Health Research and Policy

Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research

The Health Research and Policy (HRP) department provides the analytical foundation for research conducted at the Stanford School of Medicine, offering expertise, research, and training on collecting and interpreting the scientific evidence essential to improving human health.

Located within walking distance of Stanford's world-class medical school, hospitals and Science and Engineering school, HRP is physically and intellectually at the epicenter of most exciting analytical challenges that medicine will face in the coming decade.

The 300 million-plus people in the U.S. will need more effective, safe and affordable health care in order for the country to thrive in the years to come. Individuals may each carry with them all the information they need to lead healthy, productive lives — their genetic code, their medical records, their behaviors as tracked by electronic devices — yet today this data is largely inaccessible or unusable. It requires a special breed of analytical, multidimensional thinker — out-of-the-box problem-solvers who can extract, bring meaning to, and motivate people to act on this medical information.

Stanford's Health Research and Policy department, immersed in the Silicon Valley culture of innovation and over 260 days of sunshine a year, provides an incubator for those who are motivated to address these challenges.

The scholars within HRP's divisions conduct a wide variety of health-related research, but they are particularly proud of their contributions to society in these areas:

  • Biostatistics is defining the standards for high-throughput processing and analysis of data from the human genome, as well as developing more efficient methodologies for running clinical trials.
  • Epidemiology is using both observational and experimental research methods to uncover environmental, genetic and behavioral factors to aid in human disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
  • Health Services Research is finding ways to deliver better health for less money by redefining care models using economic data and outcomes research gathered from clinicians, insurers, healthcare organizations and researchers.
  • Population Health Sciences is finding ways to use unstructured health information in electronic medical records and large health-related databases for medical decision-making, developing novel approaches to extracting statistically relevant informatics that can be used for personalizing medical cures and treatments.

HRP offers two Masters of Science programs, one in Epidemiology & Clinical Research and the other in Health Services Research. Students interested in Biostatistics are encouraged to pursue a MS or PhD within the Department of Statistics in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Biostatistics has also launched a new Biostatistics PhD Training Program in Personalized Medicine, in partnership with Statistics. Taught by many of the HRP faculty, the medical school also offers a Masters of Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling and Masters and a PhD degree in Biomedical Informatics (BMI).