Epidemiology & Biostatistics Course Descriptions
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of epidemiology and provides them a population-based perspective on health and disease. Students learn the basic measurements of frequency and association and the methods employed in describing, monitoring, and studying health and disease in populations.
This upper-level course builds on the foundation of Introduction to Epidemiology, expanding on concepts and problems of epidemiologic reasoning, and the design and analysis of epidemiologic research. Lecture topics include reliability and validity, causal inference, stratification and modeling techniques, and confounding and effect modification, as well as summaries of topics that influence these fundamental skills and factors. Pre-requisite(s): Introduction to Epidemiology; Introduction to Biostatistics. Co-requisite(s): Intermediate Biostatistics I (strongly recommended); Introduction to Data Management or a seminar course in either SAS or STATA (strongly recommended).
This upper-level course is a survey of advanced epidemiologic methods and special topics that provide a solid foundation for a career in epidemiology. Lecture topics include: longitudinal data methods, regression techniques, power and sample size, propensity scores, and epidemiologic consulting, as well as summaries of topics that influence these fundamental skills and factors. Pre-requisite(s): Advanced Epidemiology I; Intermediate Biostatistics I (strongly recommended). Co-requisite(s): Intermediate Biostatistics II (strongly recommended).
EPI 6014 Topics in Cancer Epidemiology
This course focuses on the epidemiological, hereditary, and environmental factors in the major types of cancer and the mechanisms of initiation, progression, and metastasis. The roles of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, viruses and environmental carcinogens are emphasized. The important aspects of cancer prevention, detection and treatment are discussed, along with the socio-economic and ethical problems surrounding genetic screening and cancer risk.
EPI 6015 Human Biology and Health
This course introduces the student to the basics of cell structure and function and provides an overview of human physiology. Lectures and discussion lay the foundation for understanding general disease processes, with particular attention paid to the aging process. The relationship of human physiology to such health problems as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease is explored. The interaction between environmental factors and human biology is emphasized and the influence of lifestyle on health is evaluated.
EPI 6016 Applied Statistical Analysis
The objective of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to analyze large data sets using multivariate models, with a focus on data analysis and report writing for clinical research. Topic areas cover both parametric and non-parametric methods, emphasizing ANOVA, linear regression, logistic regression, and survival analysis. Specific techniques, such as testing for moderation, adjustment for confounding, and stratified analysis in multivariate models are covered. Prerequisites: Introduction to Biostatistics, Introduction to Epidemiology & Intermediate Biostatistics I & II
EPI 6017 Ethics in Science: Research on Human and Animal Subjects
This course provides students with a background in the ethical conduct of research on human and animal subjects. A historical overview underlying the development of codes of conduct for research on humans and its extension to animals, as well as the current ethical system which governs conduct of scientific studies, is provided. Students read notable cases of ethical
misconduct in science and discuss their influence on current standards governing clinical and public health research.
EPI 6018 Epidemiologic Methods for Health Risk Behavior Surveys
The purpose of this course is to employ epidemiologic concepts and principles in the context of health risk behavior surveys (HRBS). There are many important functions of HRBS’s, including community needs assessment, etiologic research, surveillance, and health care performance assessment. Students learn how to write survey questions, develop a data survey analysis plan, and evaluate the quality of survey measures.
This course provides an introduction to electronic data management and statistical analysis. While Stata is used as an example of a data analysis and management program, the course covers general principles of electronic data management and analysis which the student can transfer to other management and analysis programs. The course includes a combination of lectures and extensive applied lab experiences using Stata with faculty support available if required.
The course educates the student both in graphical user interface approach to electronic data management and analysis, and in the writing, debugging and saving Stata programs. While the course demonstrates how to perform various statistical analyses it does not serve as a Biostatistics course.
Psychiatric epidemiology is a subfield of epidemiology that seeks to measure the prevalence of mental illness. This course will review descriptive and analytic epidemiology for major mental disorders of childhood, adulthood and late life. The course will also examine issues of classification and the nosology of psychiatric disorders as well as measurement techniques to enhance field surveys and risk factor research.
EPI 6021 Fundamentals of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
This course provides an overview of the major infectious diseases that are of public health interest. The course is designed to introduce students to the basic underlying principles of infectious disease epidemiology. By the end of this course, participants will be able to: describe the five types of microbial pathogens that cause infections; describe the mechanisms of disease transmission; describe host response to infection; describe diagnostic tests that are frequently used to diagnose infectious diseases; conduct an outbreak investigation; describe issues related to the control and prevention of infection (antimicrobial treatment, vaccination and quarantine) and describe the clinical features and major pathogens that are involved in respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, neurological diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, vector borne diseases, infections among the elderly and HIV/AIDS.
This course will cover epidemiological methodologies that are applicable to the study of infectious diseases. At the end of the course, participants will be able to: describe mathematical models used to study the transmission of infectious diseases; describe the effect of mixing patterns on infectious diseases; calculate vaccine efficacy and effectiveness; describe issues related to seroepidemiological studies; describe methods used to measure infectivity; describe the methodologies used in the study of respiratory, fecal-oral, vector borne, and sexually transmitted diseases; describe the use of statistical process control, pareto, and rate run charting in healthcare epidemiology; differentiate an infectious from a chronic event; describe the basic principles of geographical information system (GIS) in mapping infectious disease events; and evaluate an infectious disease program.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Epidemiology, Introduction to Biostatistics
This upper level course is intended to meet two objectives: 1) to give students a basic understanding of the biomedical and methodological issues associated with epidemiologic research on cardiovascular risk factors and diseases; and 2) to provide students with applied examples, drawn from cardiovascular topics, of the skills and techniques learned in the Epidemiology Methods curriculum. Principle topics based on pathophysiology (coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, etc) are supplemented by special subjects (for example, sudden cardiac death in young athletes or air pollution as a cardiac risk factor).
