PhD Research Interest Areas

Chronic Disease-Lifecourse Epidemiology

The PhD student in epidemiology should attain skills specifically for the practice of epidemiology in research, teaching and practical settings. With this in mind, the Chronic Disease/Lifecourse Epidemiology PhD Emphasis Area is designed to prepare students for a career in which they will:

  • Describe the roles of developmental, genetic, infectious, nutritional, behavioral and environmental factors throughout the life span in chronic disease causation
  • Summarize the current state of knowledge and develop hypotheses that may lead to new discoveries in the determinants and prevention of chronic disease
  • Generate original ideas, data, and analyses of a quality that will influence public health practice or chronic disease epidemiological science
  • Translate the available research into evidence-based public health practice for the prevention of chronic disease
  • Design a study where a multidisciplinary team focused on behavioral, environmental, infectious, nutritional and/or genetic factors determines chronic disease etiology.
  • Communicate original ideas and findings orally and in writing at a level effective for diverse audiences including attendees at professional meetings, readers of research journals, news media, and laypersons

Students with the following interests and are encouraged to explore this focus area:

  • Cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, neurologic disorders including dementia, or musculoskeletal disorders.

Clinical and Health Services Epidemiology

Real-world evidence, Learning Health Systems, pragmatic trials, patient-centered outcomes research, and medical product safety and effectiveness are contemporary topics for which clinical and health services epidemiologists have much to offer.

Students interested in clinical and health services epidemiology are preparing for a career in which they will:

  • Evaluate need, use, performance and outcomes of health and healthcare products, procedures, interventions, services and programs
  • Advance methods for quantifying health effects of products, interventions, services and programs
  • Contribute to optimizing health of patients
  • Inform clinical and healthcare practice and policy
  • Collaborate and lead multidisciplinary teams to design and conduct observational and interventional research
  • Be competent in a family of related research fields including: outcomes research, health services research, clinical epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, and clinical effectiveness research

Students with the following interests are encouraged to explore this research interest area: pharmacoepidemiology, clinical epidemiology, hospital epidemiology, clinical investigation, comparative effectiveness,  and a variety of health conditions and patient populations such as infectious diseases, chronic diseases, injuries, older adults, maternal and child health.

Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology

The Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology focus area in the University of Iowa Department of Epidemiology is designed to prepare students for a career in which they will:

  • Advance methods for quantifying genetic variants and assessing their effect on health, interventions, services and programs
  • Apply basic techniques of molecular biology and genetics to advance biomarker discovery and validation.
  • Contribute to optimizing prediction of disease using contemporary molecular and genetic approaches
  • Inform clinical and healthcare practice and policy by incorporating molecular and genetic information
  • Collaborate and lead multidisciplinary teams to design and conduct observational and interventional research
  • Be competent in a family of related research fields including: outcomes research, clinical epidemiology, pharmacogenomics, and molecular biology

Students with the following interests and are encouraged to explore this focus area:

  • infectious diseases, chronic diseases, pharmacoepidemiology, clinical epidemiology, hospital epidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology, or clinical investigation

Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Infectious diseases have increasing importance in our current era of climate change and global commerce.

The Infectious Disease focus area in the University of Iowa Department of Epidemiology is designed to prepare students for a career in which they will:

  • Advance methods for infectious disease surveillance and be able to assess the method’s ability to detect infectious disease at different disease stages and source samples.
  • Apply basic techniques of microbiology and immunology as well as social and behavioral health to understand the risk factors behind of infectious disease transmission within populations.
  • Contribute to optimizing modeling and prediction of disease transmission by understanding the unique nature of different microbes in varied hosts.
  • Inform clinical and healthcare practice and policy though infectious disease surveillance and study of possible interventions, including behavioral change, vaccination, pharmaceutical therapy and/or education.
  • Collaborate and lead multidisciplinary teams to design and conduct observational and interventional research

Students with the following interests are encouraged to explore this focus area:

Microbiology, Immunology, Vaccinology, Entomology, Ecology, Behavioral Health, Pharmacoepidemiology, Clinical Trials

Injury Epidemiology

Injury and violence are the leading causes of death among young people between 1 and 44 years of age in the U.S. Unintentional injuries from motor vehicle crashes, falls, fires/burns and poisonings (primarily from prescription drug overdoses), and violence from homicides and suicides kill more young people each year than cancer, diabetes, heart disease and the flu.

The Injury Epidemiology focus area in the University of Iowa Department of Epidemiology is designed to prepare students for a career in which they will:

  • Apply concepts of injury control and prevention to identify and prioritize injury problems, and quantify and prioritize risk and protective factors in communities and high-risk populations,
  • Identify strategies to prevent injuries, and implement and evaluate injury prevention control measures and programs,
  • Apply epidemiologic methods in injury research and use statistical applications to analyze and interpret data,
  • Successfully compete for federal, state and foundation grants,
  • Participate in advocacy efforts for injury prevention research, funding and programs
  • Lead and manage large-scale etiologic, intervention and translational research studies

Students with the following interests and are encouraged to explore this focus area:

  • Unintentional injury and violence prevention, occupational and environmental epidemiology, program/intervention development and evaluation, pharmacoepidemiology, behavioral health

Students in the following degree programs are encouraged to consider coursework and project experiences with faculty in the injury epidemiology focus area:

  • Master of Science in Epidemiology, Master of Public Health and PhD in Epidemiology

 


Questions or comments? Contact Anderson, Marilyn. This page was last reviewed on October 26, 2018.