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George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention

NEWS: Josef Coresh Named Inaugural Recipient of George Comstock Professorship (video and pictures available)

Established in 1962 in Hagerstown, Maryland, George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention:
  • Conducts research on the prevention of disease, particularly heart disease, cancer and stroke
  • Provides a base of operations for faculty and students who are interested in community-based research
  • Serves as a resource for the Washington County (Maryland) Health Department in the areas of public health surveillance and assessment

Comstock Center is involved in several multisite epidemiologic studies in Hagerstown described in this web site. Under the direction of Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Comstock Center is expanding its activities and is engaging a wider community of scientists, students and prevention experts across multiple departments inside and outside the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Comstock Center is named in honor of the late George W. Comstock, a world renowned leading epidemiologist who helped shape the epidemiology of tuberculosis and who trained generations of leaders in the field.


To collect the highest quality data with the goal of advancing disease prevention by bringing together participants, staff, students and scientists in a partnership between Johns Hopkins University and Washington County, Maryland.

Core Values

  • Participant respect as the source and ultimate beneficiary of prevention research
  • Data quality, integrity and privacy
  • Science in the service of people: Win some victories for humanity, big or small

Short Term Goals:

  • Complete next steps in key studies: finish the ARIC 30-year follow-up and start the next visit in 2018-2019;  complete the associated ancillary studies including brain PET, MRI, coronary artery calcium and echocardiogram and sleep studies; upgrade the CLUE specimen bank database upgrade
  • Develop new studies in public health priority areas: start the aging, cognition and hearing evaluation in elders (ACHIEVE) clinical trial and continue the study to understand fall reduction and vitamin D in you (STURDY).  Conduct pilot studies for a large community based studies, possibly including an intervention, biologic specimen collection and remote data collection (i.e. mobile phones, accelerometers)
  • Enhance partnerships with community health leaders: contribute to follow up of the community health assessment; discuss challenges related to the opioid epidemic
  • Continue to expand the network of active investigators writing grants and high impact publications
  • Use the George Comstock Professorship fund drive for innovative pilot studies

For more information:

Past Events

The grand opening of George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention new facility took place on Wednesday June 1, 2011.  We were delighted to host over 140 friends, colleagues, and center members. Our booklet features the center, its research, and organization.  The event was covered by local newspapers, TV and radio.

On November 28, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will install Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, MHS, as the inaugural recipient of the George W. Comstock Professorship in Epidemiology on November 28 2012.


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