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Department of Public Health Sciences

Epidemiology Program


Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease in human populations.  Epidemiology is often referred to as the “basic science of public health” because it is so central to public health practice and research.  Tracking the distribution of disease and risk factors for disease is accomplished through surveillance.  Studies of the determinants of disease span a spectrum from the molecular basis of disease causation to lifestyle and social factors to societal factors that influence health and disease.

Research Opportunities

The epidemiology faculty is engaged in research that encompasses these domains applied to a broad range of health outcomes that includes aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infectious disease, injury/trauma, neurological disorders, oral health, tobacco and other substance use, and perinatal/reproductive conditions.  A cross-cutting theme in common to much of this research is a focus on health disparities.  The goal of this novel, independent research is to improve clinical care and advance population health.

Further, the faculty is actively engaged in translating knowledge into public health practice through their involvement in a wide range of local, state, and national public health surveillance and disease control activities.


In addition to conducting their own investigator-initiated research, epidemiology faculty members are a strong asset to collaborative team science across the biomedical research disciplines by providing expertise in disease etiology and research methodology.  The epidemiology faculty thus collaborate with basic, clinical, and population scientists across the MUSC campus and beyond on research to push the frontiers of biomedical research and public health science.

Training in Epidemiology

With a rich tradition in graduate training and mentoring, the epidemiology faculty provides state-of-the-art interdisciplinary training in epidemiology leading to a MS or PhD degree.  The epidemiology faculty is productively engaged in training within the department and with other training programs outside the department.


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