Department of Epidemiology

About the Department of Epidemiology

Epidemiology has been a central part of medicine and public health at UAB from the early 1970's. Since the founding of the SOPH, Epidemiology has been the largest department in terms of the number of faculty, number of students, and extramural research support. In 1998, the Departments of Epidemiology and International Health were combined. The Epidemiology Ph.D. Program Faculty include faculty who are in the International Health Unit. Our twenty-six full-time Epidemiology Program faculty have active research grants totalling over $15M for research in Alabama, the United States, and around the world. Areas of research include, osteoporosis, diabetes, environmental health, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, systemic lupus, psoriasis, Alzheimer's disease, human papillomavirus and immunosuppression, sexually transmitted disease prevention, cancer, and the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals. 

Our faculty collaborates with key researchers and clinical units throughout the world. The epidemiology faculty provide expert assistance and research consultation to the World AIDS Foundation; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the National Center for Health Statistics; the National Institutes of Health; the Alabama Departments of Public Health, Mental Health, and Education; multiple units within UAB including the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Veterans Administration Hospital, the University Hospital, the Center for AIDS Research, the Center for Health Promotion, the Injury Control Research Center, the Center for Injury Sciences, the Sparkman Center for International Public Health Education, Food and Drug Administration, Hudson-Alpha, Gorgas Institute, and others. In addition, several faculty members participate on industry advisory panels for occupational safety in private industry. The epidemiology faculty provide editorial advice to over 40 journals and peer review, expert assistance and research consultation to the World AIDS Foundation; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the National Center for Health Statistics; the National Institutes of Health; the Alabama Departments of Public Health, Mental Health, and Education; multiple units within UAB including the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Veterans Administration Hospital, the University Hospital, the Center for AIDS Research, the Center for Health Promotion, the Injury Control Research Center, the Sparkman Center for International Public Health Education, Gorgas Institute, and others. In addition, several faculty members participate on industry advisory panels for occupational safety in private industry.

We have a vibrant and successful teaching program. Three of the first four SOPH Excellence-in-Teaching awards in the School of Public Health were awarded to faculty in the Department of Epidemiology. There are typically sixty to seventy masters and ten doctoral students enrolled at any time. Doctoral students may work with investigators in all the Schools and Centers throughout UAB. Students publish with faculty in such diverse disciplines as Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medicine, Pediatric Dentistry, Nursing, Optometry, Nutrition, Microbiology, and Virology.

Graduates of our program have found employment in academia, research organizations and foundations, industry, public and private health services delivery organizations, and international agencies. Over a dozen of our doctoral graduates have faculty positions. Some are at such distinguished institutions such as University of Pittsburgh, Bowman Grey School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, University of Tennessee, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Vanderbilt University. Abroad, alumni are employed at universities in Thailand, Norway, Italy, and China.

The physical resources of the Program consists of space in the Ryals School of Public Health Building and the Bevill Biomedical Research Building. The Department on average graduates two to three Ph.D.'s per year. Doctoral students are provided with shared office space, telephone, access to computer hardware and software according to their particular needs.

Goals

A major goal of the Epidemiology Program is to provide all students in the School of Public Health with an educational experience in epidemiology that is suited to their career objectives. A second major goal is to carry out research that contributes to the understanding of the causes of major diseases and the methods for their control. A third goal is to provide service to the state and region in joint efforts to study, prevent, and control disease and injury.