Department Chair Message

Alanna C. Morrison, PhD, FAHA

Welcome to the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences (EHGES). I encourage you to explore our website and learn more about this multi-faceted and dynamic department. The faculty, students, staff, and alumni of EHGES 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, and our faculty are leaders in the fields of epidemiology, human genetics, and environmental sciences. Epidemiology remains at the epicenter of modern biomedical research and the delivery of comprehensive health care. Sequencing of the human genome has been heralded as the greatest accomplishment in modern biology. The future of genomic research includes elucidation of the interactions between genes and environment, and translation of these findings into precision medicine to help guide decisions regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Understanding how environmental and occupational exposures affect health is paramount to ensuring healthy workplaces and communities. The Department of EHGES is leading the charge in research and teaching in these rapidly growing areas.

Our goal is to train the next generation of leaders to address public health challenges. The Department of EHGES offers a full array of degree programs in Epidemiology and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences including Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science (MS, in Epidemiology), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), as well as dual degrees. Students in our department choose from a wide variety of course offerings and benefit from an engaging curriculum, mentorship, practicum opportunities, and state-of-the-art research opportunities. Teaching and training is not limited to the classroom. Our Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) supports a wide array of degree programs including industrial hygiene, occupational epidemiology, and occupational medicine residency training, a vibrant Continuing Education (CE) and Outreach Program in occupational and environmental health, and a pilot projects research training program (PPRTP) in occupational safety and health.

Although teaching and academic programs are the engine that drives our department, research is the fuel that keeps the intellectual engines running. The Department of EHGES 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. The Center for Infectious Disease (CID) has a commitment to conquering the emerging infectious diseases that result from close contact between humans and other species, or the result of poor sanitation and inappropriate food handling. The Human Genetics Center (HGC) is utilizing the latest genomic technology to understand the genetic etiology of many of the common chronic diseases that plague human populations. The SWCOEH is addressing the threats to health and well-being posed by occupational and environmental factors through multidisciplinary and innovative approaches to research. The Department of EHGES has faculty at each of the regional campuses, which not only allows us to reach students across the state, but it also creates unique collaborations and research opportunities. EHGES faculty in our five regional campuses partner with local, state, national, and international organizations to develop programs that aim for improved health for all individuals.

We encourage you to explore how our graduate program can help launch you on the path of a successful public health career. For more information, please feel free to contact JR Bright, academic and admission advisor for epidemiology, at or Leticia Valles, admissions and alumni affairs coordinator for environmental and occupational health sciences, at Please select academic programs if you would like to apply to one of our programs.


Alanna C. Morrison, PhD, FAHA
Department Chair
Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences (EHGES)