Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (OEE) - Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (OEE)

Bruce Alexander, PhD – Program Director
Hyun Kim, ScD – Co-Director
Rich MacLehose, PhD – Co-Director

The Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (OEE) training program provides support for training in the epidemiology of diseases related to the working or natural environment.  The purpose of the OEE is to provide doctoral-level training to the next generation of independent public health scientists in academia, governmental agencies, private industry, and non-governmental organizations who will address emerging and re-emerging occupational health problems of working people in the United States and globally, and master’s level training to individuals who will practice in the occupational health arena. Graduates of the program will have the knowledge and skills needed to identify the causes of occupational related diseases, and how to improve the overall health of working populations.

The OEE program provides:

  • An academic curriculum that develops a strong methodological foundation for epidemiologic research in working populations, including an understanding of modern epidemiologic theory, applied epidemiologic methods, and advanced statistical methods for analysis.
  • A framework to integrate the fundamentals of the methods of epidemiology, both theoretical and applied, to the study of working populations and the work environment and to incorporate environmental systems concepts such as the exposome and metabolome into epidemiologic research. The training program encourages developing transdisciplinary skills and a systems thinking approach to understand how the workplace environment factors into the overall health of people.
  • Opportunities to develop scientific research capability, including hypothesis development, study design, data collection and analysis, interpretation, and communication.
  • An environment that develops critical thinking skills and an understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of occupational and environmental epidemiology and the importance of incorporating the expertise from other disciplines to address complex problems.


A major benefit of this program is the availability of financial support to cover eligible student tuition and fees through a training grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This financial support is determined annually based on federal budget appropriations. In addition, other funding sources may be available.