Welcome from the Chair

Albert Hofman standing at the podium in front of lecture room
Albert Hofman at the 2019 Cutter Symposium

I would like to extend the warmest welcome as you explore the offerings of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  

It has been my pleasure to lead this department since 2016 during which time the field of epidemiology has emerged as a leading force against the COVID-19 pandemic. As epidemiologists we have always approached the world through the lens of science, studying the frequency, distribution, and determinants of disease in humans, a fundamental science of public health and of clinical medicine. 

Never before in recent history we have been able to see the impact of this work so acutely as during the pandemic. Many members of the department are at the forefront of tackling these issues, oftentimes leading the way, coming up with innovative strategies, testing new ideas, and putting together international collaborations involving leaders from multiple institutions. 

In the academic realm, the department has a diverse array of offerings, including six graduate degree programs, to fit different needs of potential students. Whether you are looking to start a career in the fields of public health and medicine or teach in an academic setting, there are many paths open to graduates. The 12 academic areas of study give you an opportunity to pursue a wide range of research topics; whether you are interested in the origins of cancer or the transmission of infectious disease or the genetic causes of diseases or the psychosocial factors of psychiatric illnesses, there is something for everyone. 

As you read through these pages, I hope you will enjoy learning more about the department and all that it has to offer.  

Albert Hofman, MD, PhD
Stephen B. Kay Family Professor of Public Health
and Clinical Epidemiology
Chair, Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health