Howard J. Cabral, PhD, MPH
Boston University School of Public Health

PhD, Boston University School of Public Health
MPH, Boston University School of Public Health
BA, College of the Holy Cross

Howard Cabral is Professor of Biostatistics at the Boston University School of Public Health, where he has been on the faculty in the Department of Biostatistics since 1998. He is the founding Director of the Biostatistics and Research Design Program of the Boston University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. He has over 30 years of teaching, consulting, collaborating, and statistical research experience in a variety of biomedical fields. These include public health, epidemiology, behavioral sciences, health services, and basic physical sciences research and practice. His students have included undergraduates, Master's and doctoral level students in biostatistics and all other public health disciplines, medical sciences and dentistry, biomedical post-doctoral and clinical fellows including many K grant awardees, and faculty seeking additional training in statistical methods and research design. He is a former director of the Biostatistics Graduate Program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Cabral was the recipient of the Norman A. Scotch Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2017 from the School of Public Health.

Dr. Cabral’s research spans both observational studies and randomized clinical trials, including well known studies in cardiovascular health and studies of the effects of substance use on human health across the life span, with currently 413 peer-reviewed publications. He has extensive experience in the analysis of longitudinal health data, especially those collected in urban areas with ethnic and socioeconomic diversity. His methodological interests are in the analysis of longitudinal data, randomized clinical trials in behavioral and health services research, risk prediction models in acute and chronic disease, the effects of missing data on statistical estimation, and statistical computing.

Dr. Cabral’s collaborative research has examined the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on development from birth through age 22, randomized trials of problem solving education in treating parental depression, a randomized trial testing a peer-based model in retaining those infected with HIV in primary care, models to enhance the care of homeless patients living with HIV, differences in child and maternal health in those who did and did not received intervention through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) linking vital statistics, administrative public health and clinical databases in Massachusetts, randomized trials of computerized conversational agents in genetic counseling and pre-conception risk factor management, the use of advanced care directives in special populations, the relationship of health literacy to health care utilization, and the efficacy of patient navigation that addresses social determinants of health in women of race and ethnic minorities who are receiving care for breast cancer in all of the major hospitals in Boston. In addition, Dr. Cabral is an investigator on multiple new research projects that focus on the health of Black women: a randomized clinical trial of genetic counseling for cancer in the Black Women's Health study; the EDGE study of the early detection of genetic risk for cancer with the University of Washington; a randomized trial of intervention modalities for Black immigrant women living with HIV; a national study of bundled interventions to improve the health and well-being of Black women living with HIV; a multi-phase study of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in Massachusetts, with intervention studies studying safety-related bundles and enhanced care by doulas; a randomized trial of virtual reality as a modality in the intervention for smoking cessation; and a study of community-level trauma after Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. Dr. Cabral is a developer of the BODE Index for risk assessment in patients with COPD, a nationally and internationally employed tool for risk prediction that has been cited in the literature over 2,600 times to-date. He was a member of the Committee on Depression, Parenting Practices, and the Healthy Development of Young Children of the
Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a statistical consultant to the Institute of Community Health in Malden, MA and is a former statistical consultant to the Boston Public Health Commission.

Dr. Cabral has extensive experience as a peer reviewer for journals, NIH, and foundation-based research committees. Dr. Cabral provided his research and statistical methodologic expertise to a review panel of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science that examined the effects of parental depression on parenting practices and child development and published a widely recognized book on its findings. He has been the statistical editor for the Journal of Cardiac Surgery, and is currently serving on the editorial boards of Birth, the Journal for Health Literacy Research and Practice, and the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetic as the statistical editor. He was a member of the grant review committee for the Hood Foundation and served its chair. He has served on grant review committees for the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Reflecting his breadth of experience as a peer reviewer, he was a recipient of multiple awards from Publons as one of the top 1% of peer reviewers in clinical medicine.

In addition to his administrative role in the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Dr. Cabral has served Boston University as a member and current chair of the Financial Conflict of Interest Committee and on the Committee for Academic Program Review, the Responsible Conduct of Research Advisory Committee, the Committee on Academic Program Review, and the Grievance Committee.

The Oncology Equity Accelerator
07/01/2022 - 06/30/2027 (Subcontract PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation Merck Company Fdn

Thalamo-cortical circuitry in PVL
03/01/2023 - 08/31/2025 (Subcontract PI)
The General Hospital Corporation d/b/a Massachusetts General Hospital NIH NEI

Meeting the Challenges of COVID-19 by Expanding the Reach of Palliative Care: Proactive Advance Care Planning with Videos for the Elderly and all Patients with Dementia
05/15/2023 - 04/30/2024 (Subcontract PI)
Tufts Medical Center, Inc. NIH NIA

I kua na'u "Let Me Carry Out Your Last Wishes" Advance Care Planning for Native Hawaiian Elders
03/07/2023 - 02/29/2024 (Subcontract PI)
Tufts Medical Center, Inc. NIH NINR

Community-based design and evaluation of a Conversational Agent to Promote SARS-COV2 Vaccination in Black Churches
04/23/2021 - 01/31/2024 (Subcontract PI)
Northeastern University NIH NIMHD

Testing the Efficacy of an Adapted Family-Centered Autism Transition Intervention in a Safety Net Hospital Setting
11/01/2022 - 09/15/2023 (Subcontract PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation Deborah M Noonan Mem

Substance use prevention for youth with parents in recovery: a pilot randomized controlled trial
09/01/2022 - 07/31/2023 (Subcontract PI)
Brown University NIH NIDA

