Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health
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Department of Epidemiology Students and Faculty

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This Spring, our theme is writing. From student dissertations and theses to provocative academic articles, op-eds with legislation-changing impact, and evidence reviews to inform dietary guidelines, faculty and students have woven their research and scholarship into innovative narratives. They are reaching wider audiences and sparking conversations.

Faculty are participating in the University-wide initiative “Writing for the Public Good.” Meanwhile, students explored frameworks for effective science communication in the new course “Epidemiology III Seminar: The Contemporary Epidemiologist.” They are learning to translate complex data into compelling narratives that resonate with the public.

As we celebrate the 30 Spring and Summer graduates of the Department of Epidemiology, we raise our pens and cheer them on. Write On! May your journey be filled with purpose, resilience, and transformative contributions to public health.🌼📝✨

Betsy Chrischilles

Cara Hamann

Hamann offers a fix to the legal loophole in crosswalk laws

Cara Hamann, associate professor of epidemiology, recently wrote an op-ed about a glaring loophole in crosswalk laws in the United States. Hamann, who was just honored with the Faculty Communicating Ideas Award, offers a simple policy solution for these laws which often give legal protections only to people on foot -- but not to people in wheelchairs, on bicycles, or on other personal conveyances.

Portrait of Professor Jonathan Platt of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Supporting Youth Mental Health

The journey to adulthood is often a turbulent one, but recent research shows that today’s adolescents are struggling with dramatic increases in mental distress. Researchers Jonathan Platt, assistant professor in epidemiology, and Ebonee Johnson are working to address these issues.

Portrait of University of Iowa Prof. Michael Pentella, professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health and director of the State Hygienic Laboratory.

State Hygienic Lab recognized nationally for wastewater testing

The State Hygienic Laboratory, under the direction of Mike Pentella, clinical professor of epidemiology, is one of five new wastewater-based centers of excellence established by Ceres Nanosciences with support from the NIH. Wastewater testing allows officials to track the spread of pathogens such as RSV, influenza, mpox, and emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 without having to rely on testing individuals. Dr. Pentella also recently spoke with The Gazette and KCRG about wastewater testing.

Portrait of Prof. Linda Snetselaar of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Snetselaar named to expert committee on alcohol consumption and health outcomes

Linda Snetselaar, professor of epidemiology, was recently named to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee of experts to review, evaluate, and report on the current scientific evidence on the relationship between alcohol consumption and health outcomes.

Photo of Mary Charlton, professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

2024 Cancer in Iowa report focuses on alcohol-related cancers

Iowans’ alcohol consumption—in volume and frequency—is among the highest in the nation, and puts residents at greater risk for cancer, according to the 2024 Cancer in Iowa report issued by the Iowa Cancer Registry. For more information Read The Gazette's four part series on Cancer in Iowa, and hear Mary Charlton, professor of epidemiology and director of the Iowa Cancer Registry, discuss the report on IPR.

Epi Department Picnic Photo

2024 Awards

Epidemiology faculty, students, and alumni were recognized with College of Public Health and University of Iowa awards.

  • New graduates receiving awards: Christian Johnson, Amy Ogilvie, and Jacob Thompson
  • Epidemiology alumni: Brett Faine
  • Epidemiology faculty: Cara Hamman, Michael O'Rorke, Shoshanna Eggers, and Elizabeth Chrischilles

Student Stories

Amir Ghanbari receives $20K grant to study adolescent bicycling injuries

Amir Ghanbari, a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology, has been named the recipient of the 2023 H. Clay Gabler Scholar’s Program Award from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

Lauren Kloft: Forging connections and fostering collaboration

Lauren Kloft (21BA) is currently working on her MPH degree in epidemiology. She recently answered some questions about the family connection that sparked her interest in public health, the importance of community involvement, and her work at the State Hygienic Laboratory.

Alumni Stories

Portrait of Amy Ogilvie of the Department of Epidemiology att the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

From the Front Row: Discussing Huntington’s Disease with Amy Ogilvie

Lauren welcomes recent CPH alumna, and 2024 Barnes Award Winner, Dr. Amy Ogilvie (20MS, 23PhD) to the podcast for a discussion about her personal and professional interest in Huntington's Disease as well as her journey to earn a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Iowa.

Tala al-Rousan

Alumna Tala Al-Rousan honored for achievements

Alumna Tala Al-Rousan (15MPH) has been selected by the Arab American Businesses and Professional Association as one of the 10 most inspiring and influential women in the nation. Al-Rousan, an assistant professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health at the University of California San Diego, will be honored at an event in March.

Keep up with your classmates with our College of Public Health Alumni Directory.

Use this form to join the directory or to update your existing listing.

If you are interested in supporting graduate education and innovative research in epidemiology at the University of Iowa, please visit this link.

Department of Epidemiology | College of Public Health | University of Iowa


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