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Public Health Sciences

Health Sciences Research

several images depicting Clemson Public Health Research

The Clemson University Department of Public Health Sciences embraces the land-grant mission to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in South Carolina and beyond. Our faculty members utilize a team-science approach to improve healthcare delivery and population health through integrating research, education, and service. We believe that multidisciplinary collaboration is the optimal path toward truly making a difference in solving practical, substantive health-related challenges. To that end, we often partner with other researchers at Clemson University and external agencies to address the wide-reaching health challenges facing us today. Our areas of research include the following:

  • Health Promotion and Behavior

    Our health promotion and behavior researchers conduct needs assessments and develop, deliver and evaluate interventions in community-based, school and health care settings. Our populations encompass the entire lifespan from maternal and child health to older adult health. Our methods include community-based participatory research, structural interventions, health coaching by both community lay leaders and health care providers, and ecological models for improving health. Our projects have been designed to influence healthy choices in neighborhoods and communities. Our researchers have interests and expertise in addressing health disparities and chronic illness.

  • Epidemiology and Outcomes Research

    Our epidemiology and outcomes research team conducts both clinical and population studies on chronic disease epidemiology (e.g. obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases), nutritional epidemiology, and health disparities. We design and deliver studies to identify risk/beneficial factors for disease etiology and to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of novel treatments and interventions. Our priority population includes women, children and middle-aged adults. Our methods include survival analysis, longitudinal analysis, survey analysis, systematic review and meta-analysis.

  • Evaluation

    Our evaluation team works with large and small health-related programs across South Carolina and nationally. The team places emphasis on effectiveness research and has expertise in formative, process and summative levels of evaluation, mixed method designs, sampling, instrument development and working with stakeholders to interpret and communicate findings. Recent initiatives have included: Zest Quest, Farm to School, Greenville HOPE IV housing authority revitalization, LiveWell Greenville’s Out of School Time initiative and Greenville Health System’s Girls on the Run youth development program.

  • Health Policy and Health Services Research

    Our health policy and health services faculty engage in research that is policy-relevant at the state and national levels with the aim of improving health services, health outcomes, and population health. We use large datasets and cutting-edge research methodologies including simulation models and geospatial analyses to shed light on a variety of health and health care issues: obesity and built environment; tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug control policies; economic analysis/cost-effectiveness of health-related behaviors; aging; access to health care of the uninsured; community health care; and medical education.

  • Global and Population Health

    Our global health research addresses key health-related challenges and opportunities in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Our focus areas include infectious disease prevention, hypertension, women’s health, health insurance reform, health care workforce and substance abuse. The skills and expertise among our faculty are applied to the comparative research worldwide and to assist policy makers and health practitioners in the decision-making process.

  • Public Health Informatics

    Our public health informatics investigators apply biomedical informatics principles to research that often begins in the clinical environment and transcends into families, communities and beyond. Our current projects focus on mobile health solutions to improve patient self-managing of their Type 2 diabetes and enhancing the quality of life of people with asthma. We have also begun development of the next generation of clinical decision support aimed at enhancing medical imaging decision making.

  • Faculty Research Interests
    Name Research/Expertise Email

    Cartmell, Kathleen

    Health Services Research; Dissemination and Implementation Science; Cancer Prevention and Control; HPV Vaccination; Tobacco Cessation; Palliative Care; Patient Navigation; Global Health

    Griffin, Sarah F

    School-Based Health; Obesity Prevention; Physical Activity; Nutrition; Community Development; Chronic Disease Prevention; Implementation Science; Program Evaluation

    Heo, Moonseong

    Clinical trial design and analysis, Addiction, Infectious diseases, Biostatistics, Obesity

    Jing, Xia

    Data-driven hypothesis generation & visual analytics, Evidence-based clinical decision making, Health IT for rural and under-served populations, Knowledge bases, Knowledge representation and Semantic Web, Telemedicine

    Kemper, Karen A

    Physical Activity and Chronic Disease; Physical Activity Promotion; Obesity Prevention; Nutrition; Community Initiatives; Body Image; After School Environments; Program Evaluation

    Shi, Lu

    Adapting and implementing telehealth delivery models of mindfulness-based interventions, Populations with limited resources, Chronic diseases as well as mental/cognitive health, Big data analytics and simulation modeling of population health, Artificial intelligence methods

    Rennert, Lior

    Biostatistics, Infectious disease epidemiology, Infectious disease modeling, Policy evaluation, Health disparities, Mindfulness

    Truong, Khoa Dang

    Healthcare for Disadvantaged Population; Tobacco/Alcohol/Drug Control Policies; Obesity; Mental Health; Health Economics

    Williams, Joel Edward

    Health behavior, Behavioral interventions, Evaluation and measurement, Chronic disease prevention and control

