Stephen R. Cole, PhD

Professor Department of Epidemiology

T:(919) 966-7415

2105E McGavran-Greenberg Hall

CB #7435

Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Stephen R. Cole works to build accurate and impactful knowledge, particularly population-health (epidemiologic) knowledge.

Professor Cole is interested in study designs and analyses that accurately estimate parameters of central interest to population-health scientists, such as risk. These study designs include randomized experiments, pseudoexperiments (i.e., observational studies) and thought-experiments (e.g., simulation studies). Substantively, Dr. Cole is interested in infectious diseases, primarily HIV, and cancer.

Professor Cole has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers, and has 51 papers with 51+ citations (Hirsh-index). He is chair of the CNICS Epidemiology and Biostatistics core (, associate director of the UNC CFAR Biostatistics core, editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology, and a member of the NIH ACE study section.

Representative Courses

Advanced Epidemiologic Methods (EPID 722) | Syllabus

Key Publications

Risk. Stephen R. Cole, Michael G. Hudgens, M. Alan Brookhart and Daniel Westreich  (2015). American Journal of Epidemiology, 181(4), 246-250.

Maximum Likelihood, Profile Likelihood, and Penalized Likelihood: A Primer. Stephen R. Cole, Haitao Chu and Sander Greenland (2014). American Journal of Epidemiology, 179(2), 252-260.

Analysis of Occupational Asbestos Exposure and Lung Cancer Mortality Using the G Formula. Stephen R. Cole, David B. Richardson, Haitao Chu, and Ashley I. Naimi  (2013). American Journal of Epidemiology, 177(9), 989-996.

Bayesian Posterior Distributions Without Markov Chains. Stephen R. Cole, Haitao Chu, Sander Greenland, Ghassan Hamra, and David B. Richardson  (2012). American Journal of Epidemiology, 175(5), 368-375.

Marginal Structural Models for Case-Cohort Study Designs to Estimate the Association of Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation With Incident AIDS or Death. Stephen R. Cole, Michael G. Hudgens, Phyllis C. Tien, Kathryn Anastos, Lawrence Kingsley, Joan S. Chmiel, and Lisa P. Jacobson  (2012). American Journal of Epidemiology, 175(5), 381-390.


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Preventative Medicine, Harvard University, 2000

PhD, Epidemiology, University of South Florida, 1998