About the University

University of Michigan

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About the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan was founded in 1817 as the first public university in the Northwest Territories. Today, U-M is a leader in higher education and one of the most distinguished public universities in existence, attracting top students and faculty from across the globe. With nearly 545,000 living alumni, graduates become part of a strong network that includes the first American to walk in space, the creator of the iPod, the co-founder of Google, and the 38th U.S. president. From earning election to the National Academy of Science to winning the Nobel Prize, U-M’s world-class faculty research not only attracts attention, it changes the world.

#1

PUBLIC RESEARCH UNIVERSITY IN THE U.S. (NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION)

#4

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH (U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT)

Top 10

GRADUATE PROGRAMS AT U-M (U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT)

About the School of Public Health

The University of Michigan School of Public Health is pursuing a healthier world with compassion, innovation, and inclusion to create meaningful, lasting impact.

  • We believe in compassion. Our work is born from compassion, leading to knowledge, research, and action.
  • We believe in innovation. We've seen a better future, it's why we are driven to help. Through creative problem-solving and innovative thinking we lay the groundwork for a healthier world.
  • We believe in inclusion. We work with diverse talents across campus and across the world to bring more than ideas; we partner to create lasting solutions.
  • We pursue impact. The ultimate goal of our work is to create positive change and have a lasting effect on the health of the world.

Featured Faculty

Sharon Kardia, PhD

Sharon Kardia, PhD

Millicent W. Higgins Collegiate Professor of Epidemiology, Associate Dean for Education

Dr. Kardia earned a master’s degree in Statistics and a doctorate in Human Genetics, both from the University of Michigan. She has 30+ years of experience in the epidemiology of common chronic diseases and has authored over 300 publications. A major emphasis of her work has been on the target organ damage associated with untreated and uncontrolled hypertension. Other areas of interest include the genetic epidemiology of common chronic diseases and their risk factors, gene-environment and gene-gene interactions, and the development of novel analytical strategies to understand the complex relationship between genetic variation, environmental variation, and risk of common chronic diseases. Her research utilizes genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic measures on large epidemiological cohorts. Dr. Kardia serves as director for online programs.

She is excited to teach PUBHLTH 515 Population Health - one of the program’s core courses that online students enroll in during their second semester of the program. In her spare time Dr. Kardia enjoys gardening, watching YouTube videos on quantum mechanics, bird watching, and napping on rainy days.

Cindy Leung, ScD, MPH

Cindy Leung, ScD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Leung earned a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley and a Doctor of Science in Nutrition and Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She serves as an assistant professor with the School of Public Health's Department of Nutritional Science. Additionally, she holds an adjunct appointment at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Dr. Leung’s research focuses on diet and health disparities in vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on the experience of food insecurity and its impact on health behaviors and health outcomes. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, her research focuses on three primary areas: (1) understanding stress as a novel mechanism underlying food insecurity and children's risk of obesity; (2) evaluating the impact of participating in federal food programs on dietary behaviors and chronic disease risk; and (3) assessing stakeholder-supported strategies for improving federal food policy.

At U-M, she is also leading a series of research studies to understand the impact of food insecurity on college students’ health, well-being, and academic performance. Students in the online MS program will meet Dr. Leung during the first semester of the program. She co-teaches one of the program’s core courses, PUBHLTH 511 Nutrition and Public Health. Dr. Leung is a San Francisco native, who has recently embraced Midwestern living. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the state with her family, indoor cycling, and learning more about the local food landscape.

Richard (Rick) Neitzel, PhD, CIH

Richard (Rick) Neitzel, PhD, CIH

Professor and Associate Chair of Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Neitzel holds a master’s degree in Environmental Health and a doctorate in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene, both from the University of Washington. He is an exposure scientist whose research focuses on enhancing our understanding of exposures to physical hazards such as noise and injury risks, along with a range of adverse health effects associated with these exposures. For example, did you know that noise exposure has been linked to heart attacks, high blood pressure, injuries, and accidents? Dr. Neitzel is particularly interested in incorporating new methodologies and technologies for measuring exposures into his research, and also has a strong interest in translating his research findings into occupational and public health practice. He has conducted research in locations throughout the U.S., as well as in Sweden, Thailand, Chile, Ghana, and Kuwait. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

On a personal note, Dr. Neitzel is an avid bicyclist (even in the depths of Michigan winters!), and enjoys exploring the world with his family.

