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Course Catalog

380.757.01 Introduction to Biosocial Methods for Public Health Research


Population, Family and Reproductive Health
3rd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2013 - 2014
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • M W,  1:30 - 2:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Jacinda Dariotis
Course Instructor:
  • Jacinda Dariotis

Introduces students to issues and methods of combining biological and social information in population-based, public health research. Topics include an introduction to biomarkers, biodemography, and the use of biomarkers in population research; conceptual frameworks that link non-biological and biological measures (e.g., lifecourse models of health and aging, models of family and child development); methodological and logistical aspects of biomarker collection and analysis, ethical concerns, and policy implications.

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

Special Comments:

This course is held in departmental space ( E4611)