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Epidemiology

Understanding and reducing the burden of disease in human populations through research, education and service.

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From genetic predisposition to social determinants of health

The Department of Epidemiology encompasses every facet of life that can affect a population’s health.

The fields covered by our department offer a different angle from which to assess and tackle pressing health issues affecting communities and populations. Our epidemiology students learn to bring the full context into view in order to understand the patterns and relationships in chronic and infectious diseases and other health outcomes such as injuries, aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and mental health in populations.  Epidemiology students can immerse themselves in a variety of topics, including nutrition, physical activity, tobacco control, and genomic research, to help guide decisions regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.

Welcome to the Department of Epidemiology. The faculty, students, staff, and alumni of Epidemiology have a shared mission to reduce the burden of disease in human populations. Our department accomplishes this goal through excellence in research, education, and service.

Although teaching and academic programs are the engines that drive our department, research is the fuel that keeps the intellectual engines running. Epidemiology is committed to excellence in research and affecting positive changes in the quality of health around the world. Some of our research enterprise is conducted in specialized research centers housed within the department. The Center for Infectious Disease (CID) is committed to conquering the emerging infectious diseases that result from close contact between humans and other species or poor sanitation and inappropriate food handling. The Human Genetics Center (HGC) utilizes the latest genomic and multi-omic technology to understand the pathobiology of many common chronic diseases that plague human populations. The Center for Health Equity (CHE) is building sustainable solutions that promote health across diverse communities. Many of our faculty are affiliated with or collaborate with research centers in other departments. Our faculty contribute tremendously to epidemiologic research through these centers.

As you consider your options, I encourage you to explore our website and learn more about how our graduate programs can help launch you on the path to a successful public health career. For more information, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Professor Alanna Morrison, PhD

Department Chair

Epidemiology

The foundation of public health.

Epidemiologists play a vital role in maintaining health and in disease prevention and control by studying the determinants and patterns of disease in populations. Through rigorous coursework, the Department of Epidemiology prepares our students to confront some of the most consequential health conditions affecting our local and global communities. Many faculty and graduates of our epidemiology programs are leading experts in chronic and infectious diseases, helping to extend life expectancy, advance health equity, improve quality of care, and pave the way for innovations in addressing future health events. 

Epidemiology Research

We offer a supportive and thriving research culture, including many grant-funded projects and high-profile partnerships with other health and community organizations. Our department includes research centers within the department and collaborates with the Center for Infectious Diseases, the Human Genetics Center, and the Center for Health Equity on a wide range of topics. 

Our research interests and efforts include a focus on the following areas, as well as many others:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes, and other Chronic Diseases
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Global Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Services and Outcomes Research
  • Human Genetics
  • Infectious Diseases & Immunology
  • Injury and Occupational Health
  • Mental Health
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition & Obesity
  • Pediatric, Perinatal & Reproductive Health
  • Tobacco Control and Substance Use

Degree programs

The Department of Epidemiology offers the following degrees:

Master of Public Health (MPH)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Certificates offered

The Department of Epidemiology offers the following graduate certificates:

Genomics and Bioinformatics Certificate: This certificate is intended for professionals in academic, clinical, and research settings who are now or soon to be faced with genomic and related data. The goal is to enable a generation of investigators and academicians capable of integrating state-of-the-art genomic and related high-dimensional data seamlessly into population and personalized health research.

Coordinator: JR F. Bright, Academic & Admissions advisor II

Contact: [email protected]

 

Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate: This certificate is intended for students to gain skills and expertise in infectious disease epidemiology, covering fundamental concepts of infectious disease epidemiology, outbreak investigation, microbiology and immunology, and tropical infectious diseases. The goal is to prepare students for public health positions that require knowledge and expertise in infectious disease epidemiology.

Coordinators: Blake Hanson, PhD, and Eric Brown, PhD

Contact: [email protected], [email protected]

Contact us

Epidemiology Admissions
JRBright.JPG

JR F. Bright

Epidemiology Academic and Admissions Advisor II
713-500-9361
[email protected]

EBrown Outside (3).png

Eric L. Brown, PhD

Epidemiology Faculty Admissions Representative
713-500-9355
[email protected]


Stay in Touch

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Epi in the News

Past Newsletters

  • The Buzz on Genome Editing: School of Public Health launches novel mosquito lab

    Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes such as malaria, Zika, and dengue pose significant global public health concerns. Researchers at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health are responding by launching a novel mosquito vivarium to develop genetic strategies for controlling these diseases.  

