Epidemiology

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Karen L. Edwards, Ph.D., Department Chair
Christine E. McLaren, Ph.D., Vice Chair
Irvine Hall, Room 222
949-824-0306
http://www.epi.uci.edu/
EpiGrad@uci.edu;

Overview

Epidemiology is the study of the frequency, distribution, and determinants of disease in human populations.  The faculty in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine has expertise in epidemiologic design and methods, biostatistics, and bioinformatics. Research in the Department largely focuses on the interplay of genetic, other molecular, environmental, and nutritional factors on human health and disease, with an emphasis on diseases such as aging, cardiovascular disease, cancers, dementia, diabetes, liver and blood diseases, and obesity. Our active research programs provide our students with many outstanding opportunities to participate actively in cutting-edge research. See the Department website (given above) for specifics on the latest projects.

The Department offers programs of study leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. in epidemiology. The Department does not offer an undergraduate degree, but undergraduates who would like some experience in epidemiology may arrange to take directed-studies courses with epidemiology faculty (EPIDEM 199). These courses are available to all upper-division undergraduates irrespective of their major. 

Master of Science in Epidemiology

The M.S. in Epidemiology is thesis-based, rather than exam-based, and students are expected to finish in two years. The first year is largely devoted to required course work and, with guidance from faculty, developing an area of interest within which the M.S. thesis research will be conducted. The second year is chiefly devoted to completing the Master’s thesis. The final step is an oral presentation, open to the public, of the thesis research. The M.S. in Epidemiology is an academic degree, and graduates typically go on to further education or careers in research.

Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology

The Ph.D. program is intended to train well-qualified students to be independent contributors to epidemiology or related fields. Students are expected to finish in four to six years, and maximum time permitted is seven years. The first year is largely devoted to required course work and developing research interests, with the guidance of the faculty. There is a comprehensive exam at the end of the first year, to ensure the first-year content has been mastered. In the second and third years, students are expected to participate in faculty research, including manuscript preparation and presentation of results in public forums. The Ph.D. student is strongly encouraged to apply for fellowships and grants, as well as assist with teaching. Toward the end of the third year, the student is expected to defend a thesis proposal to the faculty.  The remaining time with the program is largely devoted to completing the thesis. The formal defense of the thesis is a public event. Graduates typically go on to post-doctoral positions, faculty positions, or positions in government or industry.

Applications to graduate study in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine are through the web site of the University of California, Irvine Graduate Division website. For further questions contact EpiGrad@uci.edu.

Courses

EPIDEM 199. Undergraduate Research in Epidemiology. 2-4 Units.

Provides disciplinary research participation. Original or existing research options provide undergraduates the opportunity for faculty/mentor interactions including access to appropriate facilities. Medical Epidemiology research areas: Cancer, Genetic/Molecular, Environmental, Occupational, Biostatistics, and Infectious Disease.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Upper-division students only.

EPIDEM 200. Principles of Epidemiology. 4 Units.

Fundamental principles of epidemiology, biostatistics, and epidemiological research. Topics include research methods of measuring health problems in populations, disease control and prevention in populations, how epidemiology contributes to knowledge of disease etiology, and biostatistical analysis and interpretation of epidemiologic data.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 201. Cancer Epidemiology. 4 Units.

Concentrates on understanding how epidemiology plays a role in the search for cancer etiology, prevention, control, and treatment; gives an overview of cancer research with an appreciation of the multidisciplinary nature of the field.

Prerequisite: EPIDEM 203 or PUBHLTH 203 or PUBHLTH 206

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 202. Genetic Epidemiology. 4 Units.

Concentrates on the role of genetic factors in the etiology of disease in human populations with an objective of disease control and prevention and the role of interactions of genetic factors and environmental exposures in the occurrence of disease.

Prerequisite: PUBHLTH 203 or EPIDEM 203 or PUBHLTH 206

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 204. Biostatistics I. 4 Units.

Designed to help students develop an appreciation for statistician's view of the research process, emphasizing biomedical research. Instills an understanding of how statistical models are used to yield insights about data that form evidence-based understanding of the world around us.

Same as PUBHLTH 204.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 205. Environmental Epidemiology. 4 Units.

Concentrates on epidemiological approaches to the assessment of community environmental hazards; issues involved in environmental exposure estimation; interdisciplinary approaches to environmental epidemiology, including the use of biomarkers of exposures and susceptibility; epidemiological studies within the context of risk assessment.

Prerequisite: EPIDEM 200 and EPIDEM 204

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 215. Introduction to Statistical Genetics. 4 Units.

Provides students with knowledge of the basic principles, concepts, and methods used in statistical genetic research. Topics include principles of population genetics, and statistical methods for family- and population-based studies.

Prerequisite: Two quarters of upper-division or graduate training in statistical methods.

Same as STATS 257.

EPIDEM 217. Advanced Epidemiologic Methods. 4 Units.

Advanced topics in the design and statistical analysis of epidemiologic studies. Topics include simulation methods, counter-matching and multiphase study designs, missing data, and Bayesian analysis. Published simulation studies are discussed and replicated using the R software package.

Prerequisite: PUBHLTH 101B or STATS 111 or STATS 211

Same as PUBHLTH 205.

Concurrent with PUBHLTH 119.

