Skip Navigation

Course Catalog

380.757.01 Introduction to Biosocial Methods for Public Health Research


Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Summer term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2013 - 2014
East Baltimore
Mon 06/10/2013 - Fri 06/14/2013
Class Times:
  • M Tu W Th F,  9:00am - 5:00pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Jacinda Dariotis
Course Instructor:
  • Jacinda Dariotis

Introduces students to the issues and methods of combining biological and behavioral information in research. Addresses issues relevant to social researchers who collect biological measures or may find biomarker collection useful in studying their topic area. Specific issues include: (1) defining biomarkers; (2) links among theory, non-biological measures, and biological measures; (3) formulation of research questions and scope limitations of questions that may be addressed using biomarkers; (4) comparison of gold-standards and cutting edge techniques for collection biological specimens; and (5) ethical and policy implications regarding biomarker collection and utilization.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Define what biomarkers are and explain how biomarkers and survey information work in concert to strengthen research designs and address important public health questions.
  2. Design and discuss conceptual frameworks that incorporate biological, social, and environmental factors in explaining health processes
  3. Identify the various ways that biomarkers may be collected and associated advantages and disadvantages of each.  Introduction to top methods currently in the field to understand what is available, what is possible, what is minimally invasive, etc
  4. Have a greater appreciation of what research questions can be asked and learn when using different types of biological and social data.
  5. Explain the methodological issues, ethical concerns associated with the collection of biomarkers in research.
  6. Explore the relevance of biomarker information to their research interests.
  7. Learn about and report on one major data set that incorporates biomarkers.
  8. Building future collaborations by catalyzing networks of researchers.
  9. Creating opportunities for further training by informing students about more advanced courses around Hopkins for their area of interest and making connections with other experts who have labs and may have short internships or other training opportunities for participants.
Methods of Assessment:

Students are evaluated on preparation for class discussion, understanding of concepts covered throughout the course, and application of concepts via written assignments and class presentation.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required