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Bilaver and Epstein Named New Leaders of Health Sciences Integrated PhD Program

May 4, 2021

Lucy Bilaver, PhD, associate professor of Pediatrics, has been named director of the Health Sciences Integrated PhD (HSIP) program in the Center for Education in Health Sciences (CEHS), the education and training center within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM).


Lucy Ann Bilaver, PhD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Health Sciences Integrated PhD program

“There are countless examples of interdisciplinary teams of scientists collaborating to address critical issues in public and population health at IPHAM.  The HSIP program recognizes that preparation for such work ideally begins in a doctoral program,” Bilaver said.  “Our students are not siloed. They bring domain-specific interests and experience to HSIP, where they develop essential breadth and depth of knowledge so that they can become scholars and leaders in public and population health.”

Launched in 2012, HSIP offers concentrations in health and biomedical informatics, health services and outcomes research, healthcare quality and patient safety, and social sciences and health. A new concentration in biostatistics is expected to matriculate students in fall 2022. There are 23 students currently in the program, including 2 MD-PhD students from Feinberg’s Medical Scientist Training Program. There are 8 new students starting HSIP this summer and fall.

Bilaver joined Northwestern in 2016. She has served as associate director of HSIP since her arrival, and replaces Neil Jordan, PhD, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and of Preventive Medicine, who was recently named director of CEHS.

Bilaver is a health services researcher with interests in food allergy, asthma, autism spectrum disorder, and health policy. She is an active faculty member in the IPHAM Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research (CHSOR) and the IPHAM Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research (CFAAR), where she serves as the director of health services and informatics research. Prior to joining Northwestern, Bilaver was an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Northern Illinois University.

Richard Epstein, PhD, MPH, research professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, who recently joined Northwestern’s faculty, has been named associate director of HSIP. Epstein is a licensed clinical psychologist and an applied health services researcher with interests in autism spectrum disorder, child welfare, disruptive behavior disorders, and medication safety. Prior to joining Northwestern, Epstein was a research fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and an associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University.

Richard Epstein, PhD, MPH

Research Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Associate Director, Health Sciences Integrated PhD program

“I’m very excited to join the HSIP leadership team,” said Epstein. “I’ve observed the growth of HSIP from afar and have been impressed by the diversity of the program’s students and their research interests. I look forward to working with Lucy to continue HSIP’s excellence.”

“I’m thrilled that Dr. Bilaver and Dr. Epstein will be HSIP’s new leaders,” said Jordan. “Dr. Bilaver has been a superb partner in leading HSIP for the past 5 years. Her deep knowledge of all aspects of the program, along with her vision to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within HSIP, will serve her well in this new role. Dr. Epstein will draw upon his prior experience teaching in Vanderbilt’s Master of Public Health and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs to bring new ideas to further strengthen HSIP for its second decade.” 

Bilaver and Epstein both earned their PhDs at the University of Chicago – Bilaver in Social Work, and Epstein in Psychology/Human Development. Both also completed postdoctoral training in health services research at Northwestern.

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