Koichiro Shiba

Koichiro Shiba

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Boston University School of Public Health



  • Social Epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Causal Inference
  • Machine Learning
  • Effect Heterogeneity
  • Health Disparity
  • Traumatic Events/Disasters
  • Positive Psychological Factors
  • Well-being
  • Human Flourishing
  • Social Relationships
  • Social Engagement
  • Neighborhood/Built-Environment


  • PhD in Population Health Sciences, 2020

    Harvard University

  • Master of Public Health, 2016

    The University of Tokyo

  • BSc in Health Sciences, 2014

    The University of Tokyo

About me

My research focuses on the application of epidemiologic and social science thinking and methods for rigorous causal inference in studying social determinants of health.

Specifically, I have worked on three themes of research. First, I study the effects of traumatic events (e.g., disasters, child adversity, pandemic, and global financial crisis) on population health. Second, I study the roles of social relationships and social engagement in promoting health of older adults and building resiliency. I have also investigated how the internet-based social interactions can influence population health. Third, my research extends the traditional “risk factor” epidemiology examining a narrow set of health outcomes. I study the impacts of positive psychological factors (e.g., purpose in life, Ikigai) on health and determinants of multidimensional well-being (i.e., human flourishing).

Methodologic tools for causal inference I often use include: methods for the analysis of a time-varying treatment (e.g., marginal structural model, doubly-robust targeted maximum likelihood estimation combined with Super Learner ensemble of algorithms including ML-based ones), causal mediation analysis, assessment of effect heterogeneity using either a traditional interaction analysis or a novel ML-based technique, and longitudinal outcome-wide analytic framework.

For the full list of publications, please visit my google scholar page.

Selected Publications

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(2022). Associations of Online Religious Participation During the COVID-19 Lockdown with Subsequent Health and Well-being: A Longitudinal Study of the U.K. Population. . Psychologoical Medicine.


(2022). Global Trends of Mean and Inequality in Multidimensional Well-being From 2009 to 2019: Analysis of 1.2 Million Individuals From 162 Countries. Frontiers in Public Health.


(2022). Ikigai and subsequent health and wellbeing among Japanese older adults: Longitudinal outcome-wide analysis. The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific.


(2021). Heterogeneity in cognitive disability after a major disaster: A natural experiment study. Science Advances.


(2021). Estimating the impact of sustained social participation on depressive symptoms in older adults. Epidemiology.



Measurement Error and Misclassification for Epidemiologists (Role: Teaching Fellow)

Overview of the implications of and methods to deal with measurement error and misclassification in epidemiologic studies. Theories and assumptions for valid use of the correction methods were discussed.

Epidemiologic Methods III: Models for Causal Inference (Role: Teaching Fellow)

Intermediate course on epidemiologic methods for causal inference from observational data. The methods covered include stratification, regression model, propensity score, g-formula, inverse probability weighting and marginal structural model, g-estimation and structural nested mean model, and instrumental variable estimation.

Principles of Social and Behavioral Research (Role: Teaching Fellow)

Introductory course on methods for social research in public health. Topics covered include measurement, study design, survey research methods, questionnaire development, sampling, and data collection.

Advanced Epidemiologic Methods (Role: Teaching Fellow)

Advanced course on epidemiologic methods for causal inference to estimate causal effect of time-varying treatment. Topics covered include Directed Acyclic Graphs and Single World Intervention Graphs, g-formula, inverse probability weighting, dynamic regimes, structural nested models, instrumental variable estimation, and doubly robust methods.

Explaining Health Behavior: Insights from Behavioral Economics (Role: Teaching Fellow)

Review of the application of theories and constructs from behavioral sciences (particularly behavioral economics and social psychology) to the field of health behavior.

Society and Health (Role: Head Teaching Fellow)

Introductory course on social epidemiology. Reviewed key evidence of social determinants of health and their implication for population health and health disparities.