Public Health Sciences Division


The Division of Public Health Sciences is home to the nation's oldest and largest program devoted to cancer-prevention research—an important endeavor, considering that many cancers may be avoidable by changes in lifestyle. The Division was originally established within the Hutch in 1975 as the Program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. In 1983, it gained Division status coincident with the creation of the Cancer Prevention Research Program, the first NCI funded cancer prevention research unit.

The PHS Division is organized into six administrative programs. Each of these programs has a faculty with a wide range of interests and an interactive and interdisciplinary research orientation. These programs and their respective program heads are as follows:

  • Biostatistics and Biomathematics
    Dr. Charles Kooperberg

    The Biostatistics & Biomathematics Program provides statistical collaboration and coordination for research programs within and outside the center, develops and evaluates new quantitative methods for the efficient design and analysis of a broad range of biomedical studies and constructs biomathematical models of carcinogenesis and other biological processes.
  • Cancer Prevention
    Dr. Johanna Lampe

    The Cancer Prevention Program uses interdisciplinary approaches to evaluate the causes, detection and control of cancer in laboratory, clinic and community-based studies.
  • Computational Biology
    Dr. Harlan Robins

    Scientists within the Herbold Computational Biology Program use and develop computational methods and tools to address biological questions. The Program encompasses a wide range of bioinformatic and computational approaches.

  • Epidemiology
    Dr. Kathleen Malone

    The Epidemiology Program seeks to determine the causes of cancers through studies in human populations of personal exposures, behavioral characteristics, and genes that may influence a person’s chances of developing one or more cancers.
  • Translational Research
    Dr. Paul Lampe and Dr. Christopher Li

    The Translational Research Program’s goal is to discover and translate molecular and epidemiological findings to both the laboratory, for advancing our understanding of the biological basis for various exposure-disease relationships, and to the clinic, for improved risk assessment, early disease detection, prognostication, treatment decision making and survivorship.

Faculty of the PHS Division also actively participate in several of the Hutch's interdisciplinary scientific programs, including leadership of the Center's gastroenterology, prostate, and breast cancer initiatives.

The PHS Division's mission is to identify strategies that will ultimately reduce the incidence of and mortality from cancer and other diseases. PHS faculty focus on determining causes of cancer, helping to identify and assess effective screening and treatment methods, developing prevention strategies that reduce the risk of cancer, and developing research strategies to assist people to change behaviors toward healthier lifestyles. This prevention-oriented research also extends to other diseases, including HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and fractures.