Retired Faculty


Below is a list of retired department faculty who were instrumental in the development of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics over the years. We honor and thank them for their research, teaching and mentoring.


  • Claudia Holzman DVM, MPH, PhD | Retired 2023

    Claudia HolzmanEmeritus Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    Retired 2023 | E-mail:

    Claudia Holzman, Professor of Epidemiology in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University, received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Michigan State University in 1976, her Master’s of Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota in 1986, and her PhD degree in epidemiology from the University of Michigan in 1996. Dr. Holzman has been involved in reproductive and perinatal research, primarily focusing on the areas of preterm delivery, brain injury in neonates, birth defects, and vaginal infections. In 1999 Dr. Holzman was awarded the Teacher/Scholar award from the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Currently Dr. Holzman is a co-investigator of a T-32 training program that supports doctoral and post-doctoral trainees in perinatal/pediatric epidemiology.

    Dr. Holzman initiated the Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health (POUCH) Study, which prospectively recruited 3,019 pregnant women in mid-pregnancy from 52 clinics in 5 Michigan communities (1998-2004). The POUCH Study was funded by two consecutive R01s from NICHD and additional support from NINR. The goals of this study are to identify pathways to preterm delivery (e.g. infection, maternal vascular disease) by assessing social and biologic factors. Psychosocial antecedents in the preterm pathways were measured at the individual (participant interview) and ecological (community/ neighborhood conditions and resources) levels. Biologic markers and mediators are being evaluated in maternal serum, plasma, vaginal fluid, urine, saliva, and hair collected at mid-pregnancy. In addition, the study focus includes a detailed examination of the delivered placenta, linking specific pathologic findings to various preterm delivery pathways. An add-on component to the POUCH Study funded an at-home protocol for collection and measurement of stress biomarkers and blood pressure. This portion was supported by a PERI grant, in which Dr. Holzman was one of six international investigators to be funded by the March of Dimes Foundation in their first preterm birth-focused initiative. Later funding for the POUCH Study was garnered from the Thrasher Research Foundation and Centers for Disease Control to support of additional biomarker investigations.

    Dr. Holzman has also conducted a three-stage investigation of the epidemiology of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in non-pregnant women that was funded by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. The first study was a cross-sectional assessment of risk factors for BV in 498 women in the Greater Lansing Area. A second study consisted of small focus groups of women who had recurrent BV. A third pilot study was a small clinical trial of douching cessation designed to assess the effects of vaginal douching on changes in vaginal flora.


    Gargano JW, Holzman CB, Senagore PK, Reuss ML, Pathak DR, Williams MA, Fisher R. Evidence of placental haemorrhage and preterm delivery. BJOG 2010; 117:445-455.

    Chen Y, Holzman C, Chung H, Senagore P, Talge NM, Siler-Khodr T. Levels of maternal serum corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) at midpregnancy in relation to maternal characteristics. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.11.007.

    Gavin AR, Holzman C, Siefert S, Tian Y. Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Depression and Psychiatric Medication Use in Relation to Risk of Preterm Delivery. Womens Health Issues 2009; 19(5):325-34.

    Holzman C, Senagore P, Tian Y, Bullen B, DeVos E, Leece C, Zanella A, Fink G, Rhabar H, Sapkal A. Maternal catecholamine levels in midpregnancy and risk of preterm delivery. Am J Epi 2009; 170(8):1014-24.

    Holzman C, Eyster J, Kleyn M, Messer L, Kaufman J, Laraia B, O’Campo P, Burke J, Culhane J, Elo I.  Maternal weathering and risk of preterm delivery.  Am J Public Health 2009; 99(10): 1864-71.

    Gargano JW, Holzman CB, Senagore PK, et al. Polymorphisms in thrombophilia and renin-angiotensin system pathways, preterm delivery, and evidence of placental hemorrhage. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2009;201:317.e1-9.

    Holzman C, Senagore P, Kelly R. Holzman et al. respond to "Intrauterine Epidemiology" Am J Epidemiol 2009; 170(2):162-163.

    Kelly R, Holzman C, Senagore P, Wang J, Tian Y, Rahbar M H, Chung H. Placental vascular pathology findings and pathways to preterm delivery. Am J Epidemiol 2009; 170(2):148-158.

