Eric Whitsel

Eric A. Whitsel, MD, MPH

Department of Epidemiology
Adjunct Professor
Department of Medicine
123 West Franklin Street, Suite 410
Room 4226
CB #8050
Chapel Hill, NC 27516


Eric A. Whitsel, MD MPH is a Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and Mentor in four T32-supported training programs (Cardiovascular; Genetics of Heart, Lung and Blood; Environmental; and Biosocial). He has decades of experience as a WHI, ARIC, HCHS/SOL, and Add Health Coordinating Center Investigator. He is UNC PI of the WHI Southeast Regional Center, PI of several WHI and ARIC multi-omics ancillary studies, Chair of the WHI Built and Natural Environment Scientific Interest Group, and Chair of the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Environmental Working Group. Whitsel also has twenty plus years of combined leadership and service on WHI, ARIC, and Add Health morbidity and mortality classification, outcomes adjudication, and ancillary study committees. His work in environmental epidemiology is notable for co-authorship of the 2009 and 2016 U.S. EPA / NCEA Integrated Science Assessments for Particulate Matter, as well as direction in establishing the accuracy and reliability of the geocodes, measures of heart rate variability, air / noise pollution exposures, other contextual attributes, and genetic / somatic genomic / epigenetic data for the studies mentioned above. In these roles, Whitsel’s research has focused on topics at the intersection of environmental, cardiovascular, and genetic epidemiology.

Eric Whitsel in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Trudy Bush Award for Cardiovascular Disease Research in Women’s Health
2005, American Heart Association

Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program Award
2003 - 2007, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Poster Competition in Population Science Finalist
2002, American Heart Association Scientific Sessions

National Research Service Award
1993-1995 and 2000-2002, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Academic Honors
1992-1993, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

John B. Graham Student Research Society
1991, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Holderness Medical Fellowship / Neurobiology Research Training Fellowship
1990-1991, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Honors Research Program
1985-1986, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Representative Courses

Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology Peer-Led Research Workshop

Research Activities

  • Electrocardiography
  • CVD Surveillance
  • Environmental Epidemiology
  • Genetics & Epigenetics

Key Publications

Accuracy of commercial geocoding: assessment and implications. Whitsel EA, Quibrera PM, Smith RL, Catellier DJ, Liao D, Henley AC, Heiss G (2006). Epidemiologic Perspectives and Innovations, 3(1), 8.

Intramuscular testosterone esters and plasma lipids in hypogonadal men: A meta-analysis. Whitsel EA, Boyko EJ, Matsumoto AM, Anawalt BD, Siscovick DS (2001). American Journal of Medicine, 111(4), 261-269.

2009 Final Report: Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter. (2009). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Estimating error in using ambient PM2.5 concentrations as proxies for personal exposures: a review. Avery CL, Mills KT, Williams R, McGraw KA, Poole C, Smith RL, Whitsel EA (2010). Epidemiology, 21(2), 215-223.

Ambient particulate matter air pollution and venous thromboembolism in the Women's Health Initiative hormone therapy trials. Shih RA, Griffin BA, Salkowski N, Jewell A, Eibner C, Bird CE, Liao D, Cushman M, Margolis HG, Eaton CB, Whitsel EA (2010). Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(3), 326-331.

Discordance in national estimates of hypertension among young adults. Nguyen QC; Tabor JW, Entzel PP, Lau Y, Suchindran CM, Hussey JM, Halpern CT, Harris KM, Whitsel EA (2011). Epidemiolog, 22(4), 532-541.

Estimating personal exposures from ambient air pollution measures: using meta-analysis to assess measurement error. Holliday KM, Avery CL, Poole C, McGraw K, Williams R, Liao D, Smith RL, Whitsel EA (2014). Epidemiology, 25(1), 35-43.


  • Fellowship, Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003
  • Residency/Fellowship, Internal Medicine, University of Washington, 2000
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1995
  • MD, Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993
  • BS, Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1986