Preventing Outbreaks of Childhood Infectious Diseases, Injuries and Other Health-Related Events

In this division we focus on investigative research to help medicine better understand infectious disease outbreaks and other conditions that occur rather suddenly in large numbers. More American children than ever are suffering from diabetes, obesity, sleep problems and other conditions that can have lifelong negative effects on their health—and on the everyday lives of their families.

What is Epidemiology?

You and your family may have personal experience with some of the phenomena we study—from chicken pox to childhood diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Our focus is on studying risk factors—be they events, characteristics, or other definable factors—for various conditions and then finding ways to prevent those conditions among those at risk.

As an example, we might measure how many in a group of people whose parents had asthma also develop the condition compared to those whose parents did not. Then we might study how various preventive programs work among those who were born prematurely and who develop sleep apnea.