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The Department of Epidemiology, is one of the world leading academic centers in Epidemiology. We strive to combine development of new quantitative methods with direct implementation and application in clinical and population research.

About our Department

Our research

Our mission

Our mission is to:
1) improve health across populations as well as optimize care for individual patients
2) develop and apply novel methods for quantitative research
3) deliver education of the highest academic standard
4) provide an optimal environment for scientific and academic development with a strong focus on scientific integrity
5) facilitate and maintain open communication with the academic and healthcare communities, as well as with the public and
6) build strong collaborations with partners at the institutional, regional, national, and international levels. Here, we provide knowledge and expertise in research methods and epidemiological study designs.


Research Lines

Research at the department of Epidemiology is divided into three main programs:
A) Quantitative methods
B) Epidemiology of Diseases
C) Epidemiology of Determinants.
Each program consists of several research lines. In 2018 the department of Epidemiology consisted of eleven research lines.


Educational programs

The department also takes part of many educational programs including, bachelors or masters programs in Medicine, and Clinical Technology, in addition to masters and PhD programs in Health Science and Clinical Research of the National Institute of Health Science (NIHES). Traditionally, our department had a strong focus on application of epidemiological methods in large population-based studies, i.e. the Rotterdam Study and Generation R.

Principal Investigators

Research Lines

Assessment of Radiological Technology

Our research focuses on optimizing health care decisions by combining the best-available quantitative evidence on risks and benefits from diverse sources and integrating patient-centered outcome measures, preferences, values, quality of life, and costs.

Causal Inference Group

The Causal Inference Group works to improve the use and transparency of methods for estimating causal effects in epidemiology.

Epidemiology of Cardiometabolic Disorders

Epidemiology of Cardiometabolic disorders, with focus on sex- and gender-specific aspects, throughout the spectrum; from risk factor development to disease onset to its prognosis.

Imaging of Arteriosclerosis

From population to clinical practice

Laboratory Epidemiology Cofa ERGO

The Laboratory facilitates the Cofa ERGO and the department Epidemiology to collect, process, store and release of human body material for the Cofa ERGO studies and the epidemiological studies.

Methylation, Imaging and Neurodevelopment (MIND) consortium

The MIND consortium aims to better understand the potential role of DNA methylation in brain development and mental health, by combining epigenetics and neuroimaging research.

Molecular and Systems Epidemiology

Integrating multi-omics data from population-based studies and conducting experimental validation studies, we aim to elucidate molecular pathways underlying age-related diseases and identify potential biomarkers for their early diagnosis.


The focus of our research group is on the etiology, natural course, diagnosis and prognosis of common age-related brain diseases.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Epidemiology

In our team we study how nutrition, obesity, physical activity and other lifestyle factors are associated with population health across the life-course.

Psychiatric Epidemiology

Our research group aims to increase the understanding of the etiology, course and effects of common psychiatric symptoms and disorders in the general population.




The Rotterdam Study (www.ergo-onderzoek.nl)


The department of Epidemiology is a prominent center worldwide in epidemiological research.
We strive to combine development of new quantitative methods with direct implementation and application in clinical and population research.

Within the department we have an extensive network of collaborations with many ongoing projects that cut across multiple research lines.In fact, our goal is to appoint every graduate student to work across at least two research lines. This way, we facilitate cross-talk, exchange of ideas, and rapid dissemination of knowledge, for instance from methods development to application.

Similarly, we have many ongoing collaborations with numerous departments within the Erasmus MC. Importantly, these collaborations extend to both clinical departments as well as basic sciences departments. Long-standing collaborations (>10 years) are with the departments of Neurology, Radiology, Internal Medicine, Pulmonology, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Cardiology. We have solidified these collaborations by arranging joint appointments of our faculty with the respective clinical department.

In addition, we have arranged statistical consultancy agreements with several other departments, including Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, and Surgery. Again, these arrangements facilitate exchange of ideas and dissemination of knowledge.

Moreover, the department of Epidemiology is coordinator or key collaborator in more than 20 Academic Centers of Excellence.

Our collaborations are not restricted to Universities, but extend for other Academic Institutes and Private Organizations (i.e. RIVM, KNAW, Inspectorate, CBS, NIH, Chinese Academy of Sciences, BioGen Inc, Johnson&Johnson). Finally, our collaborations are truly global, with ongoing projects in over 30 countries. Importantly, this includes emerging economies as well as low- and middle-income countries.

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News, events and awards


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