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WWS 598s / POP 508 – Epidemiology
Schedule of Lectures (subject to change)
Monday & Wednesday 9:00 - 10:30 a.m, Robertson Room 10
February 2
February 4
February 9
February 11
February 16
February 18
Problem Set 1 Due
February 23
February 25
March 2
March 4
Topic 1: Introduction and overview
 Jamison, D.T. et al (2013). Global health 2035: a world converging
within a generation. Lancet 382:1898-1955.
Topic 2: Disease transmission and occurrence
 Kucharski & Edmunds (2014) Case Fatality Rate for Ebola in West
Africa Lancet S0140-6736
Topic 3: Measurement of mortality & population health
 GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators (2014)
Global, regional, and national age–sex specific all-cause and causespecific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990–2013: a systematic
analysis for the Global Burden of Disease
Study 2013 Lancet
Topic 4: Survival analysis
 Gajendragadkar et al. (2013) The survival time of chocolates on
hospital wards: covert observational study British Medical Journal
Topic 5: Randomized clinical trials
 Adebamowo et al. (2014) Randomised controlled trials for Ebola:
practical and ethical issues The Lancet 384 p1423
 Shaw (2014) Randomisation is essential in Ebola drug trials The
Lancet 384 p1667
 Cohen & Kupferschmidt (2014) Ebola vaccine trials raise ethical
issues Science 346 p289
 Leaf (2013) Do clinical trials work? New York Times
 Bailey et al. (2007) Male circumcision for HIV prevention in young
men in Kisumu, Kenya: a randomised controlled trial 369 643-656
Topic 6: Cohort studies
 Kaiser (2014) Ambitious children’s study meets disappointing end
Science 346 p1441
 Hyponnen et al. (2001) Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1
diabetes: a birth-cohort study. Lancet 358 1500
Guest Lecture: Jessica Bliss – Nutrition and infection
 Black et al (2013). Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight
in low-income and middle-income counties. The Lancet 382, no.
9890 p 427-451.
Topic 7: Case control and cross-sectional studies
 Taubes (2007) Do we really know what makes us healthy? New York
 Foltz et al. (2014). Epidemiologic Investigation of Potential Risk
Factors for Nodding Syndrome in Kitgum District, Uganda. Plos One
8 e66419
Topic 8: Measuring risk
 Lim et al. (2013) A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease
and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21
regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of
Disease Study 2010 The Lancet 380 p2224–2260
 Adhikari et al. (2008) Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of
Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses --- United States, 2000—
2004 57 p1226-1228
Topic 9: Bias and confounding
March 9
Problem Set 2 due
March 11
Problem Set 3 due
March 14-22
Topic 10: Regression models
 Agresti and Finlay, Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences, 4th
edition. Chapter 15 (“Logistic Regression: Modeling Categorical
Responses,” pp. 483-49)
Guest Lecture: Hannes Schwandt Causality - influenza and birth outcomes
 Currie J, Schwandt H (2013) Within-mother analysis of seasonal
patterns in health at birth. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences 110: 12265-12270
Spring Recess
March 23
-- Revision, catch-up & general discussion session -March 25
March 30
April 1st
April 6
Last day to suggest
alternate topic for
Problem Set 4.
April 8
IN-CLASS EXAM [mid-term]
Topic 11: Infectious disease dynamics I - The basics
 Roberts M, Heesterbeek H (1993) Bluff your way in epidemic models.
Trends in Microbiology 1(9): 343-8.
Topic 11: Infectious disease dynamics II – Demography and
 Metcalf CJE, Lessler J, Klepac P, Cutts FT, Grenfell BT (2012)
Minimum levels of coverage needed for rubella vaccination: impact of
local demography, seasonality and population heterogeneity.
Epidemiology and Infection 16: 1-12.
Topic 11: Infectious disease dynamics III – Modeling for public policy
• Metcalf, C.J.E., Lessler, J. & Edmunds, W.J. (2015). Six challenges
in policy for modeling. Epidemics
Topic 12: Screening
 Kolata (2009) Panel urges mammograms at 50, not 40 New York
 Mandelblatt et al. 2009. Effects of mammography screening under
different screening schedules: model estimates of potential benefits
and harms Annals of Internal Medicine 15: 738-747
April 13
Topic 13: The literature
 Kolata (2008) Searching for Clarity: A Primer on Medical Studies
New York Times
 Ionnadis (2005) Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
Plos Medicine 2 e124
April 15
Problem Set 4
April 20
In class presentations – see Problem set 4 for questions
April 22
Guest Lecture: TBA
April 27
Topic 14 : Population and Health
 McKee & Scholnikov Understanding the toll of premature death
among men in eastern Europe BMJ 323 1051
Topic 15: Social Epidemiology
• Farmer (1996). Social Inequalities and Emerging Infectious Disease
Emerging Infectious Diseases 2 259-269
• Vitek & Wharton (1998) Diphtheria in the Former Soviet Union:
Reemergence of a Pandemic Disease Emerging Infectious Diseases
4 539
April 29
Guest Lecture: Jason Schwartz Ethical issues:
Grading: The course grades will be determined as follows: in-class exam (30%),
final exam (30%), problem sets/group presentation (30%), and class/precept
participation (10%).
Reading: Please do the reading – before or after the relevant lecture - but
sometime during the course. Topics are likely to come up in the exams.
Readings are listed in the schedule and also available on Blackboard.
Presentation: There will be a presentation on April 15 – I’ve suggested some
topics, but if you have a burning desire to address a particular question, please
come talk to me about it before April 6th.
Precepts: Precepts led by Amy Winter will be held each week. The purpose of
the precepts is to present a modest amount of new material, review material from
the lectures and basic statistical concepts, go over difficulties encountered in the
problem sets, and provide an opportunity for students to ask questions
Tentative precept schedule
Precept #1: Statistics review (for those who think they need it) – really basic
such as what is a 95% CI, hypothesis testing, etc.
Precept #2: Discussion on epidemiological data sources and biases
Precept #3: Practice question of Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and discussion
of RCT’s [Bailey 2007]
Precept #4: Problem Set #1 review
Precept #5: Discussion of cohort and case-control studies [Foltz, 2014 and
Hyppönen, 2001]
Precept #6: Problem Set #2 review
Precept #7: Problem Set #3 review & Midterm review
No precept week of the midterm
Precept #8: Discussion of ID dynamics [Metcalf, 2012]
Precept #9: Discussion of screening, and practice interpreting regressions
Precept #10: Discussion of ethics, and practice interpreting regressions
Precept #11: Final exam review