Conversational Agents to Improve HPV Vaccine Acceptance in Primary Care
09/01/2022 - 06/30/2023 (Subcontract PI)
Tufts Medical Center, Inc. NIH NCI

Comparative Effectiveness of Individual Versus Group-level Interventions to Reduce HIV Risk among African Immigrant Women
06/01/2021 - 05/31/2023 (Subcontract PI)
The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc. Patient-Cnt.Out. Res

Translating Research Into Practice: A Regional Collaborative to Reduce Disparities in Breast Cancer Care
09/01/2017 - 05/31/2023 (Subcontract PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation NIH NCATS

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Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Prasad M, Goodman D, Xu J, Gutta S, Zubieta D, Alluri S, Siegel NH, Peeler CE, Lee HJ, Cabral HJ, Subramanian ML. Long-Term Satisfaction of Oral Sedation versus Standard-of-Care Intravenous Sedation for Ocular Surgery. Clin Ophthalmol. 2024; 18:735-742.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38476357; PMCID: PMC10929550; DOI: 10.2147/OPTH.S444999;
  2. Lee C, Rao S, Cabral HJ, Weber HC. Co-Morbidities of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in a Racially and Ethnically Diverse Population. J Clin Med. 2024 Mar 04; 13(5).View Related Profiles. PMID: 38592303; PMCID: PMC10934174; DOI: 10.3390/jcm13051482;
  3. Cheng K, Lee C, Garniene R, Cabral H, Weber HC. Epidemiology of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in a Large Academic Safety-Net Hospital. J Clin Med. 2024 Feb 26; 13(5).View Related Profiles. PMID: 38592187; PMCID: PMC10932219; DOI: 10.3390/jcm13051314;
  4. Cohen GH, Wang R, Rosenberg SB, Sampson L, Lowe SR, Cabral H, Ruggiero K, Galea S. Neighborhood-level economic characteristics and depression and PTSD symptoms among Houstonians who have experienced Hurricane Harvey and COVID-19. Psychiatry Res. 2024 Mar; 333:115766.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38335779; PMCID: PMC10964477; DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2024.115766;
  5. Connolly JJ, Ahmed HS, Chung EC, Cabral HJ, Nagar A, Tami A, Schroy PC, Mohanty A. Estimate of Increase in Colorectal Cancer Diagnoses with Expansion of Fecal Immunochemical Testing in an Urban Safety-Net Population. Dig Dis Sci. 2024 Feb; 69(2):360-369.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38041763
  6. Bains A, Osathanugrah P, Sanjiv N, Chiu C, Fiorello MG, Siegel NH, Peeler CE, Distefano AG, Lee HJ, Ness S, Desai MA, Titelbaum JR, Pira T, LaMattina KC, Christiansen SP, Cabral HJ, Subramanian ML. Diverse Research Teams and Underrepresented Groups in Clinical Studies. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2023 Nov 01; 141(11):1037-1044.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37856135; PMCID: PMC10587823; DOI: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.4638;
  7. Quintiliani LM, Kamaka M, Henault L, Antonio MCK, Sentell T, Spencer K, Akaka G, Honda LKL, Hanakeawe D, Dillard A, Kekauoha BP, Davis AD, Seitz R, Cabral HJ, Volandes A, Leimomi Mala Mau MK, Paasche-Orlow MK. I kua na'u "Let me carry out your last wishes" Clinical trial protocol to promote advance care planning among native Hawaiian populations. Contemp Clin Trials. 2023 Dec; 135:107365.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37884121; PMCID: PMC10814879; DOI: 10.1016/j.cct.2023.107365;
  8. Declercq ER, Cabral HJ, Liu CL, Amutah-Onukagha N, Meadows A, Cui X, Diop H. Prior Hospitalization, Severe Maternal Morbidity, and Pregnancy-Associated Deaths in Massachusetts From 2002 to 2019. Obstet Gynecol. 2023 Dec 01; 142(6):1423-1430.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37797329; PMCID: PMC10843823; DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005398;
  9. Yuan M, Hu FB, Li Y, Cabral HJ, Das SK, Deeney JT, Zhou X, Paik JM, Moore LL. Types of dairy foods and risk of fragility fracture in the prospective Nurses' Health Study cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2023 Dec; 118(6):1172-1181.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37777015; PMCID: PMC10797505; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.09.015;
  10. Mottl-Santiago J, Dukhovny D, Cabral H, Rodrigues D, Spencer L, Valle EA, Feinberg E. Effectiveness of an Enhanced Community Doula Intervention in a Safety Net Setting: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Health Equity. 2023; 7(1):466-476.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37731785; PMCID: PMC10507922; DOI: 10.1089/heq.2022.0200;
Showing 10 of 415 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 415 publications over 37 distinct years, with a maximum of 30 publications in 2016


2019 Publons Peer Review Award, top 1% of peer reviewers
2018 Publons Peer Review Award, top 1% of peer reviewers
2017 Boston University School of Public Health: Norman A. Scotch Award for Excellence in Teaching
2017 Publons Peer Review Award, Top 1% of peer reviewers
2016 Boston University School of Public Health: Excellence in Teaching Award
2015 Boston University School of Public Health: Excellence in Teaching Award
2011 Boston University School of Public Health: Excellence in Teaching Award
2010 Boston University School of Public Health: Excellence in Teaching Award
1995 Boston University School of Public Health: Excellence in Teaching Award
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