Department Highlights

Congratulations to Matthew Churpek, who successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in epidemiology entitled: “Predicting In-hospital Cardiac Arrest Using Electronic Health Record Data” in January.  His thesis committee was chaired by Robert Gibbons and included Dana Edelson, Diane Lauderdale, Jesse Hall, and Michael Kattan.   Matthew will continue in his current position at The University of Chicago as Instructor of Medicine in the Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. 

PhD Program Admissions

The Department of Health Studies is now accepting applications to its PhD Program for fall 2014 admission.  The PhD program, which may have a disciplinary focus in epidemiology, biostatistics or health services research, is described here.  Prospective student candidates must submit applications online from September 1 through December 1.  Questions about admissions or the program can be emailed to

Breast Cancer Risk Stratification for Hormone Replacement Therapy
In one of the largest studies on hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer, Ningqi Hou, Jim Dignam, and Dezheng Huo, researchers in the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago, found that there was a differential risk associated with hormone replacement therapy according to women’s body mass index, breast density, and race/ethnicities. Read more…

Congratulations to the Directors and staff of the Biostat Lab. 
They are featured in the Cancer Center’s Summer 2013 issue of Pathways to Discovery.

Congratulations to Jing Guo
Jing Guo successfully defended her dissertation, "The Effect of Home Care Use on Institutional Care Utilization and Expenditures.” Jing will next be moving on to a research position at American Institutes for Research in Washington, DC.

SER Boston 2013
Health Studies students and faculty at the annual meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research in Boston, June 2013. Left to right: Brandon Pierce, Diane Lauderdale, Chenan Zhang, Molly Scannell and Maria Argos. Brandon presented a talk on "Efficient Design for Mendelian Randomization Studies". Posters were presented by Chenan ("A Genome-wide Association Study of Cognitive Decline Shows Two Independent Signals in the APOE/TOMM40 Region), Molly ("Cross-sectional Study of the Predictors of Medication Use, Hypertension Prevalence, and Hypertension Treatment in Bangladeshi Adults") and Maria ("Total Protein Related to Cancer Mortality and Cancers of Digestive Organs Mortality in Bangladeshi Adults: the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study"). Diane organized the session on Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Maria organized a session on Environmental Epidemiology.

Congratulations to Stephanie Melkonian
Stephanie Melkonian successfully defended her dissertation, "Genetic and Environmental Influences on Early-Onset Breast Cancer Prognosis: Using Genome-wide Association Data to Assess Gene-Environment Interaction.” Stephanie will next be moving onto a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Department of Epidemiology.

Award in Psychiatric Epidemiology
Robert D. Gibbons was named the 2012 recipient of the Rema Lapouse Award. The award is given annually to an outstanding scientist for excellence in psychiatriac epidemiology by the American Public Health Association. Gibbons is the director of the Center for Health Statistics and is a professor of biostatistics in the Department of Health Studies, as well as the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry.

Departmental Highlights Archive
Message from the Chair
The Department of Health Studies is a multidisciplinary department that includes the fields of biostatistics, epidemiology and health services research. Our research aims to understand and improve public health and health care from a population perspective and draws on methods from the disciplines of statistics, epidemiology, economics, psychology, sociology, and demography.

Diane Lauderdale, PhD, Chair