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Department of Public Health Sciences

About Us

John E. Vena, PhD
Professor and Founding Chair

Welcome to the Department of Public Health Sciences

The Department of Public Health Sciences (formerly Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology/DBE) creates an environment that continually provides opportunities and challenges for novel and creative approaches and solutions to biomedical research. The faculty with diverse backgrounds and expertise in biostatistics (including Bayesian methods, clinical trials designs, missing data handling, survival analyses, clustered data analyses), epidemiology (including cancer, central nervous system injury, neurological disorders, autism, diabetes, infectious diseases), and behavioral and social sciences provides a synergistic environment for students to actively pursue cross-disciplinary methodological and applied research in public health.

The newly revised curriculum emphasizes strong quantitative training to ensure that all DPHS students will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to design and conduct scientifically sound research. Our students successfully compete in student paper competitions at the local (e.g., MUSC Student Research Day), regional (e.g., SC Chapter of the American Statistical Association) as well as national (e.g., ENAR Biometric Society, Society for Clinical Trials, Society for Epidemiological Research) levels. All qualified PhD students are supported either by institutional stipend, training grants, or research grants from NIH and other sources that cover tuition and stipend. Many, if not most, of our trainees graduate with certain employment in academia (e.g., Cleveland Clinic, U. of Arkansas, Penn State, U. of Maryland, Rush Medical Center) , government (e.g., NIH, FDA, EPA), and private sectors (e.g., Novartis).

Public Health Sciences offers a friendly and supportive environment. The faculty members are very generous with their time in mentoring students, and the Social Committee actively involves the graduate students in the planning and participation of the events. The Graduate Student Association within the College of Graduate Studies as well as other such groups in the University afford our students opportunities to network with medical students as well as graduate students in other disciplines.

Finally, many students find Charleston a very attractive location in which to live with a mild climate and beautiful beaches nearby. Charleston is an historic city with charming architecture, great restaurants, many museums, and a variety of outdoor activities that graduate students enjoy in their free time.

Units within the Department of Public Health Sciences

The Collaborative Unit

The Collaborative Unit provides MUSC investigators with pre-award collaborative services to enhance the likelihood of extramural (or intramural) funding.

The Data Coordination Unit

The Data Coordination Unit specializes in the following:

  • design and conduct multicenter clincial trials
  • analysis of their data
  • establishing, implementing and maintaining data and project management systems

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