Diane S. Lauderdale. After finishing a PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996, I became the first junior faculty member in a new department at the University of Chicago that was to include the fields of epidemiology, biostatistics and health services research. Since 2013, I have been chair of the department, now called Public Health Sciences. Being the first faculty epidemiologist was a challenge because there were no ongoing studies to join but also a tremendous opportunity to shape curriculum and degree programs. Although my training was in chronic disease epidemiology and aging, I have taken advantage of the strengths in the social sciences at the University of Chicago to build an interdisciplinary research program that has included demographic and health services research. Two areas in which I have had a number of different projects over the years are the health of immigrant populations in the United States and social determinants of health behaviors. Recent work on health behaviors has focused on sleep, including measurement issues, the relationship between perceived and measured sleep characteristics, social correlates of sleep quality and quantity and their relationships to health. In joint work with the complex systems group at Argonne National Laboratories, I have built an agent-based computational model of Chicago that captures the social and demographic features of neighborhoods to study infectious disease dynamics. I have also carried out a series of studies about the changing nature of prenatal care and its relationship with preterm birth; coauthor Dr. John Lantos and I recently synthesized this work in a book. I am a trustee of NORC and a standing member of the NIH study section Social Sciences and Population Studies.
- Plenary Speaker