Message from the Chair

Charles C. Branas, PhDEpidemiology has made truly impressive contributions to humanity. Many of the benefits we enjoy today are the direct result of over a century of epidemiological fieldwork and research to eradicate diseases, improve our environments, make us safer, and set the record straight for countless health threats that would have otherwise gone unrecognized. From smallpox to smoking to safe cars, epidemiology and epidemiologists have made a difference. Yet today, few people are aware of the awesome magnitude of these contributions.

As epidemiologists it is our duty to put forward the absolute best, life-saving science and to train the next generation of scientists. But it is also our duty to do this in a way that elevates our field in the eyes of other scientists and policymakers and, even more importantly, in the eyes of the public who are the real reason we do what we do.

I am deeply honored to Chair the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Our Department’s history is part and parcel with the very history of the field of epidemiology itself. Our founding leaders were also the founders of epidemiology in the United States and many of the field’s lead organizations that still stand today. Currently, the Department is one of the largest and best known in the world, with over 150 faculty, more than 400 graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, and highly committed teams of administrative and research staff. All of these people are deeply committed to and motivated by one thing — producing world class science with real world impact. So welcome to the Department and please take a moment to explore our research, our people, and our programs.

Charles Branas, PhD
Gelman Professor and Chair
Department of Epidemiology