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Department of Environmental Health

Division of Epidemiology

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Clinical & Translational Research Program

Course Title Course Number Credit Hours Instructor
Addressing Epidemiological Challenges with Advanced Statistical Methodology BE-7060 3 Lilliam Ambroggio, PhD, MPH & Rhonda Szczesniak, PhD, MS
This course will able you to develop an understanding of advanced epidemiological and statistical methods, while applying advanced methodologies using standard statistical software.
Advanced Biostatistics BE-7023 3 M.B. Rao, PhD, MS
The role of regression in all its diversity in data analysis. This is purely an applied class with examples culled from a variety of sources. The software R will be used for all computational needs.
Biostatistics in Research BE-7061 3 M.B. Rao, PhD, MS
Seminars or tutorial sessions dealing with special topics in biostatistics related to research and application basic to field of environmental health.
Clinical Research Scholars Seminar BE-9066 1 Jack Rubinstein, MD & Lynn Babcock, MD, MS
This monthly seminar has four objectives: 1) to cover topics not typically covered in most courses, such as how to write papers, hot to write grants, how to present research, and how to negotiate for jobs; 2) to allow students form all tracks to see and critique each others’ research-in-progress presentations; 3) to enable students to meet with various cutting-edge clinical researchers; and 4) to foster further interaction among Dr. Tsevat, Dr. Daniels, and other students in the clinical research training program. The seminar will meet monthly for 3 quarters for 1 hour.
Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research BE-7025 2 Lilliam Ambroggio, PhD, MPH
This course will allow students to recognize the strengths and limitations of common study designs for conducting comparative effectiveness research (CER), acquire knowledge and skills of the different statistical methodologies common in CER, learn qualitative study designs that can be applied to studies in CER and patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), and more.
Phase I/II Clinical Trials Research and Design PHDD-8050 3
Regulatory, statistical and operational issues in phase I trials will be discussed. The use of first dose in humans, dose escalation schemes, determination of maximal tolerated dose, mass balance, metabolism and bioavail­ability will be covered along with drug-drug interaction and food-ef­fect.
Phase III/IV Clinical Trials and Research PHDD-8060 3
This 2nd course covers Phase IIa studies of efficacy and short-term safety in patients and Phase IIb studies of efficacy, side effects, and clinical toxicity in controlled trials. Key elements of Phase II studies addressed are crossover, parallel studies, withdrawal, single group studies, and factorial designs. Go/no-go decision points and dose selection for phase III studies will be addressed. Other topics will include parallel formulation development and clinical supplies.
Computational Statistics BE-7024 3 Roman Jandarov, PhD
Using R and SAS software in basic PROC procedures, simulations, and advanced statistical methods.
Decision Analysis and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
BE-7068 3 Mark Eckman, MD, MS
This course will introduce participants to the methods and applications of decision analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and cost-benefit analysis in medical decision making. Topics will include Bayes’ theorem and evaluation of diagnostic tests, the design and interpretation of decision trees, sensitivity analysis, Markov models, utility assessment, and economic analysis of healthcare programs. Examples will be drawn from both the individual patient and health policy perspectives. Students will learn how to use decision analysis software.
Design & Management of Field Studies in Epidemiology BE-9075 3 Erin Haynes, DrPH, MS & Patrick Ryan, PhD, MS
Opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in many aspects of the designs and conduct of field based research. Includes writing a hypothesis and writing a research proposal or grant application, designing questionnaires, survey sampling, sample size determination and the art of presenting results and evaluating research.
Environmental Health Disasters and What They Can Teach Us BE-8010 2 Kim Dietrich, PhD
Environmental Health Disasters are defined as events of anthropogenic origin; including but not limited to chemical releases. An environmental disaster by this definition is caused by human activity, not to be confused with a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane, or tornado. The course will focus on events that have had a direct effect on human health, including reproductive, developmental, and psychosocial. It will encompass events as diverse as the Great Smogin London, Minamata disease, the Bhopal leak of methyl isocyanate, and the more recent lead poisoning epidemic due to artisanal gold mining in Nigeria that killed and handicapped thousands of children. Course requirements include class attendance, participation, a mid-term and final examination, and a platform presentation on a current or potential environmental health crisis and the efforts necessary for prevention or remediation.
Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division Seminar BE-8028/8029 1 Ranjan Deka, PhD
This weekly seminar features faculty from the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, advanced students, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and other persons from public and private institutions. The seminar offers a forum to learn about ongoing faculty research and provides an opportunity for students working on their thesis or dissertation to gain experience in presenting findings and fielding questions from the audience. Nuts and bolts of research that are often not available in textbooks are discussed.
Epidemiology of Cancer BE-8098 2 Susan Pinney, PhD, MS
A general overview of known associations of environmental and occupational factors with various types of cancer; includes discussion of types of studies that give rise to associations and causation.
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases BE-7084 2 Senu Apewokin, MD
The course covers the epidemiologic, serologic, and public health aspects of modern infectious diseases, their transmission, and methods of control.
Experimental Design BE-7089 3 Changchun Xie, PhD, MS
This course covers the statistical basis for experimental designs and the analysis of experimental data. Designs that are discussed include the two-group independent and correlated design; completely randomized factorial design for more than 2 groups; nested and split plot models; repeat measure designs; complete and incomplete block designs and fractional factorial designs. Associated topics include tests for homogeneity of variance; power analysis; methods for performing multiple comparisons; fixed, random and mixed models; construction of an EMS table; and construction of proper (direct and pseudo-) F-ratios.
Genetics of Complex Disease BE-8068 2 Ranjan Deka, PhD
This course will provide a broad overview of genetics of complex diseases and traits covering topics including epidemiology and genetic basis of complex diseases; methodological considerations in the study of complex diseases, viz., genetic heterogeneity, choice of population; analytical approaches, viz., linkage, association, linkage disequilibrium; molecular methods and tools.
Health Services Research BE-8067 2 Adam Carle, PhD, MA
This course will address research on the effects of the organization, delivery, and financing of healthcare. Principles of health services research, including patterns of resource utilization, small area variation, medical errors, and measurement and improvement of quality of care will be emphasized. This course will introduce the diverse methods used in health services research and the basic methods of inference in such research. Health services research will be taught as an integrative activity that draws upon the knowledge and methods from a wide range of disciplines, including the behavioral and social sciences, biostatistics, epidemiology, health economics, health education, and operations research. The course will also introduce students to the following areas: understanding variation in the organization and financing of healthcare delivery; methodologies for measuring and predicting quality of care and health outcomes; assessing the impact of technology and treatments on patient outcomes; and assessing the impact of health policy on individuals and populations. The course will emphasize health services research methodology, including approaches to the analysis of large secondary databases from the National Center for Health Statistics, AHRQ, and elsewhere.
Introduction to Biostatistics BE-7022 3 Jun Ying, PhD
The course covers descriptive statistics, probability distributions, estimation, types of error, significance level, hypothesis tests, sample size, correlation, linear regression, non-parametric methods.
Introduction to Epidemiology
BE-7076 2 Jareen Meinzen-Derr, PhD
This course will introduce you to the foundational concepts of epidemiology. We will examine study design types and how to choose the appropriate one using real world examples. You will learn the equations used for calculating risk as well as how to control for bias and confounding. We will also explore public health policy and the common ethical issues encountered in epidemiologic studies. Additionally, the project gives you the opportunity to critically examine and analyze a study on a topic that interests you.
Introduction to Global Health
BE/PH-7015 3 Liza Murrison, PhD, MPH
This course provides an introduction to global health in today’s society by considering modern concepts in international health that determine the burden and distribution of disease. Through a series of case studies, students will examine the risk factors and determinants of disease and health disparities. By learning from previous successes and failures in global health, students will explore evidence-based strategies, policies, and programmatic interventions to impact disease outcomes. Topics to be covered include: disease elimination and eradication, infectious disease transmission, maternal and child health, water and sanitation-related diseases, behavioral and mental health, diseases impacting vulnerable populations, non-communicable diseases, gender equality, neglected tropical diseases, emerging disease threats, and sustainability for future successes.
