Welcome to my online space, and thank you for your interest in reading about me!
My name is Sandie Ha. I am currently an assistant professor of public health at the University of California, Merced (UCM). Before I go into my exciting research, let me share a little bit about my background.
Background: I was born in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. My family came to the US and settled in Tacoma, Washington in 1997 where I went to middle and high school. I attended the University of Washington, Seattle majoring in biology/physiology. I always had an interest in health but did not know public health was my call until I worked as one of the founding volunteers for a local charity clinic that aims to provide free basic healthcare for the uninsured in the Seattle area. This experience made me realize that I am more interested in prevention compared to treatment of health problems. I made a cross country move and got my Masters in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in epidemiology at the University of Florida. Upon an internship in public health, I wanted to pursue a PhD to get more training in Epidemiology at the same institution. Upon graduation, I joined the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) as a postdoctoral scholar for two years before I joined the faculty at UCM in July 2017.
Research interest: My research interests center on identifying and understanding environmental risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes and investigating how prenatal exposures affect subsequent health for both mothers and babies. Given an increasingly diverse at-risk population and the growing complexity of environmental threats, I am also interested in identifying vulnerable subgroups to help target effective intervention. Pregnancy is a very vulnerable life event during which the health of both mother and baby can be affected by the interaction between the environment and genes/biology. Adverse events occurring during this sensitive time window can have long-term consequences for both mothers and babies. The San Joaquin Valley faces serious problems with environmental issues including air pollution, extreme temperature, and pesticides. This area also has a relatively high prevalence of serious health issues including adverse pregnancy outcomes (e.g., preterm birth), asthma, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. My primary goals as a faculty as UCM are to use rigorous epidemiological methods to a) study the extent of adverse pregnancy outcomes as well as maternal and child health problems in the region, b) identify and understand the environmental causes of these problems, and c) ultimately devise intervention(s) to prevent these health problems at the population level. For a complete picture of my past and current research projects, please see my CV.
Thank you for your interest, and please email me if you have any question(s) (Sandie Ha: email@example.com)!