A UC Irvine researcher who oversees one of the nation’s largest cancer genetics studies has been named founding chair of the new Department of Epidemiology. Hoda Anton-Culver, epidemiology professor and Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute director, will lead the 26th and newest department in the School of Medicine. Previously, epidemiology was a division in the Department of Medicine. Its designation to departmental status allows for continued growth in its four research areas – genetic epidemiology, clinical epidemiology, environmental epidemiology and biostatistics – and the development of a Ph.D. program for epidemiology in the School of Medicine. Currently, there are 19 faculty members affiliated with the department.