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Methods and Applications of Cohort Studies


East Baltimore
Summer Inst. term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Ayesha Khan

Intermediate-level courses in both epidemiology and biostatistics and some familiarity with data analysis software packages.


Cohort studies are central to understanding the natural history of disease and making inferences about risk factors associations with disease. The course will cover the principles of rigorous cohort study design, analysis and critical evaluation. Mastery of the material will be enhanced by examples from leading cohort studies and laboratory exercises analyzing large cohort datasets.

General methods is taught and applied to cohort studies of chronic and infectious disease, including HIV, COVID-19, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Topics include: definition, design and basic characteristics of cohort studies; conceptual underpinnings of survival analysis; methods for the analysis of survival data including modelling and testing of relative hazards (Cox regression), and relative incidence (Poisson and negative binomial regression); methods to nest case-control and case-cohort designs in cohort studies; risk prediction (AUC and NRI) and a discussion of key challenges in the conduct and analysis of modern cohort studies.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Describe the principles for the design and conduct of cohort studies
  2. Estimate and compare incidence rates, and times-to-event via relative hazards and relative times
  3. Apply analytic methods to data from major cohort studies
  4. Appreciate the role of cohort studies for the characterization of natural history of diseases; for understanding etiology, evaluation of interventions and for guiding public policy
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 10% Participation
  • 30% Quizzes
  • 30% Quizzes
  • 30% Quizzes

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Students who have successfully completed 340.728: Methods and Applications of Cohort Studies should not enroll in this course. Course will be taught online via Zoom, on the dates and times the course is scheduled. For further information, please see the Institute website