Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University

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Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Established1927 (1927)
Location
Allan Rosenfield Building, 722 West 168th Street, New York
,
New York
,
United States
CampusLocated on the Columbia University Medical Centre campus
Websitewww.mailman.columbia.edu/academic-departments/epidemiology

The Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University is one of six departments at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, located on the Columbia University Medical Center campus in New York City.[1] It offers five graduate degrees, several doctoral and post-doctoral training programs, and holds a summer institute.[2] The department is among the largest of its kind and hosts a grand rounds on various public health issues and[3] current epidemiologic topics.

The department’s research strengths include cancer epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, biologic and social determinants of population health, psychiatric epidemiology, injury epidemiology, and applying methodologic approaches to look at epidemiology over the life course. The department is organized into seven research units.

History[edit]

The department’s history extends back nearly a century. In 1918, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons received a $5 million endowment from the estate of mining magnate Joseph DeLamar to establish an educational program in public health, which led to the founding in 1919 of what would become the School of Public Health. DeLamar’s legacy was "to provide for the study and teaching of the origin and cause of human disease and the prevention thereof, and for the study and teaching of dietetics and of the effect of different food and diet.”[4] The DeLamar Institute of Public Health opened its doors at Columbia in 1921 and the following year began offering the Master of Science in Public Health degree.[5]

Haven Emerson, Professor of Public Health Administration, was the first director of the Institute of Public Health, serving from 1922 to 1939. Emerson was a major figure in epidemiology in the 1920s, founding the American Epidemiological Society in 1927 with Edward Godfrey, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia under Emerson. [5] The same year, Emerson also formed and was the first secretary of the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association.[6]

Shortly after Emerson stepped down, Harry Stoll Mustard assumed leadership of the Institute of Public Health in 1940 where he would remain until 1949. The same year Mustard was appointed, Ernest Stebbins was appointed the first full Professor of Epidemiology at the Institute, and the Doctor of Science of in public health was offered for the first time.[4][5]

On July 1, 1945, the designation of Institute of Public Health was changed by the Trustees of Columbia University to the School of Public Health.[7] In 1946, the School of Public Health began offering the Master of Public Health degree in addition to the Master of Science and the Doctor of Public Health.[7]

E. Gurney Clark, who succeeded Stebbins as Professor of Epidemiology in 1947, saw Epidemiology become a Division in 1953 and became the first leader of the Division, a post he held until 1966. Clark was perhaps best known for his textbook on preventive medicine and epidemiologic investigation. Under Clark, the Department developed a close relationship with the New York City Department of Health .[6]Mervyn Susser served as Head of the Division of Epidemiology from 1966 to 1978; he continued in the role as acting Head of Division until 1982. Susser presided over a period where the core curriculum for epidemiology in the Division was established, the foundation for much of the teaching that takes place in the Department to this day. Susser also initiated a relationship with New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), and helped seed several prestigious training programs.

Under Susser’s leadership, the department established a strong focus on child development, mental health, and the social and psychological sciences, which was unusual for departments of epidemiology at the time. In 1967, its Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program was established, followed in 1972 by the award of a T32 training program from NIMH to Bruce Dohrenwend[6], which continues today. A PhD program in Epidemiology was also established, and its first graduate was awarded her degree in 1977.

Bernard Challenor, dean of the School of Public Health 1978-1980 served as acting Head of the Division of Epidemiology 1982-1983.[8] In 1983, Jennifer Kelsey took over as Head of the Division of Epidemiology, serving until 1991[6], five years after Allan Rosenfield was appointed Dean of the School of Public Health. During the 1980s, there were four special programs offered to students: Epidemiology of Mental Retardation, Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Disorders, Neuroepidemiology, and Psychiatric Epidemiology.[8] Geoffrey Howe assumed the role of Head of Division in 1995.[9] Under Kelsey and Howe, the Division expanded its focal areas of concentration to include women’s reproductive health and particularly cancer epidemiology. In the 1990s, the Department’s focal areas of study included cancer epidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology, neuroepidemiology, and cardiovascular epidemiology.[10]

The School and the Department were transformed in 1998, when the Mailman Family Foundation endowed the School with $33 million, at the time the largest gift ever given to a school of public health. The School was then renamed the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health.[11][5]

