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Epidemiology

Message from the Chair
Our goal is to train the next generation of leaders to address health challenges here and across the world. We offer an array of programs designed to meet student needs at different points in their career, from master’s to doctoral degree programs.
Professor Sturmer.
Til Stürmer, MD, PhD
Chair and Nancy A. Dreyer Distinguished Professor

About Us

Our Department of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health is one of the world’s leading academic departments for epidemiological study.

Renowned faculty members provide students with training in effective research practices and methods. We conduct innovative research and provide classroom and real world educational interdisciplinary opportunities that emphasize the integration of substantive area knowledge and cutting-edge epidemiologic methods. We also work with our students to apply their epidemiology research to a variety of health problems in North Carolina and around the world. Our research resources include diverse studies of disease endpoints (cancer, cardiovascular, infectious disease, injury, and Reproductive/perinatal/pediatric epidemiology) and factors and methods that impact patterns of disease and population health (environmental, occupational, pharmacoepidemiology, genetic, social and methods). Read more about our research strengths.

UNC Epidemiology: Our First 40 Years, 1936-1976

We are excited to present an account of the history of the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. The story begins in 1936 with the arrival of Dr. Milton J. Rosenau and covers the 40 years until 1976. As one of the leading epidemiology departments in the world, the Department of Epidemiology at the Gillings School has produced a body of influential research and trained thousands of students and public health professionals from all over the world. Through research, teaching, collaboration and service, the department and its graduates have contributed to and shaped academic and public health programs at UNC-Chapel Hill, in North Carolina, throughout the U.S. and globally. We invite students, faculty members, alumni and visitors to get to know the department’s history and let it inform and inspire you. Read more about, UNC Epidemiology history.

Newsletter

The latest issue of the Department of Epidemiology Newsletter, Episode, is available online.

What Our Students Say
Sydney Jones, PhD Student

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones, Doctoral Student

“Epidemiology at Gillings has been the right choice for me. When you enter this department, you join a community of scholarship forged from collaboration between students, faculty and disciplines. Our training starts in the classroom and extends to support public health in North Carolina, the U.S. and abroad.”

Read more student stories…

News Spotlight

Antibiotic-resistant form of syphilis bacterium identified in patients in Cuba. Lola Stamm, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has a long history working with the T. pallidum bacterium. As early as 2000, she conducted research that identified how the germ had made one tiny change to its DNA and thereby rendered itself resistant to erythromycin, a commonly used macrolide antibiotic. Read more…

Pettifor presents at UN’s ‘High-Level Meeting to End AIDS’. Audrey Pettifor, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Gillings School and Fellow at UNC’s Carolina Population Center, presented An Overview of Evidence-Informed Approaches for Addressing Poverty, Inequalities and HIV, during a June 7 side event focused upon Action on Extreme Poverty and Inequality to End AIDS: Addressing HIV, Poverty and Inequality in Urban Settings. Read more…

AJPH editorial proposes a ‘causal impact’ framework to improve public health decision making. Gillings School co-authors are Daniel Westreich, PhD, Associate Professor, Jessie K. Edwards, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, and Stephen R. Cole, PhD, Professor, all in Epidemiology, and Michael G. Hudgens, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics. Read more…

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UNC epidemiology faculty member to lead groundbreaking research in global health and development funded by a Grand Challenges Explorations grant to Hospital de Câncer de Barretos in Brazil. Jennifer S. Smith, PhD, MPH, Director of the Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition at UNC Gillings, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project to determine the effectiveness of a urine-based, cervical cancer screening tool. Read more…

Gammon and colleagues respond to international study on exercise and cancer risk reduction. An invited commentary, co-written by two UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health researchers and a Gillings School alumna now at Emory University, concurs with the “exciting findings” of a major international study. Those findings “underscore the importance of leisure-time physical activity as a potential risk-reduction strategy to decrease the cancer burden in the United States and abroad”. Read more…

Stamm discusses Zika virus in JAMA ‘Viewpoint’. Much media attention has been given to the spread of Zika virus in South America, but the mosquito-borne virus also poses a seasonal threat to more than 192 million people living in the southern United States. Becoming educated about the virus and its potential impact is an important step toward defending against it. Read more…

Promise of nearly a year of life on targeted drug not reality for all liver cancer patients, study finds. For advanced liver cancer, there’s a single approved drug shown to offer patients a chance at longer life. But a new study co-authored by two researchers in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health found that this drug was notably less effective in a group of Medicare patients, who likely had more extensive cancer and serious liver disease, than it was for patients included in clinical trials. Read more…

Study finds no evidence that phthalates are responsible for increased childhood obesity. Jessie Buckley, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in the UNC Department of Epidemiology, was featured in the “Science Selection” section of Environmental Health Perspectives for her recent research on phthalates and obesity in children. Read more…

UNC epidemiology study: New SARS-like virus may be nearly ready to infect humans. The study, titled “SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence”, was published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). The study’s primary investigator is Ralph Baric, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Read more…

Gillings researchers find link between number of births and heart disease risk factors in Hispanic/Latina population. Six researchers at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health are co-authors of a recently published article linking the numbers of times Hispanic/Latina women give birth with their likelihood of developing a specific set of risk factors for heart disease. Read more…

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