Epidemiology

Howard Strickler, M.D.
Division HEAD: Howard Strickler, M.D.

The broad aims of the Division of Epidemiology (DOE) in the Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (DEPH) are to conduct studies in human populations to determine the burden of disease, the behavioral/environmental and molecular etiologic risk factors that underlie its development and outcomes, as well as actionable targets for screening, prevention treatment, and the effectiveness of these interventions.

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There are well established research programs in Infectious Disease, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity/Diabetes, and Genetic Epidemiology. The faculty is largely made up of molecular epidemiologists, population scientists, and methodologists who work closely with the Division of Biostatistics.

The DOE/DEPH is the academic home to the NCI-highly rated Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control (CEPaC) program in the Albert Einstein Cancer Center. CEPaC has long been recognized for its contributions to the study of the infectious and molecular risk factors of cancer. In addition, cancer prevention and control research has a strong focus on our catchment area, the largely poor and minority Bronx population. The CEPaC is organized into four major themes: (i) Infectious Risk Factors, including oncogenic HPV, HIV, HCV, and, in recent years, the human microbiome; (ii) Hormonal, Obesity, and Inflammation Related Risk Factors, including the insulin/IGF-axis, other hormones, growth factors, adipokines, and inflammatory cytokines; (iii) Genetic, Epigenetic Risk Factors, including germline mutations and polymorphisms, somatic mutations, DNA methylation, microRNAs, as well as mRNA/protein/receptor expression; and (iv) Cancer Prevention, Control, and Implementation Science, including, health care delivery/outcomes research, health disparities, survivorship and palliative care research.

The DOE/DEPH also plays also a major role in the Einstein-Rockefeller-CUNY Center for AIDS Research (ERC-CFAR). The CFAR integrates the scientific work of over 200 investigators from the three NYC academic institutions shown in its name, with the ultimate goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. DOE plays a particular role in the design, development, and function of the Clinical, Translational and Implementation Science Core (CTISC). This includes providing a regional research platform for the initiation and expansion of HIV-related clinical, translational and implementation research; assist researchers in participant recruitment for both clinical trials (e.g. eradication research or pathogenesis) and for observational studies by active recruitment of patients with rare phenotypes (e.g. elite or viremic controllers); and research to assess policy, clinic/practice guidelines, and individual factors impact quality of life and health outcomes. It also includes oversight of the ERC-CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort, based at Montefiore/Einstein with clinical and laboratory data on over 18,000 HIV-infected and 420,000 HIV-negative patients.

DOE investigators helps lead the New York Regional Center for Diabetes Translation Research (NY Regional CDTR) which includes faculty not only from Einstein/MMC but also from Mount Sinai and the New York Academy of Medicine — serving as a collaborative hub for investigators conducting studies on pre-diabetes, diabetes and its complications.

Several NIH-supported multi-institutional cohort studies additionally have an academic home in DOE. This includes the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), an ongoing long-term national health study with nearly 15 years of follow-up in approximately 200,000 participants that focuses on strategies for preventing heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. WHI has had major impacts on clinical practice in each of these areas. The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is the largest prospective cohort study of HIV-infected women in the US. First initiated in 1994-95 in the Bronx (MMC/Einstein), Brooklyn, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the WIHS with its q6mo follow-up — involving collection of blood, cervicovaginal specimens, questionnaire and clinical data as well as a physical and gynecologic exam — it has played a major role in affecting clinical guidelines, particularly cervical cancer screening. The Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a multi-center epidemiologic study in Hispanic/Latino populations to assess the prevalence and development of disease, and to identify factors playing a protective or harmful role in the health of Hispanics/Latinos. The target population of 16,000 persons of Hispanic/Latino origin, specifically Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, and Central/South American, were recruited through four Field Centers in Miami, San Diego, Chicago and the Bronx area of New York. Annual follow-up interviews are conducted to determine health outcomes of interest.

DOE Epidemiologists and Division of Biostatistics faculty worked together in developing the curriculum of the Clinical Research and Training Program (CRTP), a 2-year didactic and mentored research program resulting in a Master Degree in Clinical Research and Methods, which includes a year of biostatistics and epidemiologic theory/methods classes, intended for MDs and PhDs interested in conducting population-based or clinical research (or research methods in general), though medical students are occasionally allowed into the program, and certain CRTP graduates are considered for further training (under a European Model of mentored teaching) to obtain a PhD.

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Division Faculty

Division Chief

Howard Strickler, M.D.

Howard Strickler, M.D.

Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Epidemiology & Population Health

Division Head, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health Division of Epidemiology

Leader, Cancer Epidemiology Prevention & Control Program Albert Einstein Cancer Center

718.430.4055

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Full-Time Faculty

Primary Faculty
Ilir Agalliu, M.D., Sc.D.
David B. Hanna, Ph.D.

David B. Hanna, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

718.430.2690

Areas of Research: HIV, cardiovascular disease, mortality, surveillance, geographic information systems, cohort studies, disparities

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H. Dean Hosgood, Ph.D.