In 1999, Ezra Susser, son of Mervyn Susser and Zena Stein, a long-standing faculty member in the Division, assumed the role of Division Head in Epidemiology. In 2001, the Division of Epidemiology became the Department of Epidemiology and Susser became the first chair of the department.[5] During this time, the department was transformed from one with few grants and a limited purview into one with a large portfolio of grants and programs. In 2008, Susser stepped down as Chair. William Friedewald stepped in as acting chair for a year while a search committee convened a search for the epidemiology chair. During this time, in a school-wide reorganization, two inter-departmental centers, International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) and the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII), were launched, led by Wafaa El-Sadr and W. Ian Lipkin, respectively, two epidemiology faculty members who joined the department under Susser’s leadership.

In 2010, Sandro Galea joined the Mailman School as the Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and as Anna Cheskis Gelman and Murray Charles Gelman Professor of Epidemiology. Under his leadership, the department reorganized and consolidated its work in its core areas, building its research and teaching portfolio in chronic disease, infectious disease, injury, lifecourse, psychiatric/neurological, and social epidemiology. The Department also launched several new programs, including the Global Mental Health Program and efforts aimed at translation of public health research, and educational initiatives, including the Epidemiology and Population Health Summer Institute and the Executive MS program.

In 2017, Charles Branas became the Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and the Anna Cheskis Gelman and Murray Charles Gelman Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. Before joining the Mailman School, he taught and conducted extensive research at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. The Department has adopted a vision of producing world-class science with real-world impact while training the next generation of epidemiologists to improve the health and lives of communities across the globe.

Academic programs[edit]

The department offers master’s and doctoral degree programs, as well as a summer training institute. Degrees granted by the department include a PhD, DrPH, MPH, MS, and an Executive MS.

Academic and training programs[edit]

The department sponsors or co-sponsors many training programs for doctoral and post-doctoral trainees in the areas of cancer, family planning, international AIDS research, malignancies, infectious disease epidemiology, maximizing diversity, nutrition and population health, neuro-epidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, substance abuse, and anti-microbial resistance.

Research[edit]

Columbia’s Department of Epidemiology is organized into research units: chronic disease epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, injury epidemiology, psychiatric/neurologic epidemiology, social epidemiology, and substance abuse epidemiology.

Affiliated centers and programs[edit]

  • Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC)
  • Center for Infection and Immunity (CII)
  • Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)
  • Institute of Human Nutrition (IHN)
  • International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP)
  • Gertrude S. Sergievsky Center
  • Global Mental Health Program (GMHP)
  • Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health -". Mailman.columbia.edu. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Epidemiology - Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health". Mailman.columbia.edu. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Epidemiology Grand Rounds - Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health". Mailman.columbia.edu. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b Annette B. Ramirez de Arellano1; Samuel Wolfe. ""For the Study of Disease and the Prevention Thereof..." : Origins of the Columbia School of Public Health" (PDF). Aje.oxfordjournals.org. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e Columbia University. School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine. "Columbia University bulletin of information : the DeLamar Institute of Public Health : announcement". New York City : The University. Retrieved 28 November 2017 – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ a b c d "THE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH 75TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE" (PDF). American Journal of Epidemiology. The Johns Hopkins University. 147. February 1, 1998. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b Columbia University. School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine. "Columbia University bulletin of information : the DeLamar Institute of Public Health : announcement". New York City : The University. Retrieved 28 November 2017 – via Internet Archive.
  8. ^ a b Columbia University. School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine. "Columbia University bulletin of information : the DeLamar Institute of Public Health : announcement". New York City : The University. Retrieved 28 November 2017 – via Internet Archive.
  9. ^ Columbia University. School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine. "Columbia University bulletin of information : the DeLamar Institute of Public Health : announcement". New York City : The University. Retrieved 28 November 2017 – via Internet Archive.
  10. ^ Columbia University. School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine. "Columbia University bulletin of information : the DeLamar Institute of Public Health : announcement". New York City : The University. Retrieved 28 November 2017 – via Internet Archive.
  11. ^ Columbia University. School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine. "Columbia University bulletin of information : the DeLamar Institute of Public Health : announcement". New York City : The University. Retrieved 28 November 2017 – via Internet Archive.