While most molecular epidemiology studies are still using conventional disease diagnosis and classification systems, it is increasingly recognized that disease evolution represents inherently heterogeneous processes differing from person to person. Conceptually, each individual has a unique disease process different from any other individual (“the unique disease principle”),   considering uniqueness of the exposome (a totality of endogenous and exogenous / environmental exposures) and its unique influence on molecular pathologic process in each individual. Studies to examine the relationship between an exposure and molecular pathologic signature of disease (particularly cancer ) became increasingly common throughout the 2000s. However, the use of molecular pathology in epidemiology posed unique challenges including lack of research guidelines and standardized statistical methodologies, and paucity of interdisciplinary experts and training programs.  Furthermore, the concept of disease heterogeneity appears to conflict with the long-standing premise in epidemiology that individuals with the same disease name have similar etiologies and disease processes. To resolve these issues and advance population health science in the era of molecular precision medicine , “ molecular pathology ” and “epidemiology” was integrated to create a new interdisciplinary field of “ molecular pathological epidemiology ” (MPE),   defined as “epidemiology of molecular pathology and heterogeneity of disease”. In MPE, investigators analyze the relationships between; (A) environmental, dietary, lifestyle and genetic factors; (B) alterations in cellular or extracellular molecules; and (C) evolution and progression of disease. A better understanding of heterogeneity of disease pathogenesis will further contribute to elucidate etiologies of disease. The MPE approach can be applied to not only neoplastic diseases but also non-neoplastic diseases.  The concept and paradigm of MPE have become widespread in the 2010s.       
The program provides a strong foundation in epidemiology, which is a core discipline in public health. Our epidemiology graduate programs incorporate into the teaching program activites that provide a practical and clinically relevant educational experience that is based on a foundation of research excellence.. Students take a series of core courses in epidemiology and public health, and may choose to focus on one of several Areas of Emphasis. Faculty in each of these areas direct major research programs and training grants that provide excellent opportunities for student research and field training.
A 2001 review of the medical research conducted by the Public Health Agency of Canada concluded that there was no link between MMR vaccine and either inflammatory bowel disease or autism.  The review noted, "An increase in cases of autism was noted by year of birth from 1979 to 1992; however, no incremental increase in cases was observed after the introduction of MMR vaccination."  After the introduction of MMR, "A time trend analysis found no correlation between prevalence of MMR vaccination and the incidence of autism in each birth cohort from 1988 to 1993."