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New department name reflects expanded mission, changes in health care

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The Department of Clinical Sciences has a new name that reflects its broader focus: the Department of Population and Data Sciences.

Research in the Department has grown to include population sciences, such as epidemiology, geospatial analyses, and health behaviors, while maintaining traditional strengths in biostatistics, outcomes research, and clinical research support. The new name better reflects the Department’s present and future research programs, and it will enhance the recruitment of faculty members, students, and collaborators, said Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School.

Dr. Celette Sugg Skinner
Dr. Celette Sugg Skinner

Dr. Celette Sugg Skinner, named Chair of Clinical Sciences last year, will continue to lead the newly renamed Department. Prior to her 2018 appointment, she had led the Department as Interim Chair.

We have a fantastic group of faculty and professional staff who conduct high-impact methodological research with direct application to delivery of care, said Dr. Skinner, also a Professor of Population and Data Sciences and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. The ultimate goal of our research is to improve health in our community, Texas, and beyond through population-based scientific innovation and intervention.

Dr. Skinner’s own research focuses on improving health outcomes, especially using electronically tailored interventions. In collaboration with the Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dr. Skinner co-leads one of three multicenter groups funded by the National Cancer Institute’s PROSPR consortium to study how to improve screening processes for colorectal and cervical cancer.

In 2007, Dr. Skinner was named Chief of the Division of Behavioral & Communication Sciences in the Department of Clinical Sciences and founding Associate Director of Population Research and Cancer Control for the Simmons Cancer Center.

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