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Methodologic Challenges in Epidemiologic Research


East Baltimore
4th term
5 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Class Times:
  • M W,  8:30 - 9:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor s:
Alison Abraham

Epidemiologic Methods 1-3 (340.751340.753) and either Statistical Methods in Public Health I-III (140.621140.623) or Methods in Biostatistics I-III (140.651140.653).


Integrates and extends material learned in the three-course Epidemiologic Methods sequence. Focuses on the application of strategies for addressing key methodologic challenges that arise when carrying out epidemiologic research. Incorporates experiential learning components, including computer-based laboratory exercises and a practicum, which require working knowledge of R or STATA.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Identify complex methodologic problems in epidemiologic research, such as (a) missing data, (b) information bias, (c) confounding bias, (d) selection bias, (e) longitudinal repeated measures, and (f) competing risks, and state implications of inappropriate handling.
  2. Apply appropriate analytic tool(s) (e.g. , multiple imputation, propensity scores, inverse probability weighting, regression calibration, multilevel models and competing risk models) to diagnose and account for complex methodologic problems, such as those listed above
  3. Evaluate the sensitivity of an etiologic inference to possible bias due to complex methodologic problems, such as those listed above
Methods of Assessment:

30% group practicum (oral presentation and structured poster presentation); 30% final exam (multiple-choice and short answer); 20% homeworks; 10% participation in lectures, laboratories and peer review; 10% successful completion of pre-laboratory questions (to be completed and turned in prior to embarking on in-class lab exercises – Due at 8:30 AM on day of lab).

Enrollment Restriction:

No auditors permitted.

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent required for special students and non-JHSPH students.

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

Grading Options: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail (Letter grade gets preferential enrollment); The course consists of a series of lectures, discussions, practicum sessions, and laboratory exercise sessions. Lectures will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Practicum sessions will be Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Lab sessions will be Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m followed by discussion sessions from 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.