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Dr. David J. Lee Dr. David J. Lee

Dr. David J. Lee, Miller School of Medicine Faculty Member Since 1990, Named Acting Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences

David J. Lee, Ph.D., professor and prolific chronic disease and occupational epidemiologist, has been named chair (acting) of the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Lee, who is also chair of Graduate Programs at the Miller School of Medicine, has been a faculty member of the department since 1990. 

“My appointment coincides with the once-in-a-generation challenge of COVID-associated disruptions, so goals in the coming months include maintaining operations to ensure continued faculty productivity and to continue to grow and support our vibrant graduate program offerings,” added Dr. Lee. “I am exceedingly proud of our staff and faculty and I am confident that we will respond and adapt to our current challenges as we have in the past to build a stronger Department of Public Health Sciences in the coming months.”

“Dr. Lee’s experience in epidemiology and in mentoring students ideally suits him to take on this new leadership role at a time when the world is struggling to better understand this novel coronavirus and grapple with its health implications,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School of Medicine. “He is similarly poised to help train the next generation of public health experts in our midst.”

“I joined the University of Miami faculty 30 years ago and have had the pleasure of witnessing the steady evolution and growth of the Department of Public Health Sciences,” added Dr. Lee. “Our faculty are highly productive, and our National Institutes of Health funding levels collectively exceed that of many U.S. Schools of Public Health.”

Since 1993, Dr. Lee has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also serves as principal investigator for the Florida Cancer Data System – the second largest state cancer registry in the United States. The data system, which has collected incidence data since 1981, was designed by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School of Medicine.

As chair of Graduate Programs, Dr. Lee oversees master and doctoral programs in public health and has been involved in the mentoring of students, including serving on various dissertation committees and assisting students in obtaining financial support for their studies.

Dr. Lee has served as lead or co-author on over 200 peer-reviewed research articles and students are regularly active members of his research teams. Students have contributed to over 50 student-led publications in leading biomedical journals, including the American Journal of Public Health, Preventive Medicine, Cancer, Circulation, Diabetes Care, and the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

His current research interests include public health applications of mindfulness practices, such as yoga and meditation for the prevention and management of chronic disease, enhancing the health of the U.S. workforce, population approaches towards the reduction of eye disease, and cancer surveillance and prevention.

Written by Amanda Torres
Published on June 10, 2020