University of Minnesota
School of Public Health
Division of Epidemiology & Community Health

Director: Aaron Folsom, M.D., M.P.H.
Address, phone, e-mail


The University of Minnesota Training Program in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention has been in existence since 1977. The program includes both pre- and post doctoral trainees and provides skills in epidemiology and biostatistics, medicine, biology and nutrition, behavioral science and public health. Pre-doctoral trainees obtain a PhD in epidemiology. Post-doctoral trainees with no prior degree in epidemiology are encouraged to obtain an MPH degree. Fellows are assigned a preceptor and initiate individual research in ongoing studies, including data collection and analysis. Trainees complete one or more projects for which they bear primary responsibility.

Current or recent observational epidemiologic projects include: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study, Epidemiology of Venous Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism (LITE), Epidemiology: Oxidative Stress and Early Atherosclerosis (YALTA), Genes of the CYP450-Derived Eiconsanoids Pathway in Subclinical Atherosclerosis, Identifying Susceptibility Genes for Metabolic Syndrome, Inflammatory Precursors of Type 2 Diabetes, Influence of Insulin on Blood Pressure Change During Adolescence, Iowa Women’s Health Study (IWHS), Meta-Analysis of Abdominal Obesity and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), Prospective Study of Atherosclerosis, Clinical Cardiovascular Disease, and Long-Term Exposure to Ambient Particulate Matter and Other Air Pollutants in a Multi-Ethnic Cohort, The Genetics of Infant Growth and Later Obesity, Epidemiologic Study of Risk Factors and Biomarkers of Atrial Fibrillation, Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Type 2 Diabetes in Chinese Singaporeans, and Genetic Epidemiological Study of Venous Thromboembolism and Hemostatic Factors.

Current family studies include: The MESA Family Study, The Family Blood Pressure Program (HyperGEN Network), and HyperGEN: Genetics of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy.

Current surveillance studies include: Minnesota Heart Survey (MHS), and the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry.

Intervention studies include: Bright Start: Obesity Prevention in American Indian Children, Claudication: Exercise vs. Endoluminal Revasculatization (CLEVER), Environmental Interventions for Weight Gain Prevention (HealthWorks), Study of Health Outcomes of Weight Loss (Look AHEAD), Maintenance-Tailored Obesity Treatment (LIFE), Novel Approaches to Weight Loss Maintenance (Keep-It-Off), Effects of Minnesota State and Local Programs on Youth Tobacco Use, and Effect of Minnesota’s Clean Indoor Air Law on Young Adult Smoking.

The Division of Epidemiology & Community Health also houses the Minnesota ECG Coding Center and the Nutrition Coordinating Center.

Areas of Special Emphasis

Observational epidemiology, nutritional epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, community surveillance, community programs. Faculty expertise is available in virtually all areas of cardiovascular epidemiology, including behavioral aspects.

Type of Training: Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral

Key Faculty Available as Preceptors

Program Director
Aaron R. Folsom, MD, MPH, Professor

Alvaro Alonso, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor
David R. Jacobs, Jr., PhD, Mayo Professor
Pamela J. Schreiner, PhD, Professor

Richard S. Crow, MD, Professor Emeritus
Henry Blackburn, MD, Mayo Professor Emeritus

Preventive Cardiology
Alan K. Berger, MD, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Kristine E. Ensrud, MD, Adjunct Professor
Alan T. Hirsch, MD, Adjunct Professor

Myron D. Gross, PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor

Susan J. Duval, PhD, Assistant Professor

Genetic Epidemiology
Ellen W. Demerath, PhD, Associate Professor
James S. Pankow, PhD, Associate Professor
Weihong Tang, PhD, MS, MD, Assistant Professor

Lyn M. Steffen, PhD, Associate Professor
Mary T. Story, PhD, Professor
Mark A. Pereira, PhD, Associate Professor

Behavior & Policy
Robert W. Jeffery, PhD, Professor
Jean L. Forster, PhD, MPH, Professor

Last updated: April, 2010

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