Haynes Joins College of Public Health as Epidemiology Chair

December 06, 2018




The University of Kentucky College of Public Health has named Dr. Erin Haynes as professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, effective Dec. 1, 2018. Haynes comes to UK from the University of Cincinnati, where she served as a professor of epidemiology in the UC College of Medicine Department of Environmental Health. 

Haynes chose to join the CPH faculty because of her commitment to improving the health of people in Appalachia – a region that encompasses parts of thirteen states including Kentucky and Ohio –  and the possibilities she sees for multidisciplinary collaboration at UK, one of the few universities in the nation with all colleges on one contiguous campus. 


“I am deeply committed and passionate about improving the health of those living in Appalachia – particularly by focusing on their environment. The University of Kentucky has a rich history of community partnership to address Appalachian health issues,” Haynes said.

Haynes, who holds a doctorate of public health in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular epidemiology in children’s environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Her current research, funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (corresponding principal investigator, R01ES02644601), focuses on the impact of environmental neurotoxicant exposure in rural adolescents, and development and validation of a real-time lab-on-a-chip sensor for blood metals detection (R21/R33ES024717-02  and R01ES022933). The sensor will be validated in Southeast Chicago with a collaborator from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Haynes is particularly interested in working with community members to address environmental health issues, and developing citizen science tools to enable environmental health research. She also serves on the NIH/NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences study section, and as Academic Counselor for the International Society for Exposure Science.  

“With her focus on the health of rural and Appalachian populations, Dr. Haynes brings  a research agenda that is in very much in line with the land-grant service ethos of the University of Kentucky and the College of Public Health,” said Donna K. Arnett, dean of the college. “She is also an innovator, and the right person to push the College to develop new academic opportunities to fulfill workforce needs in the field of epidemiology.”


“My goal as chair will be to harness the incredible research capacity of the Department of Epidemiology to expand our community-engaged research capacity as we address local and regional health issues in Kentucky and beyond,” Haynes said. "In the future, I anticipate developing new training programs to increase the community-engaged research workforce; but first on the agenda, a lot of listening! I anticipate learning from our outstanding faculty, staff, and students as we jointly seek to strengthen and build upon current academic programs.”




The University of Kentucky College of Public Health is a catalyst of positive change for population health, with a mission to develop health champions, conduct multidisciplinary and applied research, and collaborate with partners to improve health in Kentucky and beyond.