Welcome to the Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

College of Veterinary Medicine at Illinois

U of I logo Department of Pathobiology

Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine

Programs of Study

The Division of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine offers research and training opportunities in the epidemiology of animal and human diseases with an emphasis on infectious disease.  Students have an opportunity to learn advanced techniques in epidemiological methods and theory, biomedical and spatial statistics, computer modeling, risk assessment, geographic information systems, molecular epidemiology and bioinformatics. Students can also select courses from the many offered at the University of Illinois in the biological sciences, animal science, community health, geography and other units on campus. Programs lead to Ph.D. or M.S. degrees. Master of Science (M.S.) candidates complete 32 hours of coursework including thesis work (up to 12 hours), and are encouraged to participate in departmental and interdepartmental seminar programs. Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) candidates complete 96 hours of course and thesis work, develop an approved prospectus, and make a significant contribution to research, followiing a custom-designed plan of study that is approved by the student's advisory committee. Students are encouraged to design their own program and to interact closely with several faculty members in the choice of appropriate core and elective courses.

Common programs of study focus on the areas of ecosystem health, conservation medicne, host/vector ecology, spatial epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, risk management, and econometrics.  Upon completion of the program, participants will receivean M.S. or Ph.D. degree, and will have partially fulfilled requirements for certification by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. Applicants must be eligible for enrollment in the UI Graduate College.

Areas of Research

Infectious Disease Epidemiology: epidemiology of emerging infections diseases, including zoonooses, food-borne diseases, diseases of livestock and vector-borne diseases. Faculty are actively involved in research on mosquito-borne viruses, Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, dengue, schistosomiasis, and antimicrobial resistance.

Food Safety: epidemiology and ecology of foodborne pathogens; assessing relationships among humans and animal pathogen isolates; identification of risk factors, control strategies and economic impact of food-borne pathogens; consumer demand for enhanced food safety products; relating risk of infection and risk reduction strategies to the public.

Ecology of parasitic diseases and disease vectors:
landscape ecology and invasion of disease vectors and agents. Interactions among pathogen, reservoir hosts and vector populations.

Molecular epidemiology: determination of transmission patterns of pathogens using molecular techniques; development of analytic methods to ascertain genetic relationships among microorganisms.

Analytical epidemiology: application of quantitative methods and research design methodology in epidemiology.

Biostatistics: design of experimental and observational studies; evaluation of diagnostic tests, treatment efficacy in clinical trials, sampling strategies for disease detection, and geographic distribution of disease.

Risk Assessment: Identification of causes or risk factors for disease losses within host populations: design and analysis of specific or comprehensive disease prevention and intervention programs.

Mathematical modeling: development and application of models in epidemiology and population medicine, e.g., for disease transmission and productivity in livestock management.

Clinical Epidemiology: diagnosis, risk, prognosis, and treatment outcomes in clinical settings; medical decision-making at both the individual and the population level.

Food Animal Health Economics: use of economic techniques (e.g., decision tree analysis, production function analysis, benefit cost analysis) to estimate the impact of disease and prevention/control at the producer, regional and macroeconomic levels.

Bioinformatics: application of information science and computer science and technology to the acquisition, organization, analysis, storage, and retrieval of medical information.