Epidemiology and Population Health

Epidemiology is the study of factors that cause illness and impairment in human populations. It is the cornerstone of population health and clinical research, informing policy, prevention, disease treatment, and understanding of disease mechanisms. A central focus of epidemiology is to go beyond simple prediction to identifying risk factors likely to be causal, upon which interventions and mechanistic understanding can be reliably based.

The research discipline of epidemiology encompasses the discovery of such factors,  development of new quantitative methods, and evaluation of whether disease or its complications can be treated or prevented. These factors can range from environmental, social and behavioral to biologic and genetic determinants of health. Applied epidemiology focuses on health monitoring and disease prevention in communities. 

The Department of Epidemiology and Population Health (EPH) is Stanford’s academic and organizational home for such activities, offering expertise, research, and training on study design, data collection, analysis, and proper interpretation of scientific evidence to improve human health in the clinic and in the field.

Co-located with Stanford's world-class researchers in medicine, biology, statistics, engineering, environment, business, and law, EPH is at the epicenter of an academic enterprise focused on creative, multi-disciplinary solutions to the many challenges that medicine and population health will face in the coming decades.