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Epidemiology & Health Promotion

Chair: Richard Niederman, DMD
Professor, Epidemiology & Health Promotion


The mission of the Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion is to provide the NYU College of Dentistry and NYU as a whole with vibrant, creative, and rigorous academic leadership in education, research, and service within the areas of epidemiology and health promotion. A fundamental component of the Department's mission is to provide excellence in teaching across the broad array of academic disciplines at the predoctoral, postdoctoral, and graduate school levels.

Departmental teaching for the DDS curriculum focuses on foundational knowledge and practical application to the practice of dentistry for the following subjects: epidemiology, health promotion, bioethics, biostatistics, skills in assessing the professional literature, and public health issues and policy for the dental practitioner.

Teaching at the Master's level provides a one-year MS program in Clinical Research, as well as contributions to the Global MPH program offered at the university level. The Department also seeks to partner fully with the NYU College of Global Public Health as it builds its educational and research programs in global public health.  

Moreover, the Department was created and constituted to undertake and achieve major original research and other scholarly activities, and thus to provide national leadership for, and contributions to, the fields of epidemiology and health promotion.  

World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Quality-improvement, Evidence-based Dentistry Designation

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion as a WHO Collaborating Center for Quality–improvement, Evidence-based Dentistry (QED WHO CC). The WHO designation recognizes NYU Dentistry’s expertise and commitment to evidence-based dentistry and provides the framework for developing, monitoring, and disseminating novel approaches to oral health education, prevention, and disease control in the Americas and globally.

WHO Collaborating Centers are designated by the Director-General of WHO as part of an inter-institutional collaborative network of centers worldwide. They are established to provide concrete activities at the national, regional, and global levels in support of the strategic plans specific to WHO areas of work. All WHO Collaborating Centers in the Region of the Americas are known as PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centers since the Pan American Health Organization also serves as a WHO regional office.

The NYU Dentistry WHO Collaborating Center — one of only 10 WHO Dentistry Collaborating Centers in the world — received its designation in December 2016 for a renewable four-year period, guided by the WHO Terms of Reference (TORs). Specific teams support education, research, and scholarly exchange on behalf of three principal aims:

  1. To provide technical cooperation in designing novel effective and efficient surveillance systems for oral diseases, conditions and behaviors that measure disease burden, quality of life, and impact of preventive interventions.
  2. To develop and disseminate protocols for the prevention and control of oral diseases across the lifespan.
  3. To develop educational content for the prevention and control of oral diseases among seniors and the elderly by primary healthcare professionals working in community and health centers.

Through these activities, the Center also fosters competence in global health for pre- and postdoctoral students and faculty at NYU Dentistry.

The Center is codirected by Richard Niederman, DMD, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion, and Eugenio Beltran, DMD, MPH, DrPH, MS, adjunct professor of epidemiology and health promotion.


meet our faculty

meet our faculty

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MS in Clinical Research

MS in Clinical Research

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World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Quality-improvement, Evidence-based Dentistry

The NYU College of Dentistry's DDS curriculum sets the national trend in the teaching of epidemiology and health promotion, with a solid series of foundational didactic and preclinical courses. The four-year curriculum in Skills in Assessing the Professional Literature (SAPL) also sets the national standard for the teaching of EBD. Similarly, the Department's MS in Clinical Research program is a unique offering among US dental schools in that we are the only dental school offering an MS in Clinical Research degree.

The recent addition of the MS in Evidence-Based Practice, a one-year full-time program, is the first established in a dental college in the US. The Department also houses the Oral Health Concentration within NYU's MPH in Global Health program, and offers a joint DDS-MPH degree opportunity. The PhD in Epidemiology program, run in collaboration with Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University, is now in its 21st year of operation.

The Department has had a major commitment to research and scholarly activities since its inception in June 2000. Over the first 13 years of existence, the Department received over $55 million in over 20 externally funded grants, most from the NIH, in which Departmental faculty serve as the PI or co-PI of the study. The research portfolio has included:

  1. an NIDCR U54 Oral Health Disparities Center, the NYU Oral Cancer RAAHP* Center;
  2. four R01 grants from NIH, including:
    1. a clinical trial on smoking cessation;
    2. a clinical study on the relationship between periodontal disease and pre-term, low birth weight;
    3. a study on the relationship between early childhood malnutrition and the development and diseases of the permanent dentition in Haiti; and
    4. an integrated social and systems science study toward improving oral health equity for older adults;
  3. a major collaborative NIH-grant focused on building a research infrastructure at the University of Puerto Rico's School of Dentistry.

In addition, the Department recently completed four five-year cycles of NIDCR/NIH funding for its NYU Oral Epidemiology T32 NRSA Training Grant, and is now launching a new version of that program, the NYU Global Postdoctoral Oral Epidemiology Training (POETS) program, which will also offer the PhD in epidemiology (again, in collaboration with the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University), but now focused on international applicants. Finally, several Departmental faculty members serve as research mentors for clinical faculty at NYU, both in the College of Dentistry and in the School of Medicine.  

The Departmental faculty involve themselves in a wide variety of community and University activities that vary year-by-year. Departmental faculty run the NYU Spaghetti & Science Society, a monthly student club that meets in an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village to discuss a scientific article over "a plate of pasta and a glass of wine." In past activities, a faculty member developed and taught a six-week earth sciences module on wind energy versus nuclear energy at the Salk Science School, a NYC magnet science Jr. High School. Another faculty member has served as the program officer for a NYC service to bring geriatric dental services to needy New Yorkers, while another serves on several NYC and New York State health boards.  

The Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion was created in June 2000. During the first 13 years of its existence, the Department faculty served as PI or co-PI on new grants totaling more than $55M from a range of national and state agencies. The Department currently houses the MS in Clinical Research program.