rates for lung cancer mortality. Risk Analysis 32: S179-S189, 2012. PMCID: PMC3478769

  • Yale Lung Cancer Model.

    Holford, T.R., Ebisu, K., McKay, L., Oh, C., Zhang, T. Yale Lung Cancer Model. Risk Analysis 32: S151-S165, 2012. PMCID: PMC3662537

  • Chapter 4: Development of the counterfactual smoking histories used to assess the effects of tobacco control.

    Holford, T.R., Clark, L. Development of the counterfactual smoking histories used to assess the effects of tobacco control. Risk Analysis 32: S39-S50, 2012. PMCID: PMC3490210

  • Impact of reduced tobacco smoking on lung cancer mortality in the United States during 1975-2000.

    Moolgavkar, S.H., Holford, T.R., Levy, D.T., Kong, C.Y., Foy, M., Clarke, L., Jeon, J., Hazelton, W., Meza, R., Schultz, F., McCarthy, W., Boer, R., Gorlova, O., Gazelle, G.S., Kimmel, M., McMahon, P.M., de Koning, H.J., Feuer, E.J. Impact of reduced tobacco smoking on lung cancer mortality in the United States during 1975-2000. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Apr 4;104(7):541-8. PMCID: PMC3317881.

Full List of PubMed Publications

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Contact Info

Theodore R Holford, PhD
Office Location
Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology (CPPEE)1 Church Street, Ste 6th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510
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Mailing Address
PO Box 208034
60 College Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8034

Curriculum Vitae

Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology (CPPEE)