Introduction to Medical Informatics BE-8062 2 Brett Harnett, MS
This course will cover medical informatics and its relation to patient care, data extraction, databases, and clinical research. Evidence-based medicine and clinical effectiveness research will be highlighted in the discussions. Strengths and limitations of hardware, systems, and data will be discussed. Specific topics will include: common terms; security and confidentiality; general hardware information; general network architecture information; standards and identifiers; data entry methods; interfaces and data integrity; computer-based medical information systems; medical imaging systems; databases, data marts, and data warehouses; data mining and reporting; expert systems; the Internet and Intranet and healthcare; education and training technologies; the product evaluation process; vendor relationships; general financial information; and personal productivity applications. Learning objectives will be achieved using a variety of methods including: didactic lectures, demonstrations, self-study, and student projects.
IRB Process & Protocol BE-7081 1 Claudia Norman, CIP
This course gives students hands-on experience with preparing a human subject research study and submitting it to the Internal Review Board (IRB).
Meta-Analysis BE-9061C 3 Jeff Welge, PhD, MS
Meta-Analysis is the systematic quantitative review of all research studies directed toward a particular scientific or policy question. This course will cover all aspects of this process, including searching and evaluating research reports, extracting data, computing measures of effect size for continuous and categorical data, estimation of statistical models using SAS and WinBUGS software, and preparation of a manuscript. Students will conduct a meta-analysis on a topic of their choice, subject to instructor approval.
Molecular Epidemiology BE-9073 2 Scott Langevin, PhD, MHA
The course covers how biomarkers can be used in epidemiologic research; scientific, technical and ethical issues in the use of biomarkers and a range of applications for the use of biomarkers in the study of various diseases.
Nutritional Epidemiology BE-8063 3 Tianying Wu, MD, PhD
Introduction to the concepts of study design and analysis in nutritional epidemiology; review of the function of macronutrient and micronutrients; discussion of several specific diet-disease relationships discovered in large clinical trials and observational studies; integration of information from molecular epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, and animal experiments. Strengths and weaknesses of previous epidemiologic studies on the associations between nutritional factors and chronic diseases. Students will have the opportunity to work on individual projects.
Occupational Epidemiology BE-8079 2 Tania Carreon-Valencia, PhD, MS
Application of epidemiologic methods to the study of occupational exposure-disease relationships to facilitate comprehension of published epidemiologic literature and assist in the design and conduct of original research.
Participatory Methods in Community-Engaged Research BE-9063 2 Lisa Vaughn, PhD, MA, MEd
This class provides an overview and application of three participatory methods in community-engaged research: 1) photovoice; 3) concept mapping; and 3) group level assessment.
Pediatric Environmental Health BE-7063 2 Kim Dietrich, PhD
This course will guide you through the following topics: understanding how the fetus, infant and child are behaviorally and physiologically different from adults where environmental hazards and their impact on health and development are concerned; understanding the role of biomarkers of exposure, dose, individual sensitivity, and effect in pediatric environmental health research and clinical practice; understanding the origins and evolution of pediatric environmental health as a scientific and clinical discipline; understanding the basic principles of human development as they relate to environmental chemical exposures and how early exposures may lead to higher risks for adult disease, including metabolic disorders, cancer, neurologic diseases, and other outcomes; understanding the associations between environmental chemical exposures on neurodevelopment and diseases of the central nervous system, including cancer; and developing the knowledge and understanding to present your own views on a focused topic in pediatric environmental health.
Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology BE-7085 2 Aimin Chen, MD, PhD, MS
Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology (PPE) is a branch of epidemiology studying the risk factors that may affect human reproduction, pregnancy, birth outcomes, fetal and child development, and maternal and child health conditions. PPE utilizes surveillance, case-control study, cohort study, clinical trial, and community prevention trial to provide data regarding infertility, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, pregnancy complications, adverse birth outcomes, infant and child disorders to guide prevention efforts. The PPE course will provide an introduction to perinatal and pediatric health outcomes from a population viewpoint, describe major risk factors identified, summarize research progress and limitations, and stimulate students to identify unsolved questions and design new studies in the relevant areas. 
Quality Improvement and Patient Safety BE-7071 1 Nancy Elder, MD
This course will cover the fundamentals of quality improvement and patient safety. It will use a framework of human factors to facilitate understanding complex system failures and successful strategies to reduce hazard in industrial and medical environments. The concepts are taught using a case-based format to explore common human and organizational sources of failure, such as missing or inert knowledge, communication/collaboration, clumsy technology, human computer interaction (alerts and reminders), and role of a safety culture. The second half of the course is devoted to learning approaches for implementing evidenced-based practices based on Rogers’ theory, where adopting innovation in an organization is divided into two major activities: initiation and implementation.
Regression Analysis BE-7088 3 Jun, Ying, PhD
The course covers the following topics: linear regression, least squares, multiple regression models, model diagnostics & building, correlation analysis, introductory analysis of variance and introductory logistic & Poisson regression models.
Research Methods for Human Population Studies BE-8082
Susan Pinney, PhD, MS
This course provides the student with an understanding of the methods for undertaking health research conducted in human populations. The course is structured around the selection and appropriate implementation of methods of sampling, participant recruitment and retention, data collection (such as questionnaires and interviews), measurements, biospecimen procurement and initial processing, and information dissemination.
Scientific Integrity BE-7067 1 Jane Strasser, PhD
This course provides an overview of the ethical norms and regulatory issues that serve as the foundation of the responsible conduct of research (RCR).
Statistical Genetics BE-7064C 3 M.B. Rao, PhD, MS
Course objectives are to learn how various genetic data are generated and analyzed and to understand the linkage hybridization between statistical genetics and molecular, genetic, and cancer epidemiology. Didactic lectures include application of statistical procedures in conducting population genetic analyses for localization of disease-susceptibility genes and estimation of genetic risks, including gene frequency estimation, detection and estimation of the extent of population substructure effects, measurement and estimation of genetic admixture proportions and the nature of discrete genetic data, application of the Hardy-Weinberg law, model-free measures of association, the likelihood method, and principles of genetic inference and segregation analysis.
Statistical Computation & Software BE-7011 1 Jun Ying, PHD
This course is designed to provide some basic knowledge and skills in statistical computation using three different software packages: SAS, SPSS and R. For SAS, the class will offer computation using both SAS Program and SAS Enterprise. Many times students find instructors using different statistical software in their classes, especially their statistic and epidemiologic classes. It becomes challenging for students to take these courses and learn the software packages at the same time. In this class, students will learn how to use different software/solve the same problem from the same dataset. That way they will have a better sense on how these software packages are connected, and will be more confident in computation when they take additional statistic and epidemiologic classes.
Study Design and Analysis 26-BE-8069 2 Stacy Poe, PhD
This course builds upon the epidemiologic concepts covered in the Introduction to Epidemiology course. Clinical epidemiologic study designs are examined in more detail and variants of the basic designs are introduced. Nested case-control designs, clinical trials, matching, and innovations such as case-cohort and counter-matched designs are examined in depth. Biostatistical methods appropriate for each type of study design are described and quantitative examples provided. Two special computer lab sessions are included to give students hands-on experience using SAS to analyze clinical epidemiologic data.
Successful Scientific Writing BE-8075 1-2 Paul Siegel, MD, MPH (CDC) & Jen Veevers, PhD
Students will learn to communicate the findings of their research and investigations more effectively, and expedite publication of their manuscripts.
Survey of Clinical & Translational Research BE-9070 1 Erin Haynes, DrPH, MS
A general overview of a variety of topics in clinical research including interpreting regression and survival analysis, developing a successful relationship with a mentor,  and project management.