    Zhang, Lu

    Health disparities in cancer control continuum, Lung cancer screening implementation, Individualized cancer treatment, Surveillance data/Secondary data analyses

    Floyd, Sarah

    Comparative effectiveness research to generate evidence to guide shared decision-making in orthopaedics, Development and testing of clinical decision support tools to deliver evidence at the point of care, Deep learning approaches to develop outcome measures using clinical note text, Deep learning approaches to analyze diagnostic images to classify the complexity of fractures

    Sherrill, Windsor

    Population Health, Diabetes Prevention and Management, Chronic Disease Self-Management, Patient-Provider Communication, Health Services Evaluation, Medical Education, Health Disparities, Health Administration, Finance and Policy, Survey Research, Health Policy

    Amanda Stover

    Dual Diagnosis Research, Substance Use and Abuse, Self-Injury, Suicide Prevention, Rural Health Disparities, Clinical Trial Design and Implementation

  • Recent Notable Publications

    Journal Publications (*student collaborators)

    Rennert L, Ma Z, McMahan C, Dean D (2022). Effectiveness and protection duration of COVID-19 vaccines and previous infection against any SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nature Communications; 13, 3946.

    Dietz CJ* , Sherrill WW, Stancil M, Rennert L, Parisi M, McFall D (2022). Health Extension for Diabetes: Impact of a Community-Based Diabetes Self-Management Support Program on Older Adults’ Activation. Diabetes Spectrum. ds210054.

    Jing X, Akash I, Hubig NC, Min H, Cimino JJ, Sitting D, Rennert L, Robinson D, Biondich P, Wright A, Nohr C, Law TD, Faxvaag A, Gimbel RW (2022). A systematic approach to configuring MetaMap for optimal performance. Methods of Information in Medicine. DOI: 10.1055/a-1862-0421 

    Martin B, Witrick B*, Sivaraj B, Tyler L, Devane M, Gimbel R, Rennert L (2022). Equivalent outcomes at lower costs for totally implantable venous access device (TIVAD) placement by interventional radiologists compared with surgeons. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology

    Lindros, S.H.*, Floyd, S.B. Implementation of a Patient-Tailored Opioid Prescribing Guideline in Ventral Hernia Repair. Journal of Surgical Research. Journal of Surgical Research. In Press.

    Jing X, Patel VL, Cimino JJ, Shubrook JH, Zhou Y, Liu C, De Lacalle S. The Roles of a Secondary Data Analytic Tool and Experience in Scientific Hypothesis Generation in Clinical Research: A Study Design. JMIR Research Protocols, 2022. PMID: 35736798. DOI: 10.2196/39414 

    Baxter, S.L.K., Jackson, E., Onufrank, S., Parisi, M.A., and Griffin, S.F. Differences in rural built environment perceptions across demographic and social environment characteristics. Accepted July 2022 for special issue in Health Promotion Practice

  • Recent Funded Research Awards

    South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Health Care (PI: Lior Rennert). “A data-driven approach to identify and target high-risk rural communities via mobile health clinics,” $200,000. 08-01-2021 to 07-31-2024. Role: PI.

    The Development and Evaluation of a Patient-Centered Opioid Discharge Prescribing Guideline within the Electronic Health Record of a Health System. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (R18). Co- Investigator:  Sarah Floyd, ($1,584,429) 9/1/2022-8/31/2026

    The Development of an EHR-based Measure of Orthopaedic Treatment Success. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (R03). Principal Investigator:  Sarah Floyd, ($99,580) 9/1/2022-8/31/2023

    South Carolina County Health Extension: High Obesity Prevention and Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (PI:  Sarah Griffin), $836,418 9/27/2022-9/26/2023

    South Carolina County Health Extension: High Obesity Prevention and Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Supplemental Project - Childhood Obesity Prevention (PI:  Sarah Griffin), $97,400, 9/27,2022-9/26/2023

    Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health and Advocacy Embedded Student Research Fellow, Prisma Health (PI:  Sarah Griffin), $19,019

    Open, interoperable, and configurable clinical decision support modules for OpenMRS, OpenEMR, and beyond, National Institutes of Health/DHHS (PI:  Xia Jing), $234,039

    Development, validation, and application of a CDS ontology to facilitate CDS rules reuse, management, and maintenance in simulated primary care settings, National Institutes of Health/DHHS (PI:  Xia Jing), $335,848 

    Produce Prescription and Nutritional Education to Improve Health Outcomes of Patients with Type-2 Diabetes Living in a Rural and Medically Underserved County in South Carolina. United States Department of Agriculture. Co-Principal Investigator: Lu Zhang. $500,000. 9/2022-9/2025

Department of Public Health Sciences
Department of Public Health Sciences | 503 Edwards Hall