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

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

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

Memorial Service for Will Manning  
Saturday, January 10 |  2:00 p.m.
Bond Chapel | 1025 E. 58th St.
RSVP here

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 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.

**New course offered this fall**

Applied Bayesian Modeling and Inference
PBHS 43010
Course Instructor:  Yuan Ji
W  10:30am-1:20pm
PQ:  STAT 24400 and STAT 24500 or master level training in statistics.
ID:  STAT 35920

Course begins with basic probability and distribution theory, and covers a wide range of topics related to Bayesian modeling, computation, and inference. Significant amount of effort will be directed to teaching students on how to build and apply hierarchical models and perform posterior inference.  The first half of the course will be focused on basic theory, modeling, and computation using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods, and the second half of the course will be about advanced models and applications.  Computation and application will be emphasized so that students will be able to solve real-world problems with Bayesian techniques.



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

Award for Distinguished Investigator

Dezheng Huo, MD, PhD, an 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 will be held on Wednesday June 11th 4:30-6:00PM in the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, 4th Floor Atrium, 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