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Charles Rondot
School of Public Health-Bloomington

Tracy James
IU Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nutritional epidemiologist Ka He will chair new department in IU School of Public Health-Bloomington

Aug. 29, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Nutritional epidemiologist Ka He has been appointed the first chair of the new Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health-Bloomington. His appointment began Aug. 1.

He comes to Indiana University Bloomington from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition. A fellow of both the American Heart Association and American College of Nutrition, his primary research interests involve diet and nutrients in relation to chronic diseases. His research funding includes several grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Epidemiology and biostatistics, He said, are the cornerstone of public health study and practice. The epidemiology program will focus on the distribution and patterns of health events, health characteristics and their causes or influences in well-defined populations. The biostatistics program focuses on development and analysis on a wide range of topics in human health.

"We aim to build a rigorous academic program to provide broad, multidisciplinary training in the design of studies, collection and statistical analysis of data, and interpretation and dissemination of results in public health research," He said. "My colleagues in the department are fully committed to helping students develop careers in academia, industry and government and become leaders in the field."

The new department, along with the establishment of the Department of Environmental Health in 2010, were required for accreditation purposes as the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation transitioned into one of Indiana University's two new schools of public health. The Department of Public Health at the IU School of Medicine also is becoming a School of Public Health as part of the IU Public Health Initiative. The university announced in July that the Council on Education for Public Health, an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs, had approved IU's request to begin the accreditation process for the two new schools.

He received his Doctor of Science in nutritional epidemiology from Harvard University, his Master of Science and Master of Public Health degrees from Tufts University, and a medical degree from Soochow University in China.

With the new department, students will be able to earn a doctorate in epidemiology and a Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics.

About the School of Public Health-Bloomington, formerly the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

With nearly 2,500 students in more than 50 undergraduate and advanced degree programs, the School of Public Health-Bloomington offers a traditional campus experience enriched by 21st-century innovation. More than 120 faculty in five academic departments -- kinesiology; applied health science; recreation, park and tourism studies; environmental health; and epidemiology and biostatistics -- conduct major research, teach and engage with communities across a broad spectrum of health, wellness and disease-prevention topics. Each department offers numerous majors, minors and opportunities for graduate and undergraduate studies. In addition to its academic departments, the school administers Campus Recreational Sports, which serves roughly 80 percent of the IU Bloomington student body through various intramural, club and individual sports opportunities.