UCSF Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics UCSF School of Medicine UCSF Search UCSF
 EPI 252

Cancer Epidemiology
EPI 252 Winter 2018 (3 units)

Will not be taught during 2017-2018 academic year.


The course will cover the fundamentals for descriptive epidemiology and global burden of cancer (incidence and mortality data, time trends); cancer biology (carcinogenesis, genetics, molecular biology); evaluating epidemiologic evidence for cancer risk factors (study designs, causal inference); assessing the cancer risk attributable to specific risk factors/exposures (attributable risk, meta-analysis); important preventable or avoidable exposures (chemicals, nutrition, tobacco, occupation, infection, ionizing radiation); and cancer prevention and control.  Emphasis will be on specific preventable exposures for major cancers and methods for assessing opportunites for prevention.

The course is intended to develop skills in the evaluation of risk factors and exposure prevention. Students will participate in hands-on exercises and critical review of journal articles. Participation in class discussion is an important part of the course. Students will prepare a class project and present interim and final presentations of this work.

At the end of the course, students will understand:

  • Major sites of cancer and their epidemiologic characteristics including age, sex, race and geographic distributions, time trends, and major risk factors;
  • Molecular basis of cancer and carcinogenesis;
  • Causal inference in the context of cancer epidemiology;
  • How to assess the cancer risk attributable to modifiable exposures;
  • Methodologic issues associated with specific study designs for assessing relative and attributable risks of specific exposures for specific neoplasms; and
  • Major modifiable exposures of etiologic significance, including their possible mechanisms of action, their distributions in the population, and methodologic issues involved in studying them.

Epidemiologic Methods (EPI 203). Exceptions to this prerequisite may be made with the consent of the Course Director, space permitting.


Course Director:

Robert Hiatt, MD, PhD
Phone: 415-514-8113
email: rhiatt@epi.ucsf.edu

Catherine Metayer, MD, PhD
Phone: 510-643-1156
email: cmetayer@berkeley.edu


Course content will be delivered through weekly seminars. These will take place on Wednesdays from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM, Jan. 10 to Mar. 21.

All course materials will be posted on the course's online syllabus.


Grading will be based on the student's course participation and written assignments (40% of the grade) and written and oral presentations of research project (60% of the grade).

UCSF Graduate Division Policy on Disabilities


To apply for this course, please fill out and submit the application below. Course fees are covered by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and hence there is no charge for the course. The deadline for application is December 22, 2017. Only one application needs to be completed for all courses desired during the quarter.

The application is best completed using the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Safari.