    Read MoreThe Buzz on Genome Editing: School of Public Health launches novel mosquito lab

    Victor Lopez del Amo, PhD works on lab equipment
  • FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

    “For Women in Science 2021” contest, an important contest that seeks to recognize the work of female researchers.

    The [Peruvian] National Program for Scientific Research and Advanced Studies (ProCiencia), executing unit of the National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (Concytec), together with Lóreal and UNESCO, announced the winning scientists on January 24, 2022.

    READ MOREOchoa selected as "For Women in Science 2021", Peruvian National Award

    Theresa Ochoa
  • NEW RESEARCH 

    Despite genetic makeup, following heart health guidelines can decrease risk of heart disease

    Natalie Hasbani, MPH, research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Dallas campus has found that following "Life’s Simple 7 guidelines" developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) can significantly lower the risk of coronary heart disease despite a genetic predisposition.

    READ MORESPH - EHGES - Heart Healthy Month

    Fruit in the shape of a heart
  • New research suggests the risk of Mendelian diseases in consanguinity populations

    A new study co-led by Assistant Professor Zeynep Coban-Akdemir, PhD, at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health and researchers from Baylor College of Medicine uncovered a link between occurrences of complex genetic disorders and inherited disease traits in a Turkish population with increased levels of consanguinity, a term referencing the theory of clan genomics, or, coming from the same ancestors.  

    Read MoreNew research suggests the risk of Mendelian diseases in consanguinity populations

    Assistant Professor Zeynep Coban-Akdemir, PhD on a blue background
  • School of Public Health Ranked Top 25 Best Public Health School by U.S. News

    UTHealth Houston School of Public Health has achieved top 25 ranking among 209 graduate schools of public health, according to the U.S. News & World Report

    Among publicly-funded institutions offering graduate-level degrees in public health, UTHealth Houston School of Public Health ranks No. 9 nationally, and holds its position as No. 1 in Texas.

    Read moreSchool of Public Health Ranked Top 25 Best Public Health School by U.S. News

    Photo of RAS building with trees in foreground.
  • FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

    Bing Yu, PhD, FAHA appointed as the new holder of the JLH Foundation Chair in Transplant Prevention.

    Congratulations to EHGES and Human Genetics Center associate professor Bing Yu, PhD, FAHA on her appointment as the new holder of The JLH Foundation Chair in Transplant Prevention, at the School of Public Health.

    READ MORESPH - Dept - EHGES - Faculty Spotlight - Dr. Bing Yu

    Dr. Bing Yu headshot image
  • Heart healthy indicators and behaviors in adolescents linked to better cognitive function, according to UTHealth Houston research

    Cardiovascular health behaviors and overall cardiovascular health were directly associated with adolescent brain development and cognitive function, according to UTHealth Houston research published recently in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity.

    Read moreHeart healthy indicators and behaviors in adolescents linked to better cognitive function, according to UTHealth Houston research

    Augusto Cesar De Moraes in front of gray arena.
  • Researchers Awarded $1.2 Million from AHA for Food is Medicine Research

    The American Heart Association (AHA) awarded a cumulative $1.2 million to UTHealth Houston School of Public Health researchers to test the effectiveness of Food is Medicine interventions to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. 

    These awards are part of the AHA's $7.8 million national initiative to expand Food is Medicine projects under its Health Care by Food program. Public health researchers have embarked on groundbreaking efforts to enhance health outcomes by way of nutrition.  

    Read MoreResearchers Awarded $1.2 Million from AHA for Food is Medicine Research

    Shreela Sharma, PhD, RDN, LD; Nalini Ranjit, PhD; and Alexandra van den Berg, PhD, MPH
  • CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

    Support grows for the new UTHealth COVID-19 Center of Excellence   

    Bringing together expertise and access to the best clinical care, research trials, discovery science, and public health knowledge, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has established the UTHealth COVID-19 Center of Excellence.

    READ MORESPH - Center of Excellence

    UTHealth researchers and physicians, from left, Luis Ostrosky, MD; Bela Patel, MD; and Henry Wang, MD, MPH, are leading clinical trials on COVID-19.
  • Sarnowski and BU School of Public Health Identify Novel Genetic Variants Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

    Assistant Professor Chloé Sarnowski, PhD, was the co-lead and corresponding author on a new study identifying the novel genetic variants associated with Alzheimer's disease in regions previously described as linked with the disease. Data collected from the study, done in collaboration with Boston University School of Public Health, can inform researchers of specific genetic variants that put people at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and tailor future treatment plans. 

    Read moreSarnowski and BU School of Public Health Identify Novel Genetic Variants Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

    Assistant Professor Chloé Sarnowski, PhD stands in front of a green tree
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