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.

Coronavirus Affects Everyone:
The Department of Epidemiology Responds

As countries around the globe work to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 — which causes the illness COVID-19 — 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. Here’s how our department is responding.

Drs. Ralph Baric, Timothy Sheahan, Lisa Gralinski and many others in the Baric Lab are racing to find answers to COVID-19. Dr. Baric also is working with the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health to evaluate lead candidate vaccines; additionally, he serves on the WHO and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations working groups, which are seeking countermeasures against the novel coronavirus.

Coronavirus drug shows promise at Carolina

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health researchers are testing a new broad-spectrum antiviral drug that could potentially be a relief to the global coronavirus pandemic.

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Dr. Allison Aiello served as a member of the WHO Working Group on public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of influenza. One of her research papers on schools closings was mentioned in a recent New York Times opinion piece that discusses the importance of timing during epidemics.

Dr. Andy Olshan organized a March 3 coronavirus seminar to share what experts knew about the outbreaks at that point. The second annual SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Updates Seminar was held in March, 2021.


Second Annual SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Updates Seminar (March, 2021)

Leading experts from the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health share the latest on new COVID-19 variants, vaccines and vaccine trials, breakthrough treatments, what’s happening in the clinical environment, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) perspectives and much more.

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Dr. Kim Powers, who models infectious diseases in populations, recently gave an interview on why the exponential growth of COVID-19 makes containment more challenging and is helping the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) with projections of the COVID-19 trajectory in the state.

Dr. Jim Thomas led the creation of the American Public Health Association’s code of ethics and participated in national and international working groups to provide guidance for ethical actions in a pandemic. He has created an online Pandemic Ethics Dashboard and advises the NC Department of Health and Human Services on diagnostic testing among vulnerable populations. He has recently spoken to Newsy and the Finding Genius podcast about ethics in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. David Weber is in charge of infection prevention efforts at UNC Hospitals and has spoken about emergency scenario planning for health care teams.

Message from the Chair

Research Areas:

Our students can specialize in nine types of epidemiology: cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, injury, reproductive/perinatal/pediatric epidemiology, environmental/occupational, pharmacoepidemiology, genetic and social.

Explore our past and present:

Get to know the department’s history — let it inform and inspire you. Read “Our First 40 Years (1936-1976).”

After that, check out what our students have to say.

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