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Epidemiology & Exposure Science

Do you need to understand health outcomes from occupational and environmental exposures?

If you need to evaluate the relationship between certain exposures of individuals or a population and the disease outcomes that result, epidemiologic studies and biostatistics can provide needed insights.

ORAU’s experts provide evaluation of the exposure-disease relationship through health surveillance programs, independent, scientific investigations, health risk assessments and large cohort studies to inform human health protections procedures and policies.

Our team of epidemiologists, biostatisticians, health physicists, industrial hygienists and toxicologists offer comprehensive expertise in epidemiologic studies of occupational exposures and health. This includes study design, surveys, data capture and historical document retrieval, comprehensive literature reviews, data exploration and health data analytics.

  • Laboratory researchers with radioactive material

    What is occupational epidemiology?

    Occupational epidemiology describes the study of worker populations and workplace exposures, generally chemical, biological or physical (e.g., noise, heat, radiation) agents, to evaluate the risk of adverse health outcomes.

  • ORAU epidemiology staff member reviewing data

    What is biostatistics?

    Biostatistics involves the design, analysis, and interpretation of data to help answer important questions in medicine, public health and biology. Such questions include what exposures or other factors contribute to development of cancer and other diseases, how long a person with a certain illness is likely to survive, or whether a new drug or treatment protocol is effective.

What we offer

  • Independent scientific investigations
  • Epidemiologic study design and protocols
  • Comprehensive literature reviews
  • Health surveys and surveillance programs
  • Data capture, collection and management
  • Health data exploration and analytics
  • Biostatistical modeling
  • Advanced statistical methods
  • Expertise in statistical software: SAS, SPSS, R, Epicure

Customers we serve

  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • NASA 
  • Chemours
  • DuPont

Our Experts

Donna Cragle

Donna Cragle, Ph.D.

Expertise: Occupational epidemiology, design and implementation of large-scale worker health studies and programs

  • Adjunct faculty, University of Tennessee
  • Management advisor, ORAU Team providing dose reconstructions to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act
  • Lead epidemiologist, medical screening program for residents affected by TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash spill
Betsy Ellis

Betsy Ellis, Ph.D.

Expertise: Occupational epidemiology, radiation epidemiology, ethics of use of human participants in research

  • Member, Task Group 64 Cancer Risk from Alpha Radiation, International Commission on Radiological Protection
  • Presenter, Health Physics Society Annual Meeting, July 2017
  • Presenter, Radiation Research Society Meeting, October 2016

Contact us

For more information or to request support with epidemiology or exposure science studies, contact Dr. Jeff Miller at 865.576.7912,, or Dr. Davyda Hammond at 865.241.7626,

For more information about contracting with ORAU, contact Dominic Moro at 865.241.1446 or