Prerequisite: Introduction to Epidemiology; Co-requisite: Advanced Epidemiology I (strongly recommended)
In this course students will examine infectious disease transmission utilizing information on factors that may contribute to the diffusion of infectious disease. The objective of the course is to develop students’ ability to conceptualize and understand the multiple influences that fuel infectious disease transmission dynamics and to critically assess why diseases are epidemic, under control or en route to eradication. After completing this course, students will be able to evaluate and describe non-epidemiological factors such as social causes and social networks, culture, politics, environment, and medical and veterinary practices that influence the transmission of respiratory, water borne, vector borne, zoonotic, healthcare associated and emerging infections as well as infections related to bio- and agro-terrorism; describe the factors that impact disease eradication efforts; and describe the relationship between infectious agents and chronic diseases.Prerequisite: Introduction to Epidemiology; Prerequisites/Co-requisites: Fundamentals of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (for students without an infectious disease or biology background), Methods in Infectious Disease Epidemiology (for students without a quantitative background).
EPI 7090 Field Experience in Epidemiology
This course requires students to apply theory by working in an approved public health organization or equivalent. Field work is supervised by a faculty member who serves as liaison to the health organization.
EPI 7091 Directed Research in Epidemiology
An opportunity for advanced study and research in an area chosen by the student in consultation with the professor is provided. Students are also given opportunities to work on special problems.
EPI 7093 Tutorial in Epidemiology
This course involves comprehensive, individual study of a specific topic, guided by a professor.
Under special circumstances, and with prior approval of the department chair, Epidemiology students may write a thesis as an alternative to the Epidemiology Capstone course.
It is expected that the thesis will include some independent research and integration of skills acquired by the student through coursework. The thesis includes formulation of research questions, methods to carry out the inquiry and presentation of results of the research. Some theses may require approval of the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to initiation of any thesis work. Students should work through their department chair/program advisor to determine if their thesis will require IRB review. Students must maintain regular contact with their Program and Thesis Advisors during their thesis work.
The capstone is a culminating experience designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills they have acquired through their Masters in Public Health (MPH) education. Students will work cooperatively in groups on real-time public health issues appropriately applying, theory, methods and tools learned in the MPH program.Note: Students are eligible for the capstone course upon successful completion of all core and required program courses and Practicum. Prior approval from the Department Chair or Program Director is required.
Director of Biostatistics:
Qiuhu Shi, PhD
This course is an introductory graduate course that presents the fundamental statistical approaches employed in clinical research. Lectures cover basic probability, common distributions, samples and populations, interval estimation, and inferential statistical approaches. By reading medical literature, students learn how statistical techniques are applied to clinical data, and practice summarizing and interpreting analytic results.
BIOST 6009 Multivariate Analysis
This course examines multivariate normal distribution, generalized T-squared statistics, generalized variance, component analysis, canonical correlation, multivariate analysis of variance, factor analysis and multidimensional scaling.
BIOST 6011 Statistical Computing
This course provides an in-depth study of some of the most frequently used statistical packages in the health sciences. Prerequisite: Permission of Program Director Note: Lab fee required.
This course is the first part of a two-semester sequence. Topics covered during this semester include: descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing for one and two samples, non-parametric methods and introduction of hypothesis testing with categorical data. Use of statistical packages is recommended, but not required. Prerequisite: Introduction to Biostatistics
This course is the second part of a two-semester sequence. Topics covered during this semester include: hypothesis testing with categorical data, multiple and logistic regression, and statistical methods frequently used in epidemiological studies and clinical trials, including life table analysis, logistic analysis, and relative risk assessment with and without covariates. Use of statistical packages is recommended, but not required. Prerequisite: Intermediate Biostatistics I
BIOST 6048 Survival Analysis
This course examines statistical methods appropriate to the analysis of biomedical data with censored observations. Specific applications include nonparametric and parametric estimation of survival functions, including curve fitting and comparison; identification of prognostic factors related to survival time and applications to clinical trials and hazard analysis including Cox proportional model.
BIOST 6050 Mathematical Statistics I: Probability
This course provides a comprehensive treatment of the fundamental concepts of probability theory. Covered topics related to probability theory include probability, random variables, distribution, probability and density functions, mathematical expectation, functions of random variables, and sampling distributions.
BIOST 6051 Mathematical Statistics II: Inference
This course focuses on topics related to statistical inference and applications. These include point estimation, hypothesis testing, non-parametric statistics, linear models, and analysis of variance. Prerequisite: Mathematical Statistics I
BIOST 6052 Introduction to Clinical Study Design
This course is designed to provide an overview of randomized clinical trials. Topics include randomization procedures, parallel group design, crossover design, equivalency and on-inferiority design, sample size and power, medical device clinical trials, and data monitoring and early stopping. The course also includes an introductory overview of claims database analyses. The claims database provides effectiveness and “real-world” data which most randomization clinical trials do not have. Prerequisite: Introduction to Biostatistics
BIOST 6092 Seminar in Biostatistics
This seminar focuses on topics not examined in other elective courses. Topics may change each term. Consult the director for subject matter to be covered.
BIOST 7090 Field Experience in Biostatistics
This course enables students to apply theory by working in an approved public health organization or equivalent. Fieldwork is supervised by a faculty member who serves as liaison to the organization.
BIOST 7091 Directed Research in Biostatistics
Advanced study and research in an area chosen by the student in consultation with the professor are required. Opportunities for work on special problems are afforded.