EPIDEM 232. Chronic Disease Epidemiology & Prevention. 4 Units.

Epidemiological aspects of chronic human diseases. Topics include methodologies for quantifying aspects of prevalent chronic diseases including risk factors, identification of susceptible groups, societal burdens, promising future research; and the intervention, prevention, and control of diseases in populations.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 242. Biostatistics II. 4 Units.

Intended for graduate students in epidemiology, public health, and clinical research fields. Covers common regression-modeling techniques frequently used in biologic and medical applications.

Prerequisite: EPIDEM 204. EPIDEM 204 with a grade of B or better

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 2 times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 244. Toxic Chemicals in Environment. 4 Units.

Industrial ecology of toxicants and their impacts on environmental quality and human health. Explores theoretical basis of toxicity thresholds and regulatory issues. Uses classic and contemporary research articles to understand the legacy of traditional toxicants, and to identify emerging threats.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 245. Biostatistics III Survival Analysis. 2 Units.

Intended for graduate students in epidemiology, public health, and related fields. Covers common techniques for analyzing survival or other time-to-event data.

Prerequisite: EPIDEM 242. EPIDEM 242 with a grade of B or better

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 2 times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 264. Introduction to Environmental Health Science. 4 Units.

Convergence of agents (chemical, physical, biological, or psychosocial) in environment can emerge as diseases influenced by social, political, and economic factors, allowing them to become rooted in society. How these agents from various spheres come together and impact human health.

Same as EHS 264, PUBHLTH 264.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 265. Advanced Environmental Health Science. 4 Units.

Explores the complex relationships among exposure processes and adverse health effects of environmental toxins focusing on specific chemicals, sources, transport media, exposure pathways, and human behaviors. Techniques of environmental sampling for exposure assessment are discussed.

Same as PUBHLTH 265.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 269. Air Pollution, Climate, and Health. 4 Units.

Emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere, physical and meteorological processes that affect transport, and influence on global warming. Concepts of how and where people are most exposed, and how exposures and health effects differ in developed and developing regions.

Same as EHS 269, PUBHLTH 269.

EPIDEM 270. Human Exposure to Environmental Contaminants. 4 Units.

Introduces founders of conceptual thought that environmental contaminants can impact health. Theory and principles of exposure assessment, the continuum from emissions of a contaminant into the environment to evidence of health effects in a population.

Same as EHS 270, PUBHLTH 270.

EPIDEM 275. Special Topics in Epidemiology. 1-4 Units.

Presents various topics and latest research in the broad field of epidemiology.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 280. Epidemiology Research Journal Club. 1 Unit.

Research journal club is a group discussion of recent publications in epidemiology and related fields. Students rotate as lead discussants, guided by faculty. All attendees are expected to be familiar with the papers at the start of class.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 282. Epidemiology Department Seminar. 1 Unit.

A forum for the presentation of recent research to epidemiology students, faculty, and other interested parties. The atmosphere is informal, yet rigorous. Speakers range from graduate students through distinguished visitors from other institutions.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 290. Introduction to Biostatistics and Epidemiology for Medical Fellows. 4 Units.

Prepares medical fellows and other physicians for rotations in research programs. Understanding of basic biostatistics and study design, and interdependencies between the two. Application of principles in evaluation of medical literature for guidance on patient care and public health policy.

Prerequisite: Medical degree.

EPIDEM 296. M.S. Thesis Research and Writing. 1-12 Units.

Individual research and study necessary for a graduate student to prepare and complete the thesis required for the Master of Science (M.S.) degree.

Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 297. PhD Degree Dissertation Research & Writing. 1-12 Units.

Individual research and study necessary for a graduate student to prepare and complete the dissertation required for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.

Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 298. Directed Study in Epidemiology. 2-4 Units.

Directed study with Epidemiology faculty.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 299. Independent Study in Epidemiology. 2-8 Units.

Independent research with Epidemiology faculty.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

EPIDEM 399. University Supervised Teaching. 2-4 Units.

Limited to students with active Teaching Assistant (T.A.) appointments.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

Faculty

Dwight Culver, M.D. Stanford University, Health Sciences Clinical Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology
Hoda Anton Culver, Ph.D. University of St. Andrews, Professor of Medicine; Epidemiology
Ralph J. Delfino, M.D., Ph.D. McGill University, Professor in Residence of Epidemiology
Karen L. Edwards, Ph.D. University of Washington, Chair and Professor of Epidemiology; Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute; Program in Public Health
Rufus D. Edwards, Ph.D. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Professor of Program in Public Health; Environmental Health Sciences; Epidemiology
Deborah Goodman, Ph.D., M.D., M.P.H. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
Luohua Jiang, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Feng Liu Smith, Ph.D. Iowa State University, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Christine E. McLaren, Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, Professor of Epidemiology
Trina Norden-Krichmar, Ph.D. The Scripps Research Institute, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Andrew O. Odegaard, Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Hannah L. Park, Ph.D. Stanford University, Assistant Professor in Residence of Epidemiology
Argyrios Ziogas, Ph.D. University of Southern California, Associate Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology

Affiliate Faculty

Maria A. Corrada-Bravo, SCE Johns Hopkins University, Associate Adjunct Professor of Neurology; Epidemiology
Nathan D. Wong, Ph.D. Yale University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine; Epidemiology
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