There are well established research programs in Infectious Disease, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity/Diabetes, and Genetic Epidemiology. The faculty is largely made up of molecular epidemiologists, population scientists, and methodologists who work closely with the Division of Biostatistics.
The DOE/DEPH is the academic home to the NCI-highly rated Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control (CEPaC) program in the Albert Einstein Cancer Center. CEPaC has long been recognized for its contributions to the study of the infectious and molecular risk factors of cancer. In addition, cancer prevention and control research has a strong focus on our catchment area, the largely poor and minority Bronx population. The CEPaC is organized into four major themes: (i) Infectious Risk Factors, including oncogenic HPV, HIV, HCV, and, in recent years, the human microbiome; (ii) Hormonal, Obesity, and Inflammation Related Risk Factors, including the insulin/IGF-axis, other hormones, growth factors, adipokines, and inflammatory cytokines; (iii) Genetic, Epigenetic Risk Factors, including germline mutations and polymorphisms, somatic mutations, DNA methylation, microRNAs, as well as mRNA/protein/receptor expression; and (iv) Cancer Prevention, Control, and Implementation Science, including, health care delivery/outcomes research, health disparities, survivorship and palliative care research.
The DOE/DEPH also plays also a major role in the Einstein-Rockefeller-CUNY Center for AIDS Research (ERC-CFAR). The CFAR integrates the scientific work of over 200 investigators from the three NYC academic institutions shown in its name, with the ultimate goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. DOE plays a particular role in the design, development, and function of the Clinical, Translational and Implementation Science Core (CTISC). This includes providing a regional research platform for the initiation and expansion of HIV-related clinical, translational and implementation research; assist researchers in participant recruitment for both clinical trials (e.g. eradication research or pathogenesis) and for observational studies by active recruitment of patients with rare phenotypes (e.g. elite or viremic controllers); and research to assess policy, clinic/practice guidelines, and individual factors impact quality of life and health outcomes. It also includes oversight of the ERC-CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort, based at Montefiore/Einstein with clinical and laboratory data on over 18,000 HIV-infected and 420,000 HIV-negative patients.
DOE investigators helps lead the New York Regional Center for Diabetes Translation Research (NY Regional CDTR) which includes faculty not only from Einstein/MMC but also from Mount Sinai and the New York Academy of Medicine — serving as a collaborative hub for investigators conducting studies on pre-diabetes, diabetes and its complications.
Several NIH-supported multi-institutional cohort studies additionally have an academic home in DOE. This includes the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), an ongoing long-term national health study with nearly 15 years of follow-up in approximately 200,000 participants that focuses on strategies for preventing heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. WHI has had major impacts on clinical practice in each of these areas. The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is the largest prospective cohort study of HIV-infected women in the US. First initiated in 1994-95 in the Bronx (MMC/Einstein), Brooklyn, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the WIHS with its q6mo follow-up — involving collection of blood, cervicovaginal specimens, questionnaire and clinical data as well as a physical and gynecologic exam — it has played a major role in affecting clinical guidelines, particularly cervical cancer screening. The Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a multi-center epidemiologic study in Hispanic/Latino populations to assess the prevalence and development of disease, and to identify factors playing a protective or harmful role in the health of Hispanics/Latinos. The target population of 16,000 persons of Hispanic/Latino origin, specifically Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, and Central/South American, were recruited through four Field Centers in Miami, San Diego, Chicago and the Bronx area of New York. Annual follow-up interviews are conducted to determine health outcomes of interest.
DOE Epidemiologists and Division of Biostatistics faculty worked together in developing the curriculum of the Clinical Research and Training Program (CRTP), a 2-year didactic and mentored research program resulting in a Master Degree in Clinical Research and Methods, which includes a year of biostatistics and epidemiologic theory/methods classes, intended for MDs and PhDs interested in conducting population-based or clinical research (or research methods in general), though medical students are occasionally allowed into the program, and certain CRTP graduates are considered for further training (under a European Model of mentored teaching) to obtain a PhD.