How UB's School of Public Health and Health Professions is producing world-class "disease detectives" like Brian King
After graduating from UB, Brian King accepted a position as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The EIS is a two-year postgraduate training program in epidemiology, with a focus on fieldwork.
More popularly known as “disease detectives,” EIS officers are dispatched to investigate disease outbreaks, natural and human-caused disasters, and other public health emergencies throughout the world. Brian completed his tenure as an EIS officer in 2012 and joined CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health as an epidemiologist. In that role, he conducts epidemiologic research on tobacco use and control. He also works closely with federal, state and local officials to inform them of strategies to reduce the health burden and economic impact of tobacco-related disease and death.
Brian always joked that he was genetically predisposed to attend UB. “My mother and father actually met while studying at UB,” he says. “And my aunt, uncle and grandfather also attended the university.”
However, Brian believes that he would have chosen UB regardless of his family ties. From the moment he stepped foot on the North Campus as an undergraduate, he came to appreciate everything about UB, including the diversity of the student body, the breadth of programs available, and the extraordinary caliber of the faculty.
Ten years later, after earning his PhD, Brian still feels the same way about his alma mater. “The university as a whole, and particularly the School of Public Health and Health Professions, has a strong history of collaborative, interdisciplinary and innovative research that I am proud to have been a part of,” he says.
While enrolled in the PhD program in epidemiology, Brian savored the camaraderie with students and faculty, and was impressed with the variety of experiences the program offered. Through UB’s relationship with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, he was able to complete his doctoral training and dissertation research at a world-class comprehensive cancer center. “This collaborative arrangement allowed me to engage in countless experiences that I otherwise would not have had,” says Brian. “These include partnering with community and state stakeholders to promote sound public health policy, working with members of the media to disseminate my research findings, and traveling both domestically and abroad to scientific conferences and meetings.”