$15M in research awards & 134 Faculty Publications for FY22

Multi-disciplinary fields of research!

The Department of Epidemiology uniquely encompasses a variety of multi-disciplinary research fields. Our dedicated faculty members prioritize interdisciplinary research, teaching and mentoring students, and providing innovative and well-funded initiatives. Our department has successfully obtained numerous grants and contracts from local, state, and national entities, attributing this success to our exceptional research endeavors and access to various populations and datasets.

Students present at PHHP Research Day 2020

Addiction • Artificial intelligence • Behavioral epidemiology • Big data science • Biomedical modeling • Cancer epidemiology • Cardiovascular epidemiology • Causal inference • Chronic disease epidemiology •  Clinical epidemiology • Community engagement • Data Science epidemiology • Digital epidemiology • Environmental epidemiology • Genetic epidemiology • Gero-epidemiology • Infectious disease epidemiology • Injury epidemiology • Maternal and child health epidemiology • Minority health and health disparities • Molecular epidemiology • Nutritional epidemiology • Prediction modeling • Precision medicine and precision public health • Psychiatric epidemiology • Pulmonary epidemiology • Social epidemiology • Substance abuse epidemiology • Translational science

departmental Centers



Scientific discovery, innovative training, and high-quality service through multidisciplinary collaboration to advance translational epidemiology, genomic medicine, and precision health.

Dr. Jinying Zhao

HealthStreet community engagement program


HealthStreet is a community engagement program at the University of Florida that aims to improve the health of our community by bridging gaps in healthcare and health research.

HealthStreet has partnered with DCF’s Overdose Prevention Program to reduce opioid overdose deaths by providing access to FDA-approved emergency opioid antagonists (naloxone) to individuals at risk or witnessing or experiencing an opioid overdose.



The mission of SHARC is to improve health outcomes and reduce HIV transmission among the diverse range of populations affected by alcohol and HIV infection in Florida.

The SHARC team tables at the Gainesville Pride Festival

Faculty Labs

Benos Lab

We are a diverse, interdisciplinary team who likes to tackle important questions in systems medicine by developing and using novel machine learning algorithms.

Takis Benos


Dr. Lopez-Quintero leads the RISE lab. Our lab is dedicated to understanding the complexities of mental health and substance use disparities. We aim to uncover the factors that create and sustain these inequalities by exploring the connections between neuropsychological processes, drug use, socio-cultural influences, and systemic factors. 

Lopez Quintero

Mai Lab

Our lab continues to explore the associations between diet, gut microbiota, and various aspects of human health. We have recently expanded our program to investigate potential contributions of microbiota to progression in Parkinsons Disease as well as recovery from stroke. We are developing novel means to explore the role of microbiota dynamics in aging and its associated diseases.

Mai and Upuli

Woodstock Striley Lab

As a psychiatric epidemiologist, Dr. Striley conducts community-engaged research that aims to increase community members’ recognition of need for health screening, mental health, and behavioral health services and to decrease barriers to those services.

Dr. Catherine Striley

Dr. Wang’s Digital Epidemiology Lab

Our lab focuses on research leveraging cutting-edge technologies and methods (e.g., wearable sensors such as wrist-worn alcohol biosensor and Fitbit, smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment/EMA) to advance our understanding of the etiology and outcomes of substance use (especially alcohol and medical cannabis). Our team members include full-time research staff, doctoral students, and undergraduate volunteers.

Group picture (from left to right: Stella Seeger, Hannah Fechtel, Kendall Robinson, Amadou Barrow, Yan Wang, Stuart Case)

Research initiatives

Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development


The University of Florida is one of 21 institutions nationwide that have recruited families to participate in the ABCD Study. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States.


Real-world Experiences of Alcohol & Cognitions over Time

Project REACT

Dr. Wang also contributes her expertise on alcohol biosensors to support two newly funded NIH projects as Co-I. The first project (R01AA030481, PI: Weafer & Leeman) will determine the relationship between two vulnerability factors for alcohol use disorder (AUD) in young adults: impulsivity and subjective response to alcohol. The second project, Project REACT (R21AA029489, PI: Jaffe), involves the adaptation and evaluation of cognitive tasks to test theorized mechanisms underlying the connection between alcohol intoxication and risk behaviors within naturally occurring drinking episodes.

react logo

Medical Marijuana and Me


The Medical Marijuana and Me (M3) study is funded by the Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research, led by Drs. Cook and Wang. It aims to collect information from patients about their medical marijuana use to inform Florida state policy and to guide physician practice for patient health outcomes. Currently, we already enrolled approximately 1000 participants across Florida to share their experiences with medical marijuana by completing online surveys.

m3 logo

National Drug Early Warning System


The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS), funded by the University of Florida by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as of April 2020, aims to provide the field with the most timely, salient, and valuable information on emerging substance use trends.




What is the SARB2C Group? SARB2C, Substance Abuse Research from the Bench to the Community, is a group of investigators with a focus on T1 to T4 substance use and addiction research. Students, faculty, and staff meet monthly for an hour to share ideas for collaborative research initiatives. The format is a check-in from each group as well as new opportunities and calls for help. Begun in 2015 as an offshoot of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the group includes the University of Kentucky and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. We welcome all to join!
Facilitated by Linda Cottler: lbcottler@ufl.edu

summer scholars



The SMILE study is a 5-year R01 project funded by the National Institute on Aging in 2022 (R01AG071729, PI: Wang). This study will utilize technology-based assessments (EMA and Fitbit) to investigate the real-time and long-term effects of medical cannabis on older adults with chronic pain by enrolling and following 440 participants for 12 months while some initiating medical marijuana and others not.

Smile Logo

Florida Cohort Wave 4 study


The overarching goals are to advance understanding of the mechanisms influencing adherence to contemporary HIV therapeutic regimens and to incorporate alcohol-related interventions into the emerging clinic- and community-based strategies to achieve and maintain HIV viral suppression across diverse populations. Dr. Wang leads the effort of assessing alcohol use and its antecedents via a wrist-worn alcohol biosensor (the Skyn biosensor) and smartphone-based EMA and seeking to integrate it into an existing mobile app intervention (the Positive Links app).

Florida cohort logo

Project ENGAGE

“Project ENGAGE” (PI: Wang) is funded in 2021 as one of the three research projects within the SHARE P01 program funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2022 (P01AA029547, MPI: Naar & MacDonell). This project aims to develop an mHealth suite for young people with HIV integrating the wrist-worn alcohol biosensor with various engagement strategies via a smartphone app (eWrapper Ranch).

project engage logo

Less is More

“Less is More Study” is a P01 program (P01AA029543, MPIs: Cook & Cohen) to identify and ultimately implement new/improved, targeted interventions that will improve outcomes related to cognitive and brain dysfunction in persons with HIV who drink alcohol.Dr. Wang serves as the UF site PI of another research project and leads the effort related to the use of a wrist-worn alcohol biosensor as a monitoring tool for contingency management

less is more project

Research News