The Department of Public Health Sciences develops and implements scientific methods for collecting, generating, analyzing, and understanding health data in order to improve the health of the public.

Public Health Sciences is the home in the Biological Sciences Division for the core quantitative research fields in public health: biostatistics, epidemiology and health services research. Our faculty both lead research projects in these fields and participate in interdisciplinary teams with faculty in other departments to address complex problems in health and healthcare, in our communities and around the globe. We provide training in these fields through two degree programs: a flexible doctoral program that may focus on any of our core areas and a MS degree for clinical professionals, designed to provide physicians and other doctoral-level providers with the methods to carry out rigorous research in clinical epidemiology and health services. Through our Biostatistics Laboratory we provide a collaborative service to investigators throughout the Biological Sciences Division to design studies, oversee data collection and analyze and interpret data.

 - Diane S. Lauderdale, PhD, Chair 


More about the Department of Public Health Sciences  

On September 26, 2014, Dean Polonsky announced a new name for the Department of Health Studies: Public Health Sciences

“Public Health Sciences more accurately reflects the research and teaching within the department, which includes core methods disciplines in public health: epidemiology, biostatistics and health services research. The department has a unique focus within the University, and I am pleased that the Department of Public Health Sciences will continue its tradition of excellence under this new title.”

- Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean and EVP for Medical Affairs

News and Announcements

Biostatistics Laboratory News

Effective Feb 11, 2015 the Biostatistics Laboratory (located within the Dept. of Public Health Sciences) will be in a temporary location while the current offices in MARP 3rd floor are renovated.  A map to the temporary location in Medical Center Room TE011 can be found here.   

The Biostat Clinic will be held in W-247 until further notice.

New course offered in Spring 2015

Multilevel Modeling
PBHS 33400
Course Instructor: Donald Hedeker
T/R 9-10:20am
PQ:  PBHS 32400 (HSTD 32400) and PBHS 32700 (HSTD 32700) or consent of instructor.

This course will focus on the analysis of multilevel data in which subjects are nested within clusters (e.g., health care providers, hospitals).   The focus will be on clustered data, and several extensions to the basic two-level multilevel model will be considered including three-level, cross-classified, multiple membership, and multivariate models.  In addition to models for continuous outcomes, methods for non-normal outcomes will be covered, including multilevel models for dichotomous, ordinal, nominal, time-to-event, and count outcomes.  Some statistical theory will be given, but the focus will be on application and interpretation of the statistical analyses.

It is with great sadness we announce the loss of our valued colleague, Willard Manning. He was born on May 20, 1946 and passed away on November 25, 2014. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Will have lost a dear friend and inspiring mentor. No words can adequately express our sadness at Will’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. Below is a link to a Memoriam of Willard G. Manning from the International Health Economics Association.

A memorial service was held for Professor Manning on Saturday, January 10th at Bond Chapel.  University of Chicago obituary.




At the Annual North American meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making, Marcelo Coca Perraillon was awarded the Lee B. Lusted Student Prize award for Preference Assessment for his project “Predicting the EQ-5D Prefrence Index from the SF-12 Health Survey in a National US Sample: A Finite Mixture Approach."The SMDM describes the prize as follows:

"Each year the Lee B. Lusted Prize Student Fund recognizes students’ original research in medical decision making in order to attract the best and brightest young minds to SMDM. The prize provides a cash award to be given to the top two scoring finalists in each category, for a total of four awards to be presented. Recipients will be chosen during the Annual Meeting." 

Diane Lauderdale, Professor of Epidemiology, was elected President of the Society for Epidemiologic Research. After serving as President Elect for a year, she will begin her term as President in June 2015.

Article-of-the-Year Award

Tamara Konetzka, Associate Professor of Health Services Research, has won the 2014 Academy Health Article-of-the-Year Award.  The article is “Shipping out instead of shaping up: Rehospitalization from nursing homes as an unintended effect of public reporting”.  Journal of Health Economics, Volume 32, Issue 2, March 2013.





Award for Distinguished Investigator

Dezheng Huo, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, has received the Biological Sciences Division 2014 Junior Distinguished Investigator award for his outstanding work in cancer research. An award ceremony was held on Wednesday June 11th for all of the awardees. His nomination by a colleague in Public Health Sciences described his research as addressing “fundamentally important questions in clinical and genetic epidemiology of cancer.” Dezheng’s primary research focuses on breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers. He investigates the role of race, lifestyle, and genetics in cancer etiology and treatment outcomes. His research has had direct implications for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.



Departmental Highlights Archive