College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Panagiota Kitsantas, PhD

Professor

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Biography

Dr. Yiota Kitsantas, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the Department of Health Administration and Policy, has extensive research experience in the fields of child and maternal health, especially around utilizing data mining techniques to address various public health issues in these populations. In her research, the use of these methodologies and large exiting data sets have addressed research gaps pertaining to risk profiles of childhood obesity, prenatal alcohol use, pregnancy likelihood in young adults and several other research topics. She collaborates with a large number of researchers from various areas and serves as a biostatistics consultant on numerous projects. In one of the most recent projects, Dr. Kitsantas served as a biostatistician and co-Investigator on a funded project by the National Institutes of Health (R15 grant) to examine rapid weight gain among infants of low income Hispanic immigrant mothers. Dr. Kitsantas serves on editorial boards and as a reviewer for various peer-reviewed journals related to maternal and child health. She has published manuscripts in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Asthma, Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Childhood Obesity, Public Health, Women’s Health Issues, Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, Early Human Development, among others. Dr. Kitsantas frequently presents research findings at national and international conferences.

Degrees

PhD, Statistics, Florida State University (2003)

MS, Statistics, Florida State University (2000)

MS, Health Sciences, James Madison University (1999)

Research

Research Interests

  • Applying data mining techniques and methods of categorical data analysis to investigate public health related issues in the fields of maternal and infant health and substance abuse among adolescents 

Select Publications

Kitsantas, P., & Aguisanda, F. (2016). Risk of Asthma among Adolescents with Obesity Exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Journal of Asthma, 53(1), 25-29.

Kitsantas, P., Gallo, S., Palla, H., Nguyen, V., & Gaffney, K.F. (2016). Nature and Nurture in the Development of Childhood Obesity: Early Infant Feeding Practices of Overweight/Obese Mothers Differ Compared to Mothers of Normal Body Mass Index. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 29(2), 290-293.

Kornides, M., Kitsantas, P., Lindley, L., & Wu, C. (2015). Factors associated with young adults' pregnancy likelihood. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 60(2), 158-168.

Kitsantas, P., Gaffney, K.F., & Wu, H. (2015). Identifying high-risk subgroups for alcohol consumption among younger and older pregnant women. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 43(1), 43-52.

Kitsantas, P., Gaffney, K.F., Castello, J., & Wu, H. (2014). Determinants of alcohol cessation, reduction and no reduction during pregnancy. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 289(4), 771-779.

Kornides, M., & Kitsantas, P. (2013). Evaluation of Breastfeeding Promotion, Support, and Knowledge of Benefits on Breastfeeding Outcomes. Journal of Child Health Care, 17(3), 264-273.

Kitsantas, P., Kornides, M., Cantiello, J., & Wu, H. (2013). Chronic physical health conditions among Children of Different Racial/Ethnic Backgrounds. Public Health, 127(6),546-553.

Grants

"Evidence NOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care, Heart of Virginia Healthcare," Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), subcontract with Virginia Commonwealth University. Goldberg, D. (Principal Investigator), 2017-2018. Role: Biostatistician. $414,755.

"Rapid Weight Gain among Infants of Low Income Hispanic Immigrant Mothers," National Institutes of Health (R15). Gaffney, K. (Principal Investigator), 2014-2018. Role: Co-Investigator. $445,704.

"Prenatal Alcohol Consumption and Maternal and Infant Health," National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R03). 2017 (in progress). Role: Principal Investigator (Gaffney, K., Co-Investigator). $50,000 (pending).

"Artificial Intelligence in Data Analysis," U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research & Development. Wojtusiak, J. (Principal Investigator), 2013-2014. Role: Co-Investigator. $200,000.

"Quality of life indicators among residents in assisted living communities," The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). Gimm, G. (Principal Investigator), 2012-2014. Role: Co-Investigator. $97,000.

"Predictors of Excessive Weight Gain among Infants of Low Income Hispanic Mothers: A Comparison with the National Infant Feeding Practices Study-II," Mason-Inova Fund. Gaffney, K. (Principal Investigator), 2012-2014. Role: Co-Investigator. $49,000.

"Determinants of Alcohol Reduction and Cessation during Pregnancy," Foundation for Alcohol Research. 2012-2013. Role: Principal Investigator (Gaffney, K., Co-Investigator). $37,000.

"Child Health Outcomes, Vaccination Patterns and Familial Genetic Risk," National Vaccination Information Center. Debold, V. (Principal Investigator), 2011-2013. Role: Co-Investigator. $70,000.

"Comparison of Health and Utilization Outcomes among Fully and Never Vaccinated Children," National Vaccination Information Center. Debold, V. (Principal Investigator), 2010-2013. Role: Biostatistician. $50,000.

"Novel risk factors and management strategies for transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke: The INOVA Fairfax Stroke Database," GMU Office of the Vice President, Research & Economic Development. 2010-2011. Role: Principal Investigator (Benson, R., Co-Investigator). $10,000.

"The 2008 ECLS-B Training Seminar: The role of Maternal pregravid BMI in overweight and obesity among preschoolers," U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. 2007-2008. Role: Principal Investigator. $1,000.

"Availability and access to substance abuse programs in correctional settings," National Institute of Drug Abuse, Development opportunity/contract (Department of Criminal Justice, GMU). Taxman, F. (Principal Investigator), 2007-2008. Role: Biostatistician. $40,000.

"Fetal growth and onset of delivery in infants with birth defects," George Mason University, Summer Research Funding for Tenure-Track Faculty, Office of the Vice President Research and Economic Development. 2007-2008. Role: Principal Investigator. $5,600.

"Assessing the role of intrauterine growth retardation in preterm births among infants with birth defects," East Carolina University, College Research Award. 2005-2006. Role: Principal Investigator. Sabbatical.

Honors & Awards

Teacher of Distinction Award, 2014, George Mason University

Career Connection Faculty Award, 2014, George Mason University

Professional Affiliations

Member

2012-Present, Member of the APHA Maternal & Child Health Section Committee & Abstract Reviewer

American Public Health Association
Member

2012-Present, Member of the Career Mentoring Committee

American College of Epidemiology
Expertise