Often described as the basic science of public health, epidemiology is a scientific discipline employing strict scientific methods for the study of the distribution and determinants of health in populations. It provides the structure for discovery and has applications in the clinical setting, community and populations. Epidemiologists use data and statistics in their research, which may include surveillance, outbreak investigations, environmental, social, behavioral and policy applications.

Biostatisticians play a dual role in research. In addition to collaborating with clinicians and scientists on technical aspects of their research, they often adapt and develop statistical methodology as necessitated by novel data modeling and analyze problems that arise in the research collaborations. Ideally, research projects start with biostatisticians being included from the initial discussions on research and study design to ensure that the data collection, management and analysis form a seamless pipeline through to the end of the project.

Our faculty have a wide breadth of research interests and strengths that attract students both nationally and globally.

Our Research Strengths


  • Aging
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Clinical trials
  • Diabetes
  • Environmental exposures
  • Exercise
  • Gene-environment interactions
  • Spatial epidemiology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Injury
  • Maternal and child health
  • Mind-body therapy
  • Social epidemiology
  • Substance use disorder


  • Bayesian modeling and data analysis
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomarker discovery
  • Environmental exposure/occupational health modeling
  • Frailty models for disease recurrence and survival
  • Meta-analysis
  • Measurement error
  • Missing data
  • Psychometrics
  • Spatial data modeling
  • Statistical design for clinical trials
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Systematic reviews

Our Labs

Spatial Epidemiology and Statistics Lab

Spatial epidemiology is a rapidly advancing field, increasing our capacity to illuminate environmental, social and structural factors to improve population health.

Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Research Lab

Working to understand and improve cardiovascular, pregnancy and population health.