Department of Epidemiology
Global leadership. Local impact.

The Gillings School's Department of Epidemiology is one of the world’s leading academic departments for epidemiological study. Renowned faculty members empower students with training in effective research practices and methods. We conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research and provide classroom and real-world education that emphasizes the integration of substantive area knowledge with cutting-edge epidemiologic methods. We also work with students to apply their research to a variety of health problems across North Carolina and around the world. As countries around the globe work to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, researchers and practitioners from every discipline at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health are turning their expertise into action to support the pandemic response.

Martin receives 2022 Gillings Faculty Award for Excellence in Health Equity Research

The Gillings Health Equity Faculty Research Award recognizes excellence in research by faculty in the Gillings School that advances solutions to health inequities. This award is co-sponsored by the school’s Research, Innovation and Global Solutions and Inclusive Excellence units.

Chantel Martin

Our Recent News

William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor Dr. Ralph S. Baric is a world leader in coronavirus research and is part of a research collaboration between Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that has identified and tested a new antibody that limits the severity of infections from COVID-19 as well as the original SARS illness.

Dr. Ralph Baric (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)
Ralph S. Baric, PhD

Message from the Chair

About Us

Our offices are located on the second floor of McGavran-Greenberg Hall. For general questions about the department, the degree program, or admissions, contact us at epidemiology@unc.edu or call us at (919) 966-7430.

Assistant to Chair
Jacqueline Dark: jackie_dark@unc.edu, (919) 966-7419

Mailing Address
Department of Epidemiology
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
135 Dauer Drive
2101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7435
Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7435

More Department Contacts

Inclusive Excellence

At the Gillings School, inclusive excellence means we welcome, value and learn from individual differences and perspectives. By cultivating inclusion within the School, we better prepare our students, faculty and staff for the diverse world that awaits them. A globally-interconnected world needs culturally competent people to serve as its leaders.

Our Mission and Goals

Our mission is to improve the public’s health by training epidemiologists and by advancing knowledge concerning the causes and prevention of disease and the promotion of health. We strive to creatively integrate substantive knowledge and methods from many fields into epidemiologic research, teaching and practice, with an ultimate commitment to benefit public health.

Our goals are to:

  • Provide the highest quality education to enable scientists and health professionals to advance epidemiology as a discipline and apply their skills to advance scientific knowledge in public and private settings.
  • Advance interdisciplinary and multilevel knowledge of health and disease in populations.
  • Create and evaluate opportunities to promote health and reduce illness and disability in populations regardless of socioeconomic status (i.e., a diversity goal).
  • Innovate and advance the field of epidemiology through the development of epidemiologic methods.
  • Partner with public health agencies to improve the health of populations through the training of public health leaders and the application of epidemiologic knowledge by public health practitioners.
  • Improve the health of populations in the State of North Carolina and globally.

Our History

Since the “father of preventive medicine” was the founding dean of UNC’s public health school, infectious disease is not a surprising focus for research at the School. Milton J. Rosenau, MD, an epidemiologist and self-described “disease detective,” was invited to UNC  following his mandatory retirement as dean of Harvard’s public health school.

One of the School’s first major research projects in the early 1940s was aimed at controlling and eradicating venereal diseases. John Wright, MD, MPH, who headed the epidemiological study, adopted a number of innovative techniques in the project, including using computer technology to collect data, recording nurse-patient interviews to help train public health nurses, and developing filmstrips as an alternative instruction method for patients.

Today, the School continues its commitment to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases among those with limited access to health services.

Read more about "Our First 40 Years, 1936-1976." (PDF)