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 EPI 207

Epidemiologic Methods II
EPI 207 Winter 2017 (3 units)


Epidemiologic Methods II is designed to extend upon the topics taught in Epidemiologic Methods (EPI 203). Topics will include: in-depth examination of study designs and confounding and interaction concepts. In addition, this course will examine the links between measurement theory and practice and provide students with a practical knowledge of design and interpretation of measurement instruments. The main emphasis of this course is on providing students with an understanding of methodological issues as well as practical knowledge of design and conduct of epidemiologic studies and design and interpretation of measurement instruments. More advanced analytic techniques specific to epidemiologic research will also be covered, including propensity scores, factor and principal component analysis and measures of reliability.

The main objective of the course is to enhance a studentís ability to design and conduct unbiased and efficient health research studies. The specific objectives are to:

  • Expand studentís understanding of causal inference, confounding and interaction concepts and the methods of statistical data analysis and interpretation of results from previous Biostatistic courses;
  • Critically evaluate the utility and appropriateness of data collection methods/instruments for various study designs and diverse populations;
  • Identify and understand the foundations for constructing, validating, and using data collection instruments and methods; and
  • Create a forum for discussion of methodological and theoretical issues of epidemiologic methodology and to put them into the perspective of the current knowledge of these issues.

View the Course Introduction video for a further description of course objectives and logistics.


Epidemiologic Methods (EPI 203), or equivalent, and Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research I (BIOSTAT 200), or equivalent experience, are required. Experience with the Stata software program is also required.


Course Director:

Lydia Zablotska, MD, PhD
Phone: 415-476-4673
email: Lydia.Zablotska@ucsf.edu

Course Co-Director:

Cindy Leung, ScD, MPH
email: leungc@chc.ucsf.edu

Teaching Assistant: Josh Demb, MPH


Each week, new material is introduced via a pre-recorded lecture and required readings. Homework, in the form of a problem set, is assigned each week and is due one week after the lecture at which time it will be discussed with course faculty in small group discussion section..

While lectures are pre-recorded and are to be viewed on the trainee's own time frame, the small groups discussions sections are a critical venue for group learning. Therefore, attendance is highly encouraged. Small group discussion sections will meet on Fridays from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM, Jan. 13 to Mar. 17.

All course materials and handouts will be posted on the course's online syllabus. View the Course Introduction video for a further description of course objectives and logistics.


Modern Epidemiology by K. Rothman et al. Lippincott-Raven Publishers. 3rd edition. 2008. UCSF users can access an electronic version of the book at UCSF library.

Causal Inference by M. HernŠn, et al. Chapman & Hall/CRC. Forthcoming. A PDF of the book draft is available at the Harvard School of Public Health.

For theoretical aspects of epidemiologic research and data analytic methods the following books are listed as a recommended readings for this course:

Health Measurement Scales: A Practical Guide to Their Development and Use by D. Streiner, G. Norman, and J. Cairney. Oxford University Press, 5th Edition, 2015.

Explanation in Causal Inference: Methods for Mediation and Interaction by T. VanderWeele. Oxford University Press. 2015.

Epidemiology: An Introduction by K. Rothman, Oxford University Press. 2nd edition, 2012.

Books may be purchased either through the publisher or a variety of commercial venues (e.g., Amazon.com). All textbooks have been placed on the Course Reserves section of the Mission Bay library. Check availability here: http://ucsfcat.library.ucsf.edu/search/?searchtype=r&searcharg=Epi+207


Student grades will be assigned as follows:

  • 9 Homework assignments, each worth 5% (45%)
  • Mid-term quiz (15%)
  • Final Exam (40%)

Extra points: 5% extra points for oral presentation of research-in-progress.

Students not in full-year TICR Programs who satisfactorily pass all course requirements will, upon request, receive a Certificate of Course Completion.

UCSF Graduate Division Policy on Disabilities


This course is open to a limited number of individuals outside of the ATCR and Master's programs. Preference is given to UCSF-affiliated personnel. We regret that auditing is not permitted. To apply for this course, please fill out and submit the application below. Cost and submission information are in the application.

To apply for this course, please fill out and submit the application below. Please see our fees page for cost information. The deadline for application is December 23, 2016. Only one application needs to be completed for all courses desired during the quarter.

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