    Canady R, Stommel M, Holzman C.  Measurement properties of the Centers for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) in a sample of African-American and White pregnant women. J of Nurs Meas 2009;17(2):91-104.

    Elo I, Culhane J, Kohler I, O’Campo P, Burke J, Messer L, Kaufman J, Laraia B, Eyster J, Holzman C. Neighborhood deprivation and small-for-gestational-age term births in the United States. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2009; 23(1):87-96.

    Wertz J, Issacs-Cosgrove N, Holzman C, Marsh T. Temporal shifts in microbial communities in non-pregnant African-American women with and without bacterial vaginosis Interdiscip Perspect Infect Dis 2008; DOI: 10.1155/2008/181253.

    Gargano JW, Holzman C, Senagore P, Thorsen P, Skogstrand K, Hougaard DM, Rahbar MH, Chung H. Midpregnancy circulating cytokine levels, histologic chorioamnionitis, and spontaneous preterm birth. J Reprod Immunol 2008; 79:100-110.

    Xu J, Holzman C, Arvidson C, Chung H, Geopfert A. Midpregnancy vaginal fluid defensins, bacterial vaginosis, and risk of preterm delivery. Obstet Gynecol 2008;112:524-31.

    Messer L, Vinikoor L, Laraia B, Kaufman J, Eyster J, Holzman C, Culhane J, Elo I, Kohler I, Burke J, O’Campo P. Socioeconomic domains and associations with preterm birth. Soc Sci Med 2008;67:1247-1257.

    Canady R, Broman C, Holzman C. Discrimination and symptoms of depression in
    pregnancy among African-American and White women. Womens Health Issues 2008; 18(4):292-300.

    Tiedje LB, Holzman C, Kallen K, DeVos E, Xu J. Hostility and anomie: links to preterm delivery
    subtypes and ambulatory blood pressure at mid-pregnancy. Soc Sci Med 2008; 66(6):1310-21

    O’Campo P, Burke J, Culhane J, Elo IT, Eyster J, Holzman C, Messner LC, Kaufman JS, Laraia BA. Neighborhood deprivation and preterm birth among non-Hispanic black and white women in eight geographic areas in the Unitied States. Am J Epidemiol 2007; 167(2):155-63.

    Holzman C, Lin X, Senagore, P, Chung H. Histologic chorioamnionitis and preterm delivery. Am J Epidemiol 2007; 166(7): 786-94.

    Scheid JM, Holzman C, Jones NM, Friderici K, Nummy K, Symonds L, Sikorskii A, Regier M, Fisher R . Depressive symptoms in mid-pregnancy, lifetime stressors and the 5-HTTLPR genotype. Genes Brain Behav 2007; 6(5):453.

    Xue F, Holzman C, Rahbar MH, Trosko K, Fischer L. Maternal fish consumption, mercury levels, and risk of preterm delivery. Environ Health Perspect 2007; 115 (1):42-7.
    Messer L, Kaufman J, Laraia B, O’Campo P, Burke J, Eyster J, Holzman C, Culhane J, Elo I. The development of a standardized neighborhood deprivation index. J Urban Health 2006; 83(6):1041-62.

    Jones NM, Holzman C, Zanella A, Leece C, Rahbar MH and the Prematurity Study Group. Assessing mid-trimester salivary cortisol levels across three consecutive days in pregnant women using an at-home collection protocol. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2006; 20(3):425-37.

    Holzman C, Eyster J, Tiedje LB, Roman LA, Seagull E, Rahbar, MH. A life course perspective on depressive symptoms in mid-pregnancy. Matern Child Health J 2006;10:127-38.

    Holzman C, Leventhal J, Qui H, Jones N, Wang J, BV Study Group. Factors linked to bacterial vaginosis in non-pregnant women Am J Public Health 2001;91:1664-70.

    Holzman C, Bullen B, Fisher R, Paneth P, Reuss L, and the Prematurity Study Group. Pregnancy outcomes and community health: the POUCH Study of preterm delivery. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2001:15 (suppl. 2) 136-58.

    Holzman C, Jetton J, Siler-Khodr T, Fisher R, Rip T. Second trimester corticotropin-releasing
    hormone levels in relation to preterm delivery and ethnicity. Obstet Gynecol 2001;97:657-63.

    Wadland WC, Barry HC, Farquhar L, Holzman C, White A. Training medical students in evidence-based medicine: a community campus approach. Fam Med 1999;31:703-8.

