Research Interest Area: Chronic Disease/Lifecourse Epidemiology

Stages of Woman's Life

Chronic disease/lifecourse epidemiology provides the interested student with the opportunity to learn techniques and tools to investigate etiology and control, including screening and outcomes, of chronic disease across the lifespan.


The PhD student in epidemiology should attain skills specifically for the practice of epidemiology in research, teaching and practical settings.

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

  • Aging
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Maternal, child, and reproductive health
  • Mental health
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Neurologic disorders including multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dementia
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Socioenvironmental determinants 


Examples of Featured Emphasis Area Courses

  • EPID:5560 Biomarkers in Epidemiology
  • EPID:6350 Nutritional Epidemiology
  • EPID:6600 Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases

Learning Objectives

Students interested in chronic disease/lifecourse epidemiology are preparing 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.

Recommended Plan of Study for the Chronic Disease/Life Course Research Interest Area PhD Elective Requirement

course #course names.h.semester(s) offered*
EPID:5500Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology3 s.h.Fall
EPID:5560Biomarkers in Epidemiology (Introduction to Molecular Epidemiology)3 s.h.Spring odd years
EPID:6600Epidemiology of Chronic Disease3 s.h.Spring even years
  In addition, students will complete at least 14 s.h. from the following recommended courses or courses approved by faculty in the Chronic Disease Epidemiology interest area. Students should select courses in consultation with their advisor to reflect their research interest area (e.g. cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, neurologic disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, etc).
EPID:5214Meta-analysis of Epidemiologic Studies3 s.h.Fall odd years
EPID:5540Public Health Surveillance Mechanisms, Applications and Data3 s.h.Fall
EPID:6000Independent Study in Epidemiology3 s.h.Fall, Spring, Summer
EPID:6071Social Epidemiology3 s.h.Fall
EPID: 6075Health Equity and Social Justice3 s.h.Spring
EPID:6350Nutritional Epidemiology2 s.h.Spring
EPID:6360Nutrition Intervention in Clinical Trials Research2 s.h.Fall
EPID:6370Nutrition Intervention in Research Lab3 s.h.Fall
EPID:6420Survey Design and Analysis3 s.h.Spring even years
EPID:6570Infectious Causes of Chronic Diseases3 s.h.Spring even years
EPID:6900Design of Intervention and Clinical Trials3 s.h.Fall
EPID:6910Pharmacoepidemiology and Comparative Effectiveness Research3 s.h.Fall even years
EPID:6950Clinical Research Ethics2-3 s.h.Spring
BIOS:5130Applied Categorical Data Analysis3 s.h.Fall
CBH:5220Health Behavior and Health Education3 s.h.Fall
CBH:5435Substance Abuse Prevention and Early Intervention3 s.h.Spring even years
CBH:6205Designing and Implementing Interventions3 s.h.Fall
FRRB:7001Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer3 s.h.Contact department (offered Spring 2022, previously a fall very year course)
GENE:7191Human Molecular Genetics3 s.h.Spring even years
GEOG:4150Health and Environment: GIS Applications3 s.h.Fall
OEH:4240Global Environmental Health3 s.h.Spring
*Semester(s) offered subject to change due to enrollment, instructor availability, etc. Students should always check the course schedule at for the most up to date version of the course schedule.  

Centers and Resources

Centers and Institutes

Research Resources

Additional Resources for Students:

Examples of Major Research Projects