Welcome to the Division of Epidemiology at UC San Diego

Our division has a long history of conducting clinical research that has had a major worldwide impact in identifying important risk factors for common health problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Our faculty expertise ranges across a lifespan from those with specialization in peri-natal epidemiology to those who focus on age-related issues.



Andrea La Croix, PhD
was appointed Division Chief effective November 1, 2014.

Ruth Heifetz, MD, MPH, Environmental Health Coalition founding Board Member, was recognized for her work at the 2014 Awards Celebration: Victories for Healthy Communities that took place in Balboa Park, April 10, 2014.

Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor was recently named one of 400 highly influential biomedical scientists with global influence by the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, based upon Scopus citation data from 1996-2011. She is among 8 other scientists from UCSD whose work was highly cited by others and deemed of high impact.

Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor received the 2013 Distinguished Fellowship Award at the 18th World Congress on Heart Disease in Vancouver, CA, July 2013.  She also received the 2013 EPI Mentoring Award from the American Heart Association.

Dr. Lori B. Daniels, named 2013 “Top Doc” in San Diego Magazine’s “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence.”


New Centers

Women's Health Center of Excellence

The Department of Family Medicine and Public Health has launched a new Center of Excellence in Women's Health.  The Department has been fortunate to recruit an outstanding leader for this center, Dr. Andrea La Croix, one of the principal investigators of the Women’s Health Initiative Study and former Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Andrea has become a new member of the Division of Epidemiology.

The Center of Excellence’s mission is broad and includes mandates to improve women’s health across a lifespan ranging from reproductive and gynecologic issues to chronic diseases of aging. Of particular interest will be to study conditions where there are significant biological differences between the sexes in rates of susceptibility, symptoms and response to treatment.

​Featured Program

Rancho Bernardo Study

History: In 1971, the community of Rancho Bernardo was less than a decade old, had about 10,000 residents and 6,629 were older than 30 years of age and agreed to participate in a project named the Rancho Bernardo Heart and Chronic Disease Study. More than 40 years later, there are about 1,800 participants who continue to be followed by annual mailed questionnaires.

Featured Individual

ruth-thumb.jpgRuth M. Heifetz is a Senior Lecturer at in the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health. In addition to teaching at UCSD's School of Medicine, she is a founding member of Environmental Health Coalition. Besides being a physician, she is a humanitarian. Ruth was inducted into the San Diego County’s Hall of Fame of the Women’s History Museum in 2005 as a trailblazer for occupational health and environmental justice. For more than 30 years, she has fought for the health of families exposed to toxic materials in their communities and workplaces. Preventing harm has always been her priority, from promoting pesticide reduction policies to fighting for the cleanup of San Diego Bay to educating women about the impacts of toxic chemicals.