School of Public Health


EPI 573 Methods And Issues In Using Biological Measurements In Epidemiologic Research (3)

Introduction to use of measurements from biological specimens in epidemiologic studies. Prepares epidemiology and laboratory science students for conduct of interdisciplinary human studies. Evaluation of biomarkers, preliminary studies, methodologic issues, quality control. Brief review of molecular biology. Applications and current literature discussed. Prerequisite: EPI 511 or EPI 512. Offered: jointly with ENV H 573.

Autumn 2020

Line Number Section ID Credits Days/Times Room/Bldg Instructor
14934A3.0Tuesday, Thursday @ 8:30am - 9:50amA420 (HSA)Stephen Marc Schwartz
For a complete listing of Epidemiology courses, their elective categories, and when they are typically offered, please see the Epidemiology Course Planning Sheet

Additional Course Details

Human studies of disease etiology and prognosis often require the measurement of one or more characteristics of biological material. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the methods and issues arising in the design, conduct, and analysis of these studies.

Topics Covered

  1. strengths and limitations of using biological measures in human studies of disease etiology, and the characteristics of biomarkers that should be established prior to incorporating them into epidemiologic studies.
  2. identify the goals of, and strategies in conducting, discovery and characterization studies of biomarkers.
  3. identify potential sources and impact of biomarker measurement error, in particular the role of differential and nondifferential misclassification of binary and continuous biomarkers.
  4. identify strengths and limitations of various traditional epidemiologic study designs, and implementation strategies, for the purposes of incorporating biomarker measurements.
  5. critique scientific reports from human populations that involve biologic measures in the study of disease etiology, prognosis, and early detection.

Learning Objectives

See list of topics covered.

Course Format

There are 21 sessions. Twenty sessions will consist of lectures on methodologic issues, applications of methodologic issues to particular diseases, discussion of homework assignments, discussion of research papers, discussion of real or hypothetical case studies, or a combination of these. All readings can be downloaded and printed from the course website. Two sessions are reserved for student presentations of final papers.

How You Will Be Evaluated

EPI/ENVH573 is a 3 credit, graded course. The grade will be based on class attendance and participation in discussions (10%), three assignments (contributing 20% each), and a final paper and presentation (30%).

Contact the Instructor

Stephen Schwartz (