The faculty of the Division of Epidemiology is an established group of researchers with expertise in cancer control, bone and mineral metabolism, environmental health, disability, health disparities, and community-based participatory research.  All of the faculty share a keen interest in teaching epidemiological research methods and are engaged as instructors and mentors to graduate students in the Oregon MPH Program, and to medical students and junior faculty in the OHSU School of Medicine.

The Division’s goals are:

To serve as a center of excellence for epidemiology research and education at Oregon Health & Science University, and in the state of Oregon and surrounding region.

Our mission is to promote the health of people in Oregon by:

1. Conducting and publishing outstanding epidemiological research;
2. Providing excellent graduate training;
3. Providing continuing education; and
4. Collaborating with University professionals and the community.


About Us

The Division of Epidemiology has a very active research program that includes an impressive array of topic areas, and that is characterized by a variety of study designs and methodological approaches.  Finding sources include the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Veteran’s Administration, and Department of Health and Human Services.  The research portfolio ranges from small pilot studies which are undertaken to generate preliminary data for use in preparing large grant applications, to randomized clinical trials and large-scale community studies.  The faculty are involved in several studies of screening, programs that have community involvement, studies of social and psychological factors, studies of environmental exposures to chemicals and toxic substances, and studies that include a molecular and/or genetic component.  Notably, the Division is home to the “Center for Healthy Communities”, one of 30 comprehensive Prevention Research Centers funded by the CDC.

The Division provides the epidemiology curriculum for the School of Medicine, and for the tri-campus Oregon MPH Program.  The faculty maintains a broad scope of courses and training opportunities in medicine and public health that cover a large array of methodological and topic-oriented courses.   This current and dynamic curriculum is nationally recognized.  In 2004, the Department received the 2004 Outstanding Educational Program of the Year Award from the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine.  Multiple members of the faculty have received honors from university and professional organizations for their excellence and commitment to teaching.

The Division also offers two 3-week training opportunities designed for Native Americans working in public health:  1) the Native Researcher Cancer Control Training Program and 2) the Summer Research Training Institute for American Indian and Alaska Native Health Professionals.

The faculty of the Division provide considerable service to the University, the State and region, and in a variety of national settings.  Epidemiology faculty serve as advisors to health agencies, the Oregon Public Health Division, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, and the Josiah Hill III Clinic.  The faculty also hold prominent positions of leadership in the Oregon Public Health Association (OPHA) and the American Public Health Association.  Several faculty are recognized authorities in their field and contribute their expertise to NIH study sections for the scientific review of grant proposals.

Division Faculty

Currently, the Division of Epidemiology has 14 faculty:

Elizabeth Adams,RD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Primary interests: nutrition, food insecurity and child health, health disparities

Donald Austin, MD, MPH

Professor Emeritus
Primary interests: cancer, chronic disease control, screening, surveillance, outbreak investigation, epidemiologic concepts and causal inference

Thomas Becker, MD, PhD

Professor and Department Chair
Primary interests: cancer in special populations, infectious disease, prevention of chronic disease in Native populations, community intervention studies

Janne Boone-Heinonen, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Primary interest: Obesity Epidemiology

Kathleen Carlson, PhD

Assistant Professor
Core Investigator, Portland VA Medical Center
Primary interests: Injury epidemiology, prevention and control, traumatic brain injury rehabilitation outcomes, veterans’ post-deployment health


Willi Horner-Johnson, PhD

Assistant Professor
Research Scientist, Center on Community Accessibility
Primary interests:  measuring disability and health status, modeling determinants of health, preventing maltreatment and abuse of people with disabilities

William Lambert, PhD

Associate Professor, Division Head
Primary interests:  air pollution health effects, exposure assessment, quantitative risk assessment, community-based participatory research, American Indian health

Lynn Marshall, ScD

Assistant Professor
Primary interests:  bone and mineral metabolism, aging, body composition, and spondylolisthesis, clinical and translational research

William Morton, MD

Professor Emeritus
Primary interests:  cancer, health effects of air pollution and non-ionizing radiation, environmental epidemiology

Carrie Nielson, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Primary interests: Human papilloma virus in men, bone and mineral metabolism, molecular and genetic epidemiology


Seth O'Neal, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Epidemiology and control of Neglected Tropical Disease


Jackie Shannon, PhD, RD

Associate Professor
Primary interests: Prostate cancer, nutritional epidemiology, fatty acids and cancer prevention

John Stull, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Primary interests: medical education, ethnics, history of epidemiologic concepts

Philippe Thuillier, PhD

Assistant Professor
Primary interests:  Molecular epidemiology dietary fatty acids and cancer prevention, obesity, clinical and translational research

Kevin Winthrop, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Primary interests:  infectious disease, surveillance, outbreak investigation