Matthew Zawistowski, PhD

Matthew Zawistowski, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Biostatistics

Dr. Zawistowski earned a doctoral degree in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan, focusing on problems in statistical and population genetics. He develops statistical methods for analyzing genetic variants identified in large-scale genome sequencing studies to better understand human populations and disease. Dr. Zawistowski gained valuable experience working with electronic health records at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. He is currently involved in the Michigan Genomics Initiative, which combines his interests in genomics and phenotyping through electronic health records.

Dr. Zawistowski is passionate about teaching math and statistics. He teaches Applied Longitudinal Analysis, a course in the Analyzing Health Data series of electives for the online programs. When not teaching statistics, Dr. Zawistowski enjoys coaching youth soccer and going fishing.

Karen Peterson, D.Sc.

Karen Peterson, D.Sc.

Chair and Stanley M. Garn Collegiate Professor of Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Peterson is Professor and Chair of the Nutritional Sciences Department at the School of Public Health, Research Professor for the Center for Human Growth and Development, and Director of the Momentum Center, all at the University of Michigan. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the influence of biosocial and environmental influences on child growth and maturation during sensitive developmental periods, as well as the design and evaluation of population-based interventions addressing dietary and physical activity behaviors related to obesity and chronic disease in diverse populations, including children and youth.

She is Contact PI for the U-M Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Protection Center on the theme: “Lifecourse exposures and diet: Epigenetics, maturation, and metabolic syndrome,” and serves as Associate Director of the Michigan Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (MNORC). She earned her ScD in Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Philip Boonstra, PhD

Philip Boonstra, PhD

Research Associate Professor of Biostatistics

Phil Boonstra is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics. He received his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan in 2012 and then joined the department as a faculty member. His research interests include shrinkage estimators, hierarchical models, high-dimensional data analysis, and measurement error problems. His applied work has primarily been in cancer-related applications, including cancer epidemiology, cancer genetics/genomics, and early-phase oncology clinical trials.

Kelley Kidwell, PhD

Kelley Kidwell, PhD

Associate Professor of Biostatistics

Kelley Kidwell is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics. Kelley joined the University of Michigan after she earned her doctoral degree in Biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in 2012. Her research centers on the design and analysis of clinical trials, especially sequential multiple assignment randomized trials. She is interested in many collaborative areas including cancer, mental health, and rare diseases.

Roderick Little, PhD

Roderick Little, PhD

Richard D. Remington Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics

Rod Little chaired the Biostatistics Department from January 2007 to December 2009, and from 1993 to 2001. Prior to that he was Professor in the Department of Biomathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles; Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census (1982-83); Expert Consultant at the United States Environmental Protection Agency; Scientific Associate at the World Fertility Survey; and Research Associate (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Statistics, University of Chicago.

Since his fellowship at the Census Bureau he has been interested in federal statistical issues such as the census undercount, and he has served as a member of the Committee on National Statistics and a number of other National Research Council committees. He has over 200 refereed publications, notably on methods for the analysis of data with missing values and model-based survey inference, and the application of statistics to diverse scientific areas, including medicine, demography, economics, psychiatry, aging and the environment.

Ryan Malosh, PhD, MPH

Ryan Malosh, PhD, MPH

Assistant Research Scientist, Epidemiology

Dr. Malosh is currently working on studies of herd immunity due to influenza vaccination of household contacts, as well as studies of influenza vaccine effectiveness, epidemiology and transmission of respiratory viruses, and social determinants of acute respiratory infections. He is broadly interested in the epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases. Dr. Malosh’s specific research interests include: vaccine uptake, herd immunity, and social determinants of infectious diseases. He is also interested in the epidemiology and prevention of vaccine preventable diseases in immunocompromised hosts. Dr. Malosh earned a PhD in Epidemiologic Sciences from the University of Michigan and an MPH in Epidemiology and International Health from Boston University.

Zhenke Wu, PhD

Zhenke Wu, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics

Dr. Wu’s research involves the development of statistical methods that inform health decisions made by individuals. He is particularly interested in scalable Bayesian methods that integrate multiple sources of evidence, with a focus on hierarchical latent variable modeling. He has applied his methods to estimate the etiology of childhood pneumonia, autoantibody signatures for subsetting autoimmune disease patients and to predict whether a user is engaged with mobile applications. Dr. Wu has developed original methods and software that are now used by investigators from research institutes such as the CDC and Johns Hopkins, as well as site investigators from developing countries. Dr. Wu completed a BS in Math at Fudan University in 2009 and a PhD in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins University in 2014. He completed his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins.

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