Prins named epidemiology Ph.D. program director

By Jill Pease

Dr. Cindy PrinsCindy Prins, Ph.D., M.P.H., has been named the director of the University of Florida doctoral program in epidemiology. Prins is a clinical assistant professor in the UF department of epidemiology, which is housed in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine.

“Luckily I get to follow Dr. Bob Cook in this role,” Prins said. “He did a lot of hard work in helping to implement all the wonderful improvements that our department has made to the program — changes that were motivated by Dr. Linda Cottler when she started as our new department chair in July 2011.”

Prins joined the department of epidemiology in 2010. Her research interests include health care-associated infections and multi-drug resistant organisms. A recipient of the 2012 UF Public Health Award for Faculty Excellence, Prins teaches courses on Public Health Biology, Principles of Epidemiology, and the Biology and Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS.

“Dr. Prins is going to take us to new heights started by Dr. Cook,” said Linda Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., chair of the UF department of epidemiology and PHHP associate dean for research and planning. “She has a great personality, is a good listener and has excellent ideas for education. Her experience as M.P.H. coordinator for our department has been a terrific experience for us. We are excited to have this great educator in the director’s seat.”

The UF epidemiology doctoral program currently enrolls 26 students. The department continues to add new faculty members and courses, and attract seminar speakers who are at the top in their fields, Prins said.

Prins earned a doctoral degree in biochemistry, microbiology and molecular biology from Penn State University in 2000. She did her postdoctoral training on regulation of vaccinia virus transcription elongation at the University of Florida and completed a UF master’s degree in public health with an epidemiology concentration.

“I’m excited about the potential for more contact with our Ph.D. students,” Prins said. “I really enjoyed the time I spent as a doctoral student and I’m hoping to share that enthusiasm with our students.”