Why We're Here


The Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health (CSEPH) aims to promote research and training on the causes of health inequalities and the policies and interventions necessary to eliminate these inequalities, both in the United States and globally. Our goal is to increase knowledge regarding the social determinants of health and health inequalities in a manner that promotes more effective action to improve population health. Our scientific approach to achieving this goal recognizes the importance of considering exposures from a life course perspective, from recognizing the importance of people and place, and from integrating ideas, tools, and methodologies from a broad range of disciplines.


CSEPH was founded with the twin goals of supporting research and training on the causes of health inequalities. CSEPH faculty helped establish the University of Michigan Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities, and for nearly a decade CSEPH was a site of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars Program (RWJ HSSP). Today CSEPH faculty contribute to many research endeavours on campus, including the Institute for Social Research, the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation, the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research, the Michigan Stroke Program, the Michigan Diabetes Research Center, the Rogel Cancer Center, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Investigating Disability Factors and Promoting Environmental Access for Healthy Living (IDEAL) Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, and several others.

CSEPH has a strong history of educating graduate students across the School of Public Health. Since its inception in 1999, our center has trained over 85 doctoral students and over 40 MPH students. These graduates have gone on to successful careers at academic institutions, federal agencies (e.g., NIH, CDC), city and state public health departments, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare systems. Our research space provides a collegial learning environment where students, faculty and staff interact and engage with each other. This helps give CSEPH trainees a sense of belonging and shared identity, which can be difficult to achieve in a large school. In sum, the environment within CSEPH not only generates academic partnerships, but life-long professional and personal bonds.