Olaf Dammann

Olaf Dammann

(617) 636-3963
136 Harrison Avenue, Room MV104
Research/Areas of Interest: My research interest in epidemiology is the etiology of perinatal retina and brain disease. I am particularly interested in a scenario that postulates a major role for intrauterine infection as an initiator of maternal and fetal inflammatory responses that, in turn, contribute to the development of brain white matter damage and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) among preterm newborns. My primary ongoing research project (with colleagues Alan Leviton, Liz Allred, and Mike O'Shea) is the epidemiologic analysis of data from the ELGAN study, a multicenter study of ~1500 preterm infants born at <28 weeks gestation. I have been R21 and R01-funded by the National Eye Institute to study inflammatory biomarkers and ROP. In perinatology, my research covers the consequences of prematurity. This work is in collaboration with Jelske VanderBurg (Amsterdam) and my colleagues at Hannover Medical School (Lars Brodowski, Thilo Dörk-Bousset, Constantin von Kaisenberg, and Peter Hillemanns). In health informatics and analytics, my focus is the development of computational population models of disease occurrence(computational epidemiology tools). My current project in this area is the development of a population model of ROP occurrence in Norway in collaboration with my colleagues Tora Sund Morken and Dordi Austeng at NTNU. In philosophy, my area of interest is causal inference and etiological explanation. My first book in this field is "Causation in Population Health Informatics and Data Science", co-authored with philosopher Ben Smart.

Education

  • Doctor of Medicine, Universities of Lubeck and Hamburg, Germany, 1990
  • Ph.D., University of Johannesburg, South Africa, 2019
  • S.M., Harvard School of Public Health, USA, 1997