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Department of Population Health Sciences

The Department of Population Health Sciences aims to discover novel ways to prevent disease and promote health, with a focus on the health conditions that most impact Geisinger patients, health plan members, and our communities. We conduct innovative research to understand risk factors of these diseases and develop strategies to improve healthcare delivery. Our interdisciplinary faculty study a range of health conditions, collaborating with Geisinger clinicians and community partners and leveraging extensive data resources, including longitudinal electronic health records and insurance claims, geocoded data on the social and physical environment of communities, and genotyped and whole-exome sequencing data.

Core focus areas include:

  • Epidemiology: Examining the extent and distribution of the health conditions that most impact our patients and communities and identifying the factors that put populations at risk for disease
  • Biostatistics: Applying advanced quantitative analysis to observational data to draw valid conclusions from research studies, application of machine learning for the development of predictive models, and linking health and genomic data to understand the genetic architecture of complex diseases
  • Health and behavioral outcomes research: Detecting, preventing and controlling chronic conditions through the study of health-related behaviors, healthcare practices and health-related quality of life
  • Environmental health: Evaluating how the surrounding built, natural and social environment impacts health and enables or constrains the influence of healthcare
  • Health economics: Conducting comparative effectiveness research to identify the healthcare interventions that offer the greatest benefit at the lowest cost


H. Lester Kirchner, PhD, Chair
Lisa Bailey-Davis, DEd, RD
Alexander Chang, MD, MS
Yasser El-Manzalawy, PhD
Jamie A. Green, MD, MS
Jing Hao, PhD, MD
Annemarie G. Hirsch, PhD, MPH
Yirui (Iris) Hu, PhD
Bobbie Johannes, PhD, MPH
Anne Justice, PhD
Thomas Morland, MD
Melissa N. Poulsen, PhD, MPH
Brian S. Schwartz, MD, MS
Erin Van Enkevort, PhD

Staff scientists

Geetha Chittoor, PhD
Bruno Saconi, PhD, RN

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Carly McCabe, PhD

Contact us

Department Chair :
H. Lester Kirchner, PhD

DPHS Google Scholar Profile