Faculty members in the Department of Epidemiology at UC Irvine are active in an array of key areas of research focusing on the effects of genetic, molecular and environmental factors affecting human health and disease. Specifically, our faculty interests include chronic disease epidemiology (e.g., epidemiological study of cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthmas, metabolic syndromes and brain aging processes), biostatistical methods (e.g., statistical genetics, health statistics and advanced epidemiological methods), reproductive epidemiology, genetics and molecular epidemiology, nutritional epidemiology and occupational epidemiology.
We are committed to expanding and integrating basic, clinical and epidemiologic programs.
The Athena Breast Health Network: A groundbreaking clinical care program designed to revolutionize breast cancer care by more efficiently merging research, technology, financing and healthcare delivery in a way that reduces the time needed to translate research findings into patient care. It is expected that the resulting rich database of information will shape breast cancer care for decades to come.
The Cancer Surveillance Program of Orange County (CSPOC) was established in 1983 and is administered by the UC Irvine Department of Epidemiology for the purpose of providing a focus for scientists, clinicians, and members of the health-care community to promote cancer prevention and control in the county. Designated geographical regions in California serve as a collective of regional registries which collect data and report to the central, state registry. CSPOC is the model regional registry for the entire system, having improved the efficiency of data collection and by responding to local needs more efficiently than the state registry. Since 1992, the Department of Epidemiology has also administered the San Diego/Imperial Organization for Cancer Control (SANDIOCC) program.
Our environmental studies focus on the relationship of various disease symptoms to ambient air quality. Studies being conducted include repeated measurements of air pollutants and aeroallergens as they relate to daily asthma symptom severity using both clinical measurement tools and daily patient diaries for recording degrees of symptoms, medication use, spatial location and physical activity; exposure assessments involving air-monitoring systems inside and outside of subject homes to ascertain causal relationship with diseases established from pre-partum to more age-related chronic diseases; and disease connected to commonly available tobacco-related products. A video from an "On The Air" news station broadcast featured physician researcher Dr. Ralph Delfino talking about the effects of traffic-related chemical pollutants on chronic diseases.
In August, 2011, UCI researchers were awarded more than $400,000 by the National Institutes of Health to study the potential effects of global climate change on public health, particularly asthma in children. The project is a cross-campus collaboration involving Ralph Delfino, associate professor of epidemiology; Michael Prather, professor of earth system science; Daniel Gillen, associate professor of statistics; Scott Bartell, assistant professor of public health, epidemiology and statistics; and Jun Wu, assistant professor of public health and epidemiology. UC Davis environmental engineer Michael Kleeman is also part of the team. "Our study will estimate the future risks for children of smog linked to climate change," said Delfino, who has conducted extensive research on air pollution and its health effects.
Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute (GERI) is a campus-wide, collaborative institute with a rich tradition of studying the genetic and environmental factors leading to complex human diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. This institute brings together researchers from many scientific disciplines to more completely explore the medical essence of human health. It is one of only 21 organized research units (ORU) at UC Irvine and is home to well over 50 internationally recognized scientists working together and with the community via the Center for Cancer Genetics Research and Prevention to better protect the health of our children, families and friends.
The department also engages in multiple key collaborations with local, regional and national partners that enable groundbreaking innovations. If you are affiliated with a research institution interested in collaborative opportunities or would like more information about the department’s research programs, please contact Dr. Anton-Culver via e-mail or phone at 949.824.7401.