Master of Science Degree in
Epidemiology and Clinical Research

Infectious Disease Concentration

The Adult and Pediatric Divisions of Infectious Diseases coordinate an interdisciplinary program in Infectious Diseases for students. The requirements for the Infectious Diseases Track are identical to those of the Master Program in Epidemiology and Clinical Research except students:

  1. are not required to take HRP 251: Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials (encouraged, yet not required)
  2. are required to participate in two quarters of an ID seminar (registered as HRP 236 and alternating attendance between the two courses each quarter - student responsibility to confirm ID seminar attendance with HRP 236 instructor by end of quarter to receive credit.  8 of 10 weeks attendance required for each quarter - minimum 4 each in ID seminar and HRP 236 seminar.)
  3. are required to take HRP 231: Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases; and
  4. are required to take 6 credits from the list of Infectious Disease electives/selectives


Infectious Disease Electives/Selectives:

HRP 234: Engineering Better Health Systems:  modeling for public health (HUMBIO 154A)
This course teaches engineering, operations research and modeling techniques to improve public health programs and systems. Students will engage in in-depth study of disease detection and control strategies from a "systems science" perspective, which involves the use of common engineering, operations research, and mathematical modeling techniques such as optimization, queuing theory, Markov and Kermack-McKendrick models, and microsimulation. Lectures and problem sets will focus on applying these techniques to classical public health dilemmas such as how to optimize screening programs, reduce waiting times for healthcare services, solve resource allocation problems, and compare macro-scale disease control strategies that cannot be easily evaluated through randomized trials. Readings will complement the lectures and problem sets by offering critical perspectives from the public health history, sociology, and epidemiology. In-depth case studies from non-governmental organizations, departments of public health, and international agencies will drive the course. Prerequisites: A course in introductory statistics, and a course in multivariable calculus including ordinarily differential equations. Open to upper-division undergraduate students and graduate students. 
Autumn | 4 units

HRP 237: Practical Approaches to Global Health Research
How do you come up with an idea for health research overseas? How do you develop a research question, concept note, and get your project funded? How do you manage personnel in the field, difficult cultural situations, or unexpected problems? How do you create a sampling strategy, select a study design, and ensure ethical conduct with human subjects? This course takes students through the process of health research in under-resourced countries from the development of the initial research question and literature review to securing support and detailed planning for field work. Students progressively develop and receive weekly feedback on a concept note to support a funding proposal addressing a research question of their choosing. Aims at graduate students; undergraduates in their junior or senior year may enroll with instructor consent. This course is restricted to undergraduates unless they have completed 85 units or more.
Autumn | 3 Units

HRP 247: Epidemic Intelligence (HUMBIO 57)
We will cover: the components of public health systems in the US; principles of outbreak investigation and disease surveillance; different types of study design for field investigation; visualization and interpretation of public health data, including identification and prevention of biases; and implementation of disease control by public health authorities. Students will meet with leaders of health departments of the state and the county and will be responsible for devising and conducting their own investigation of a health problem. HUMBIO students must enroll in HUMBIO 57. HRP students must enroll in HRP 247.
Winter | 4 units

ANTHRO 277: Environmental Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases (ANTHRO 177, HUMBIO 114)
The changing epidemiological environment. How human-induced environmental changes, such as global warming, deforestation and land-use conversion, urbanization, international commerce, and human migration, are altering the ecology of infectious disease transmission, and promoting their re-emergence as a global public health threat. Case studies of malaria, cholera, hantavirus, plague, and HIV.
Winter | 4-5 units

GENE 208: Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease (BIOE 221G, MI 221)
Preference to graduate students. Focus is on the human gut microbiota. Students enrolling for 3 units receive instruction on computational approaches to analyze microbiome data and must complete a related project.
Spring | 2-3 units

MS&E 292: Health Policy Modeling
Primarily for master's students; also open to undergraduates and doctoral students. The application of mathematical, statistical, economic, and systems models to problems in health policy. Areas include: disease screening, prevention, and treatment; assessment of new technologies; bioterrorism response; and drug control policies.
Winter | 3 units

ANTHRO 283: Ecology, Evolution, and Human Health (not given 2017-18)
Human ecology, human environments, adaptation and plasticity, and their relationship to health and well-being. Comparative context. Topics include human population history, subsistence ecology, demography, reproductive decision making, migration, infectious disease, risk management, and social inequalities. Particular attention will be paid to small-scale subsistence populations. Small-scale societies demonstrate an enormous range of variation in both environmental challenges faced and adaptations thereto. The process of human adaptation cannot be understood in the absence of a grounding in this range of challenge and adaptation.

