Division of Epidemiology

We plan, design and conduct research on the causes of health problems in women with the ultimate goal of understanding the biologic, lifestyle and social determinants of these conditions in order to reduce their burden by preventing their occurrence and improving clinical outcomes. Our primary research at this time focuses on determining why certain hormones that are secreted naturally during a woman’s life, including the critical months of pregnancy, could influence the development of cancers, including breast, ovary and endometrium.

Our Role in Research

Over the years, we have built an impressive infrastructure of research data and collaborations that represent the foundations of our research efforts. In 1985, we launched a study on 15,000 New York City women willing to give us a sample of their blood for research and who have been followed-up ever since. This project allowed us to report the first convincing evidence of the fundamental role of the female hormone estradiol, which is influenced by diet and physical activity, in breast and endometrial cancers.  To learn more about the study, including current projects, findings to date and other information, please visit the NYU Women's Health Study website.

In recent years, we have created the International Consortium on Pregnancy and Health in collaboration with an international network of investigators from the US and Europe (Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland) and focused our research on the protective role of hormones of pregnancy in breast and ovarian cancers with the goal of developing new tools for preventive interventions. This effort is supported by large grants from the National Cancer Institute, the Komen Foundation and the Avon Foundation.

Our Role in Education

Our premiere research begins a cycle which benefits all of our patients: our research attracts the best medical students, residents, and fellows, who provide better patient care. In turn, our clinical reputation enhances our research, and the cycle continues.

Residents: ObGyn residents rotate through our division in their second, third and fourth years. Here they are given a chance to more fully explore the clinical aspects of epidemiology. We also encourage residents to spend time assisting our post-doc fellows with research in the laboratories. Learn more about our residency program in obstetrics and gynecology.

Fellows: Laboratory and clinical research in epidemiology are combined with clinical training as our epidemiologists help prepare fellows for their roles as gynecologic oncologists. Our department's three-year program is accredited by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology that leads to board certification in gynecologic oncology. Learn more about our fellowship program in gynecologic oncology.