    Holzman C, Jetton J, Fisher R, Senagore P, Mohan M, Paneth N. Association of maternal IgM concentrations above the median at 15-19 weeks of gestation and early preterm delivery. Lancet 1999; 354;1095-6.

    Holzman C, Paneth N, Fisher R, and the MSU prematurity group. Rethinking the concept of risk factors for preterm delivery: antecedents, markers, and mediators. Prenat Neonat Med 1998; 3: 47-52.

    Holzman C, Paneth N. Preterm birth: from prediction to prevention. Am J Public Health 1998; 88:183-4.

    Courval JM, DeHoog JV, Holzman CB, Tay EM, Fischer L, Humphrey H, Paneth NS, Sweeney AM. Fish consumption and other characteristics of reproductive-aged Michigan anglers--a potential population for studying the effects of consumption of Great Lakes fish on reproductive health. Toxicol Ind Health 1996; 12: 347-359.

    Holzman C, Paneth N, Little R, Pinto-Martin J, NBH Study Team. Perinatal brain injury in premature infants born to mothers using alcohol in pregnancy. Pediatrics 1995; 95: 66-73. (Selected for inclusion in the Year Book of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine).

    ADVANCE \D 2.15Pinto-Martin J, Riolo S, Cnaan A, Holzman C, Paneth N. Cranial ultrasound prediction of disabling and non-disabling cerebral palsy in a low birth weight population. Pediatrics 1995; 95:249-254.

  • Jim Pivarnik, PhD | Retired 2022

    Jim Pivarnik

    Professor Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Kinesiology
    Former Director Center for Physical Activity and Health
    Director, Human Energy Research Laboratory

    Expert on physical fitness, special interest in fitness related to women and pregnancy.

    Retired 2022 |

    google scholar

  • Nigel Paneth, MD, MPH | Retired 2021

    Nigel PanethEmeritus University Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Pediatrics

    Retired: 2021 |

    Although Dr. Paneth retired in May 2021 from his full-time faculty position, he remains active in our department as a part-time faculty member.  He continues to mentor students and post-doctoral fellows who are completing their work, but is not taking on new students.  He is supported by his involvement as co-principal investigator on Prenatal Exposures and Child Health Outcomes (UH3 ODO23285), one of the two NIH ECHO program grants in the department, as well as serving as a co-investigator and/or consultant on other NIH initiatives.

  • Janet Osuch, MD | Retired 2018

    Janet OsuchProfessor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Surgery 

    Retired: 2018 |  Email:

    Dr. Osuch, a professor of Surgery and Epidemiology. Janet limited her surgical practice to diseases of the breast from 1987-1998, and founded the Comprehensive Breast Health Clinic at MSU in 1992. She obtained a Master's degree from this department in 2000.

  • Mahdi Saeed, DVM, MPH, PhD | Retired 2017

    Mahdi SaeedEmeritus Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

    Retired: 2017 | E-mail:

    Dr. Saeed has been conducting research on food safety and prevention of foodborne diseases, zoonotic diseases and their impact on human populations. Assesment of the role of exposure to animals in the developmnent of zoonotic diseases such as Campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis. Developing, with other professionals, state-wide programs in food safety epidemiology and emerging infectious diseases. Development of new courses in food safety epidemiology for a new food safety specialty degree at Michigan State University.

  • Naomi Breslau, PhD | Retired 2016

    Naomi BreslauEmeritus Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics 

    Retired: 2016  / Deceased: 2018

    Dr. Breslau was a highly cited psychiatric epidemiologist and PhD-trained sociologist who made major contributions and scientific advances in the epidemiological study of numerous psychiatric conditions and behavioral disturbances, most prominently post-traumatic stress disorder and tobacco dependence. Learn more about the life and career of Dr. Breslau.

  • Julie Wirth, PhD | Retired 2015

    Julie WirthAssistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics 

    Retired: 2015 / Deceased: 2020

    Dr. Wirth was a PhD microbiologist with graduate training in epidemiology, whose current primary research focus was the study of exposures to organochlorines and male reproductive health. She also was an expert in research on environmental chemicals and human health generally, and studying gene-environment interactions using epidemiological and microbiological research approaches. Learn More about the life and career of Dr. Wirth.