BIOS 257: HIV: The Virus, the Disease, the Research (not given 2017-18)
Mini-Course. Medical students, graduate students in biological sciences, undergraduate students with strong biological background. Topics: Immunopathogenesis, immune deficits, opportunistic infections including TB, and malignancies; Genomics viral genetic analyses that have traced the origin of HIV-1 and HIV-2 to primates, dated the spread of infection in humans, and characterized theevolution of virus within infected individuals; Antiretroviral drug development identification of drug targets, structure-based drug design, overcoming drug resistance; Challenges of vaccine development; Public health strategies.

CEE 274P: Environmental Health Microbiology Lab (not given 2017-18)
Microbiology skills including culture-, microscope-, and molecular-based detection techniques. Focus is on standard and EPA-approved methods to enumerate and isolate organisms used to assess risk of enteric illnesses, such as coliforms, enterococci, and coliphage, in drinking and recreational waters including lakes, streams, and coastal waters. Student project to assess the microbial water quality of a natural water. Limited enrollment; priority to CEE graduate students. An application form must be filed and approved before admission to the class.

CEE 275C: Water, Sanitation and Health (not given 2017-18)
Students acquire basic knowledge to participate in a dialogue on water, sanitation and health issues in developing and developed countries. The focus is on enteric pathogenic pollutants. Material includes: Important pathogens, their modes of transmission and the diseases they cause, their fate and transport in the environment, and the means by which they are measured; statistical methods for processing and interpreting waterborne pollutant concentrations, and interpreting data from epidemiology studies; microbial source tracking; epidemiology and quantitative microbial risk assessment; reduction of pathogens in water and sludge; and non-experimental water, sanitation, and hygiene research. Several laboratory sessions will allow students to measure indicator bacteria and viruses using culture-based techniques and expose students to molecular methods for measuring health-relevant targets in water.

MED 236: Economics of Infectious Disease and Global Health (HUMBIO 124E) (not given 2017-18)
Introduction to global health topics such as childhood health, hygiene, drug resistance, and pharmaceutical industries from an economic development perspective. Introduces economic concepts including decision-making over time, externalities, and incentives as they relate to health. Prerequisite: Human Biology Core or equivalent or consent of the instructor.

MI 155B: The Vaccine Revolution (not given 2017-18)
Advanced seminar. Human aspects of viral disease, focusing on recent discoveries in vaccine development and emerging infections. Journal club format: students choose articles from primary scientific literature, write formal summaries, and synthesize them into a literature review. Emphasis is on analysis, experimental design, and interpretation of data. Oral presentations. Enrollment limited to 8. Prerequisite: prior enrollment in HumBio 155H Humans and Viruses or MI 116, The Human Virosphere.

MI 225: Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (not given 2017-18)
Explores four families of human viruses (falviviruses, filoviruses, bunyaviruses, arenaviruses) that share certain clinical and pathological features. These families used to illustrate more general features of human virology ranging from molecular virology, viral replication cycles, transmission, clinical presentation, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, public health responses, public policy, economics. After general introduction, each family will be presented, followed by sessions focused on comparisons and integration. Specific case studies focus on current events. Student assignments include problem sets, model-building, blogging, and comprehensive examinations. In-class sessions will include interactive lectures, guest speakers, students presentations, discussions.

MI 245: Computational Modeling of Microbial Communities (BIOE 115) (not given 2017-18)
Provides biologists with basic computational tools and knowledge to confront large datasets in a quantitative manner. Students learn basic programming skills focused on Matlab, but also are introduced to Perl and Python. Topics include: image analysis, bioinformatics algorithms, reaction diffusion modeling, Monte Carlo algorithms, and population dynamics. Students apply computational skills to a miniature research project studying the human gut microbiota.

*Additional Infectious Disease electives may be approved by student's advisor.

Student/Alum Publications and awards

Dec 2017: Congratulations Ph.D. candidate, Stelios Serghiou, for being awarded the David Sackett Young Investigator Award 2017 by the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology for his paper on Field-wide meta-analyses!
"Field-wide meta-analyses of observational associations can map selective availability of risk factors and the impact of model specifications"

Nov 2017: Congrats to recent Ph.D. grad, Andrew Goldstone, on his recent publication with NEJM! Keep up the fantastic work!
"Mechanical or Biologic Prostheses for Aortic-Valve and Mitral-Valve Replacement"

July 2017: Congrats to MD/Ph.D. candidate, Nathan Lo, on his publication!
"Public Health and Economic Consequences of Vaccine Hesitancy for Measles in the United States"

April 2017: Congrats to Ph.D. candidate, Katherine Holsteen, for writing a competitive grant for the Center for Digital Health!

March 2017: Congrats Ph.D. candidate and guest speaker, Nathan Lo, for giving a talk in London for the Gates Neglected Tropical Disease Modeling Consortium meeting. Talk title: "Strengthening guidelines for helminths and NTDs: applications of cost-effectiveness analysis”

February 2017: Congrats Ph.D. candidate, Nathan Lo, for his publication in NEJM
"The Perils of Trumping Science in Global Health — The Mexico City Policy and Beyond"