photo of Jia Sun, PhD, MPH

Jia Sun, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Dr. Jia Sun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health. She received her PhD degree in Public health Studies from Saint Louis University (SLU), and her PhD dissertation was passed with distinction. During her PhD training, she co-authored eight publications in peer-reviewed journals. She received her MPH degree in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from Yale University, and her Master’s dissertation, which is a team work with three other students, was published in a peer-reviewed journal and was presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA)’s 2019 Annual Meeting and EXPO. Afterwards, she became a poster reviewer for APHA Annual Meeting & EXPO, 2020 for the environmental section and 2022 for the aging & public health, environment, and applied public health statistics sections. After graduating from SLU, Dr. Sun served as a surgical research scholar in the Surgery Department at the New York Medical College, where she assisted with ongoing clinical research, and identified research gaps in surgical outcomes.

Dr. Sun’s data analytical experience started in 2016 when she interned in China CDC, where she analyzed and studied the national death distribution and relevant risk factors and investigated the health impacts of long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution in China. Since then, Dr. Sun has devoted her life to studying the burden of disease due to adverse environmental exposures. Dr. Sun’s clinical experience started in 2010 when she was working as a Histotechnologist in Penn Medicine, where she found her interest in clinical research, and later she became a Physician Assistant in Beijing Herun Clinics, where she assisted with a nationwide clinical trial to study the mechanism of autism. Dr. Sun’s Bachelor of Science degree was received from the Capital Normal University (CNU) in China. Her major was biotechnology, and she conducted research on microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and biostatistics. While studying at this university, she also served as Director of the Communication Department in the China Red Cross CNU Branch. She expanded the Communication Department, published a journal, and created a website for the China Red Cross CNU Branch. In recognition of her contribution, Dr. Sun was rewarded by the China Red Cross as an Advanced Individual in the Beijing region.

Dr. Sun was a certified teacher at SLU, where she taught courses on biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, and the US healthcare system.

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD: Saint Louis University
  • MPH: Yale University
  • MS: Drexel University

Courses Taught

  • BST 3200: Applied Biostatistics II
  • PUBH 5030: Methodological Approaches to Understanding Population Health
  • PUBH 5060: Environmental and Biological Determinants of Health
  • IPE 3500: Health Care System and Health Promotion (co-teaching)
  • EPID 5200: Principles of Epidemiology (co-teaching) 

Dr. Sun’s research focuses on methodological approaches to addressing health problems with an emphasis on environmental health equity. She conducted time-series analysis to study the acute and delayed health effects of ambient air pollution exposure, and logistic regression analysis to study the long-term health effects of indoor air pollution exposure. In addition, she identified vulnerable exposure windows and populations susceptible to these adverse exposures using regression analysis and stratified analysis. In clinical settings, Dr. Sun applied the propensity score matching method with observational study design instead of randomly assigning patients to treatments to evaluate the safety of treatment. Dr. Sun is also interested in developing intervention strategies to reduce the adverse effects of certain exposures when they cannot be eliminated, such as genetic exposure. For example, she found that maternal multivitamin intake and noise exposure reduction may be effective in reducing the risk of preterm birth among women with a family history of hypertension. Dr. Sun continues to explore her interests and potential in the public health field.

Sun, Jia, Yang, R. (co-first author), Xian, H., Zhang, B., Lin, H., Xaverius, P., Yang, S., Dong, G.-H., Howard, S., LeBaige, M., Peng, A., Liu, E., Zheng, T., Zhou, A., & Qian, Z. (2022). Association between Maternal Family History of Hypertension and Preterm Birth: Modification by Noise Exposure and Multivitamin Intake. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 

Sun, Jia, Yang, R. (cofirst author), Xian, H., Zhang, B., Xaverius, P. K., Yang, S., Zheng, T., Peng, A., Liu, E., LeBaige, M., Zhou, A., & Qian, Z. (2021). Maternal exposure to emission of using new furniture during pregnancy and preterm birth. HSOA J Reprod Med Gynaecol Obstet, 6(2).

Wang, H. L., Sun, Jia (cofirst author), Qian, Z. M., Gong, Y. Q., Zhong, J. B., Yang, R. D., . . . Lin, H. L. (2020). Association between Air Pollution and Atopic Dermatitis in Guangzhou, China: Modification by Age and Season. Br J Dermatol. doi:10.1111/bjd.19645 

Liao, Y., Sun, Jia (cofirst author), …, Lang, L. (2020). Modification by seasonal influenza and season on the association between ambient air pollution and child respiratory diseases in Shenzhen, China. Atmos Environ, 117621. Doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2020.117621 

Zhang, S., …, Sun, Jia,…, Lin, H. (2020). The effect of temperature on cause-specific mental disorders in three subtropical cities: a case-crossover study in China. Environ. Int., 143, 105938. Doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.105938 

Hemez, C., Chiu, J., Ryan, E., Sun, Jia, Dubrow, R., Pascucilla, M. (2020). Environmental and health impacts of electric service vessels in the recreational boating industry. Water Pract. Technol, 0. Doi: 10.2166/wpt.2020.063.  

Xu, S. L., Liu, A. P., Wu, Q. Z., Marks, T., He, Z. Z., Qian, Z., . . ., Sun, Jia, … Dong, G. H. (2020). Pet ownership in utero and in childhood decreases the effects of environmental tobacco smoke exposure on hypertension in children: A large population based cohort study. Sci Total Environ, 715, 136859. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136859 

Cui, Y., Ai, S., Liu, Y., Qian, Z. M., Wang, C., Sun, Jia, . . . Lin, H. (2020). Hourly associations between ambient temperature and emergency ambulance calls in one central Chinese city: Call for an immediate emergency plan. Sci Total Environ, 711, 135046. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135046 

Yang, Y., Lin, Q., Liang, Y., Ruan, Z., Acharya, B. K., Zhang, S., . . .Sun, Jia, … Lin, H. (2020). Maternal air pollution exposure associated with risk of congenital heart defect in pre-pregnancy overweighted women. Sci Total Environ, 712, 136470. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136470