The Division of General Medical Sciences (GMS) performs patient-oriented research in clinical epidemiology, health outcomes, health decision making, biostatistics and areas related to health behavior.

These include:

  • Compliance with cancer screening
  • Other health practices for cancer prevention and disease self-management
  • Quality of life in cancer patients
  • Social support
  • Adjustment to cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • The role of psychosocial support in adjustment
  • Smoking cessation among cancer patients
  • Area-level influences on behavior and disease occurrence

GMS also provides an academic home for faculty in the Center for Clinical and Research Ethics (CCRE) and the Institute for Informatics (I2).

GMS faculty also play key leadership roles in the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), which provides the home for Washington University’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). The ICTS supports the advancement of clinical and translational research and research education along the full translational spectrum from bench to bedside to community implementation.

Faculty interests

Within the area of clinical epidemiology/outcomes research, individual faculty interests include:

  • Outcomes assessment measures
  • Evaluation of health intervention studies
  • Epidemiology of occupational diseases
  • Medical informatics
  • Evaluation of educational and community interventions
  • Cost effectiveness analysis
  • Risk prediction
  • Patient communication
  • Treatment in prognostic issues related to antithrombotic therapy

Within biostatistics/genetic epidemiology, faculty interests include:

  • Novel statistical methods for classification
  • Analysis of complex data sets such as those derived from gene chips
  • Use of genetic polymorphisms

Within the areas of research ethics and bioethics, faculty interests include:

  • Factors that support and inhibit professionalism in research and medicine
  • Ethical issues arising in clinical and research settings such as informed consent
  • How leadership and management skills support ethics
  • Test development and outcome assessment of ethics training programs

Within the area of health behavior research, faculty interests include:

  • Psychological aspects of illness and quality of life
  • Factors associated with individuals’ engagement in health behaviors and decision making
  • Evaluating behavioral interventions in clinic and community settings
  • Health communications
  • Education of health professionals and evaluation of educational interventions
  • Geographic variation in factors associated with health behaviors and disease outcomes
  • Reducing health desparities


GMS faculty offer research training in:

  • Epidemiology
  • Health outcomes
  • Health behavior
  • Research ethics
  • Research design

We provide training through formal coursework in several Master’s degree programs, including the Master of Science in Applied Health Behavior Research that is run by our Division.

GMS faculty play key leadership roles in the didactic and post-doctoral training programs offered by the Clinical Research Training Center, including the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, the KL2 Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Award, and the Mentored Training Program in Clinical Investigation. Division faculty direct the C-STAR program, an innovative program for medical residents that provides didactic education and protected time to engage in mentored clinical research.

The Division of GMS also offers a General Medical Sciences fellowship focused on clinical epidemiology and health outcomes research methodology; fellows conduct original research under the guidance of faculty mentors.

The teaching roles of GMS faculty have been recognized by multiple awards including Distinguished Educator and Distinguished Faculty awards, Lecturer of the Year and Course master of the Year awards, and multiple Distinguished Service Teaching awards.


GMS division faculty collaborate with investigators from many divisions and departments in the School of Medicine and from the larger Washington University community of researchers to aid in study design, measurement of behavior, psychosocial issues, data analysis and disease assessment to answer a wide variety of research questions. Our faculty has led the development of important research infrastructure at the School of Medicine, including the Washington University Pediatric and Adolescent Ambulatory Research Consortium (WUPAARC), a practice-based research network (PBRN) of community pediatricians established in 2002.

GMS faculty also play key leadership roles in the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), which supports the advancement of clinical and translational research and research education along the whole spectrum from bench to bedside to community implementation.