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Course Directory

Epidemiology in Evidence-Based Policy

East Baltimore
Summer Inst. term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2020 - 2021
Instruction Method:
Mon 06/22/2020 - Fri 06/26/2020
Class Times:
  • M Tu W Th F,  1:30 - 5:00pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Ayesha Khan

Knowledge of basic epidemiology is recommended.


Learn how science in general and epidemiology in particular are used to inform health and regulatory policies.

Distinguishes between good science and “junk science,” defines the role of scientists and epidemiologists in translating evidence to practice and policy, and examines how science fares in the legislative, regulatory, and judicial settings. Places special emphasis on contemporary cases in which the evidence is actively debated. Likely topics include nutrition recommendations (e.g. reductions in sodium), screening recommendations (e.g. screening for prostate cancer); opioid epidemic; tobacco control and e-cigarettes; health disparity (e.g. HIV/Hepatitis C in marginalized populations; racial disparities in kidney transplantation); diabetes prevention; and legal and policy implications of class action lawsuits (e.g. gun policy and local food policy). Faculty will present examples with which they have been personally involved in order to share the “inside scoop” with students. Covers key methodologic issues, e.g. surrogate outcomes, use of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Assess the contribution of scientific findings to the making of public policy
  2. Assess the contribution of scientific findings to the making of clinical decisions and the development of practice guidelines
  3. Differentiate between good science and junk science
  4. Examine the legislative, regulatory, and legal perspectives of policymaking
  5. Examine the interplay among the various determinants of policy and clinical decision making
  6. Identify methodologic issues that affect the relevance of published evidence
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 99% Exam(s)

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

All in-person classes will be taught online via Zoom, on the dates and times the course is scheduled. For further information, please see the Institute website