H. Dean Hosgood, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Director, Global Environmental Health Global Health Center

Associate Director, Population and Clinical Sciences Clinical Research Training Program

Research Director, Medical Student Global Health Program

718.430.2138

Areas of Research: Cancer Epidemiology; Environmental Epidemiology; Genetic and Genomic Susceptibility; Global Health; Hematologic Malignancies; Lung Cancer; Never Smokers; non-Hodgkin Lymphoma; Noninvasive Biomarkers

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Robert C. Kaplan, Ph.D.

Robert C. Kaplan, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Dorothy and William Manealoff Foundation and Molly Rosen Chair in Social Medicine

718.430.4076

Areas of Research: Epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and HIV infection; health of Hispanic/Latino populations; genetic epidemiology

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Brandilyn A. Peters-Samuelson, Ph.D.

Brandilyn A. Peters-Samuelson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

718.430.3281

Areas of Research: Epidemiological studies of the human microbiome; dietary and environmental determinants of the human microbiome; role of the human microbiome in metabolism and chronic diseases

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Qibin Qi, Ph.D.

Qibin Qi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Associate Director, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health Center for Population Cohorts

718.430.4203

Areas of Research: Epidemiological studies of obesity and related cariometabolic disease (diabetes and CVD); genetic and gene-environment interaction studies; Metabolomics; Gut Microbiome; cariometabolic disease in HIV infection

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Mayris P. Webber, Dr.P.H.

Mayris P. Webber, Dr.P.H.

718.999.2665

Areas of Research: Epidemiologic research of health outcomes in firefighters and EMS workers who participated in rescue/recovery at the World Trade Center site. Areas of interest: pulmonary function; cancer; and, autoimmune diseases.

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Rachel Zeig-Owens, Dr.P.H.

Rachel Zeig-Owens, Dr.P.H.

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Areas of Research: Cancer Epidemiology, Occupational Health, Longitudinal Studies

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Secondary Faculty
Victor M. Badner, D.M.D., M.P.H.

Victor M. Badner, D.M.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor, Department of Dentistry

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Chair, Department of Dentistry Department of Dentistry at Jacobi Medical Center

718.918.3418

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Michal L. Melamed, M.D.

Michal L. Melamed, M.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Nephrology)

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

718.430.2304

Areas of Research: Risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD); racial disparities in kidney disease; clinical trials of bicarbonate therapy, vitamin D, group care; vitamin D deficiency and outcomes

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Carlos J. Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H.

Carlos J. Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H.

Professor, Department of Medicine (Cardiology)

Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Director, Clinical Cardiology Research

Director, Cardiovascular Epidemiology

718.430.2232

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Clyde B. Schechter, M.D.

Clyde B. Schechter, M.D.

646.228.4690

Areas of Research: Simulation modeling; epidemiology; breast cancer prevention and control; diabetes self-management support; patient safety and electronic medical records.

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Simon D. Spivack, M.D., M.P.H.

Simon D. Spivack, M.D., M.P.H.

Professor, Department of Medicine (Pulmonary Medicine)

Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Professor, Department of Genetics

718.678.1040

Areas of Research: Development of early lung cancer detection strategies; exhaled nucleic acid and other airway biomarkers. Genome-wide surveys of lung epithelia. Translational lung studies. Mechanistic studies in functional epigenetics.

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Tertiary Faculty
Richard B. Lipton, M.D.

Richard B. Lipton, M.D.

Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Edwin S. Lowe Chair in Neurology

Vice Chair The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology

Director, Montefiore Headache Center

718.430.3886

Areas of Research: I study migraine headaches, cognitive aging and dementia. My work includes longitudinal population studies that link stress, pain and cognitive performance to genetics, biomarkers and neuroimaging.

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Quarternary Faculty
Robert D. Burk, M.D.

Robert D. Burk, M.D.

Professor, Department of Pediatrics (Pediatric Genetic Medicine)

Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health (Gynecological Oncology)

Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Vice Chair for Translational Research Department of Pediatrics

718.430.3720

Areas of Research: Papillomavirus evolution, pathogenesis and genomic changes causing cervix cancer; HPV methylation and risk of cervix cancer; Integration of molecular epidemiology, Next-Gen sequencing and bioinformatics. Epidemiology of the Human microbiome - gut, oral,

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Part-Time Faculty

Hillel W. Cohen, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

Hillel W. Cohen, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Associate Director of Curriculum, Clinical Research Training Program

718.430.3745

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Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D.

Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D.

Distinguished University Professor Emerita, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Dorothy and William Manealoff Foundation and Molly Rosen Chair in Social Medicine Emerita

Site PI, Women's Health Initiative

718.430.2358

Areas of Research: cardiovascular risk, stroke, depression, hypertension, biomarkers, women's health, Hispanic health

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Voluntary Faculty

Michael H. Alderman, M.D.

Michael H. Alderman, M.D.

Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine)

718.430.2281

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Jorge Kizer, M.D.

Jorge Kizer, M.D.

Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Director of Clinical Cardiovascular Research Department of Medicine

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Mark H. Kuniholm, Ph.D.

Mark H. Kuniholm, Ph.D.

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

518.402.0397

Areas of Research: infectious diseases epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis

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Olivier D. Loudig, Ph.D.

Olivier D. Loudig, Ph.D.

Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (Epidemiology)

Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology

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