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Epidemiology, Molecular

Nucleic Acids

  1. Paul A. Schulte1,
  2. Frederica P. Perera2,
  3. Nathaniel Rothman3

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300073

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Schulte, P. A., Perera, F. P. and Rothman, N. 2006. Epidemiology, Molecular. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, USA

  2. 2

    Columbia University, NY, USA

  3. 3

    National Cancer Institute, Rethesda , USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Molecular epidemiology is the use of molecular biological techniques to identify exposures, effects, or susceptibility factors in studies of human populations. Molecular epidemiology and traditional epidemiology utilize the same paradigm. However, the former presents the opportunity to use the enhanced resolving power of molecular biology in the assessment of exposure–disease relationships.

The resolving power, to elucidate a continuum of events between xenobiotic exposure and disease, can provide stronger approaches to research, prevention, and intervention. One particular aspect of the new resolving power of molecular epidemiology is the application of the products of genomic research to epidemiology to assess the genetic components of disease and the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in disease causation. Conversely, the molecular epidemiologic approach may contribute to genomics research by emphasizing the importance of populations and a population perspective. Genetic biomarkers reflect population dynamics and represent useful tools in uncovering complicated interrelationships between environment, culture, and genetics in human history.


  • Biological Markers (Biomarkers);
  • Biologic Markers of Effect;
  • Biologic Markers of Exposure;
  • Biologic Markers of Susceptibility