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Research and Practice

Translational Epidemiology Initiative

In summer 2017, the Department of Epidemiology launched the Translational Epidemiology Initiative under the leadership of Dr. David Dowdy. This was an effort across all departmental tracks to improve the translation of epidemiological results into better health outcomes. 

This initiative was based on ideas by Dr. Moyses Szklo who defined translational epidemiology as an "effective transfer of new knowledge from epidemiologic studies into the planning of population-wide and individual-level disease control programs and policies.”

The Translational Epidemiology Initiative includes several key components:

  • Emphasizing translational efforts in the Department, including engagement with policymakers, government officials, basic scientists, clinicians, and members of the media
  • Holding symposia in the School, broader Baltimore community, and scientific conferences to help forge links between epidemiologists and other key stakeholders
  • Developing an innovative curriculum to teach students skills necessary to become effective Translational Epidemiologists
  • Publishing articles in the scientific literature to help conceptualize and promote Translational Epidemiology as an important component of the field
  • Advancing an agenda within the field of epidemiology to help strengthen linkages between the results of epidemiological inquiry and improved health outcomes in populations

The Translational Epidemiology Initiative hosts a monthly seminar during the academic year focusing on diverse topics under the theme of translational epidemiology.

2023-2024 Seminar Series

Ryan Town, MD: Making It Count: A Clinician's Perspective on Maximizing the Bedside Utility of Your Research (December 4, 2023)

Amber D'Souza, PhD: Translational Epidemiology: Overview, Impact and Examples (January 26, 2024)

Parastu Kasaie, PhD and Keri Althoff, PhD: The Forecasted Burden of Comorbidities and Multimorbidity in People with HIV in the United States to 2030 (May 16, 2024)

2022-2023 Seminar Series

Tyler VanderWeele, PhD: Positive Epidemiology (September 29, 2022)

Jan M. Eberth, PhD: Using Descriptive Epidemiologic Evidence to Advance Cancer Care Equity (October 27, 2022)

2021-2022 Seminar Series

Stefan Baral, MD: Leveraging an Equity-Lens to Characterize the Risks for COVID-19 Acquisition and Transmission and Optimal Intervention Strategies (September 23, 2021)

Lindsey Leininger, PhD: Fight Like a Nerdy Girl: Lessons Learned from the COVID Information Frontlines (October 14, 2021)

Kara Rudolph, PhD: Two strategies for Reducing Opioid Use Disorder Relapse (February 10, 2022)

Kevin Kensler, ScD: Addressing Disparities across the Prostate Cancer Continuum (March 31, 2022)

Usama Bilal, PhD, MPH, MD: Using Epidemiological Evidence to Inform Public Health Practice: The Case of Indoor Dining and COVID-19 (April 21, 2022)

2020-2021 Seminar Series

Moyses Szklo, MD PhD:  Some Issues in the Interface of Epidemiology and Public Health Policy (February 25, 2021)

Joseph Flynn, MD:  Improving the Accuracy of Pediatric Normative Blood Pressure Data (April 15, 2021)

George Davey Smith MA, MD, BChir, MSc: Modern or Modish Epidemiology? What is Lost When Fashions Change (May 17, 2021)

The Translational Epidemiology Initiative, including students and faculty in the department, published an article describing a vision of translational epidemiology in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2019:

Windle M, Lee HD, Cherng ST, Lesko CR, Hanrahan C, Jackson JW, McAdams-DeMarco M, Ehrhardt S, Baral SD, D'Souza G, Dowdy DW. From Epidemiologic Knowledge to Improved Health: A Vision for Translational Epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol. 2019;188(12):2049-2060. doi:10.1093/aje/kwz085

Link to full article:   

If you have questions about the Translational Epidemiology Initiative, please contact Drs. Derek Ng ( and Heather McKay (